Ah, what it is to be a student. You have no job to rush to, and instead you spend the vast majority of your time sitting on your bed watching illegally downloaded TV programs or drinking down the pub with your friends. You have all the freedom of being an adult – your own space and no one telling you what time to be home, but with none of the responsibilities or stresses. Then there’s the fact that you live with all your friends just around the corner and always available for a cup of tea, and that everyone is always pulling each other… Yeah life is pretty good for a student.
Except there are stresses too. The work is actually hard of course, but what I’m really talking about is the money which will rarely be tighter than when you’re living on a student loan and paying for accommodation and bills for the first time. Forget tuition fees – right now you need to deal with just surviving day to day.
And as such you might find yourself getting into a bit of a ‘financial pickle’ from time to time. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – I myself got into a few sticky situations and remember trying to withdraw as much cash from the bank as I could before it realized I’d exceeded my overdraft limit. Then there was the period of placement when I ate cereal with water because I couldn’t afford milk and used newspaper as loo paper… Don’t judge – times were tough!
What I have realized though is that since there really was no reason to stand quite that low, and actually if you’re a student in a financial bind there are a number of options available to you. Here we will look at some of the best and most useful that might just bail you out.
The nice thing about being a student is that everyone is sympathetic to you and everyone knows just how tricky it can get. As such there are a lot of facilities in place to help. Your first port of call should of course be ‘the bank of Mum and Dad’, but failing that you can try friends and other relatives, or even the university itself. Most universities will have something like a ‘student advice center’ which is set up to deal with various problems you may have, and if you go and speak to them they’ll normally be able to bung you some cash to help tide you over. You’ll probably have to present them with some evidence of your situation – such as bank statements – but it’s definitely worth it for free cash that you won’t have to pay back.
You may even find that you are entitled to a bigger loan than you have received, so if your parents can’t help you as-is, they may be able to apply for more help from the government – though of course this will be slow coming.
Speak to Your Bank
If you can’t get free cash this way then there are various other options available to you at your local bank, the most convenient of which is to get an overdraft if you don’t already have one. Most student overdrafts are free, so this is basically like a zero percent interest loan that you can get instant access to – handy.
If you already have an overdraft but it’s not enough, then you might want to consider speaking to your bank manager and asking them to extend it. They can be a bit funny about doing so at first, but if you show them evidence that you need it and that you’re going to be sensible, then you should find them obliging. And if the bank doesn’t offer loans as large as you require? Then consider switching your bank.
Save and Earn
Of course this is also a good time to start reigning in your spending and doing less. If most of your money is going on nights out, then find ways to enjoy socializing for less. There is a whole host of money saving tips you can take advantage of as a student and this is partly a matter of discipline.
Then there’s the option to start earning a bit more money, and more and more students are now opting to take up part time jobs on top of their studies. If you don’t fancy giving up your freedom though, then there are many other options that are a lot more relaxed such as working online, or speaking to your university to see if they have any jobs you can do such as cleaning or showing visitors around the campus.
Author Byline :
Nick Dunin works at http://www.debtconsolidation.com.au and provides advice for all to manage their finances better and deal with debt repayment issues efficiently.