What to do when your Student Money’s Tight: 5 Solutions

January 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Study Abroad

Running into financial difficulties is an inevitable part of being a student. Even if you are working and have good support from your parents, the process of learning to handle money has its pitfalls. So, what do you do when your bank balance is heading towards double figures and help is far away?

Get a job

This is easier said than done these days because employers want more for their money: more time, more work, more of you and all of this can have a detrimental effect on your studies. If you do take a part time job, be sure to agree your hours in advance. Don’t take the loose approach of agreeing to the “whenever you need me” kind of job because you leave yourself open to being needed at the most inconvenient times.

Medical Trials

Signing up as a Volunteer Participant for clinical trials can earn you some good money without eating in to your valuable study time. Sites like GSK trials will pay its Volunteer Participants between £200 and £2000 to take part in drug trials. You have to attend an information talk and then give consent before beginning the trial. Many drug companies won’t pay if you don’t complete the trial, so bare that in mind before you sign your consent form.

Seek Financial Support from the University

Every university and college has a hardship fund for those who are in genuine need. If you find yourself in this situation, make an appointment with the student services office and explain your problems. There’s no shame in running out of money, it happens. If you speak up, you should get help.

Sell Stuff

Recycling your old mobile phone could net you up to £150. Putting your CD collection on Amazon could also make you some tidy money. Just make sure you’ve copied the lot onto an external hard drive before you send it all off to the new owners.

Cut back on Premium Products

Student life is all about having fun, but unfortunately fun is expensive, even if you’re in a student bar. How do you have fun without heading for bankruptcy? Set yourself a weekly budget and stick to it. Don’t buy premium products such as Coca-Cola, or Grey Goose Vodka.

Make use of every single offer available to you as a student. Sign up to websites that offer 2-for-1 at Wagamama and Pizza Express.

Throw a “Bring Your Own” party at your house in which everyone brings a bottle and a dish – hopefully of something they have cooked. There’s always a surplus of food a drink, just remember to refrigerate anything you plan to eat.

About the Author: This post was contributed by Sally S.