We all know the old stereotype of skint students living off nothing but baked beans and Pot Noodles.
And while we associate this status with a certain age group, students are not just people in their late teens and early twenties. In fact, more and more of us are going back to school in later life to learn new skills, whether we’re hoping to get ahead in our current roles, break out of a rut and into a new industry, or simply looking to learn more about our field of interest.
And though it’s a valuable experience, it’s also an expensive one. Alongside the hefty price tag of your student loan is the cost of your commute, living expenses, textbooks, and more.
So it’s no surprise that money is one of the biggest challenges for university learners at any age.
If you’re considering going back to school, but are dubious about the financial implications, check out these three tips to keep a hand on the purse strings.
1. Plan ahead
If you’re particularly money-conscious and struggling, it might be an idea to hold of enrolment and set yourself a saving target before you dive in to your studies. Otherwise, if you have existing savings, now would be a good time to use them.
Consider also any cost-effective cuts you could make in the meantime – for instance, depending on your circumstances you may find it cheaper to commute than own a car, freeing up a little finance for your future.
2. Learn remote
Distance learning has become the norm for students across the country thanks to the restrictions of the pandemic, but as lockdown restrictions lift, the likelihood is that classes will go back to normal for the vast majority of students.
That said, plenty of universities have been using distance learning platforms for years with great success – ARU Distance Learning are one of the leaders in this field.
Remote study is flexible to balance around other commitments like family life, and many students even manage to work full-time alongside their courses. This is a game-changer for learners who would otherwise struggle financially, and it allows you to continue your career development whilst studying.
3. Shop savvy
Bargain-hunting is a winning technique for anyone looking to save a few pounds. But as a student, there are untold benefits to shopping around.
Stay up to date with sites like Wowcher and Groupon to find discounts and deals for essentials and treats alike – these sites will often feature coupon codes for days out such as theme parks, so make sure you check before you book!
It’s also worth noting that you can often get discounts through your institution. When you enrol, you’ll usually be issued with a student card which many places will accept on its own to qualify for student discount. Once you have a valid university email address, you can also sign up for UniDays, which offers online and instore discounts with countless brands.
We hope that these three tips help to relieve the financial strain of studying so you can focus on the important stuff!