Your years at university can be among the most fun, educational, exciting and liberating of your life. However, before starting, you need to make sure you are prepared for it mentally, emotionally and financially. For many people, going to university can be a big change in their lives, particularly if they are going to be living away from home, which is why it is important to be as prepared as possible.
One of the ways in which you need to prepare for university is in terms of finances. Life as a student can be very tough financially, and even with various student loans and grants you may find yourself struggling, especially if you are living away from home. Putting some money aside to tide you over is a great way to ease the financial strain so you can focus more on your studies rather than stressing about money.
Build a university nest egg
If you want to kick start your new life at university, it can be really helpful to have a financial nest egg put aside to help you through the tough times. This is why you should spend the months leading up to the start of university earning a little extra cash to help you along – and this is something that you can continue to do whilst at university.
5 ways to make money before you start university – and also during your time there – include the following:
- Get a summer job: If you want to make money before you start university, consider getting a summer job between leaving school or college and starting university at the start of the autumn term. Doing this can benefit you in more ways than one. Not only will you earn some money for your university nest egg fund but you will also gain work experience, which can benefit you if you decide to get a part-time job during your studies. This will also be good for your CV after you leave university and start applying for full-time work.
- Have a clear out: If you are going to be living away from home while at university, it is a great idea to have a clear out of your room at home before you leave. Not only will you be able to work out what you need to take with you when you go, but you can also make money. You can do this by selling clothes for cash if you no longer want or need them, and recycling and selling old gadgets and devices that you no longer want.
- Put your skills to good use: If you have a particular skill, whether or not it is related to what you will be studying at university, you can put it to good use and earn some money. This is something you can do before you start and also while you are there. For example, you might be good at sewing/needlework, in which case you could offer your services to locals in the area and to students at university who might want alterations to clothing. Alternatively, you may be a dab hand on the computer, so you could offer training or repairs. Think about your skills and work out how you can use them to make some money.
- Get a Saturday job: If you want to earn a little extra money while at university, you can look at getting a Saturday job. Again, this will not only help you financially but will also look good on your CV and provide you with valuable work experience, no matter what line of work it is.
- Be entrepreneurial: While you may not fancy the idea of being tied to a job where you have to work set hours while studying, you can still earn money by being entrepreneurial and thinking outside the box. For example, you could offer local services such as dog walking, pet sitting, or even lawn mowing to locals before you leave. When you do move away, these are things you could continue to offer, giving you the chance to earn money while working more flexible hours.
There are plenty of traditional and inventive ways in which you can try and make some extra money to make life as a student far easier. Any more ideas?