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How to Manage Your Money Whilst at University

Hi, I’m Katie from My blog is all about making money, saving money and enjoying life on a budget as a student and young adult. Rohan asked me to write something for The Grad Hub’s blog and of course, I was delighted to!

Let’s get right into it. Being broke for 3+ years is probably not the highlight of anybody’s university experience…

It’s common that your student loan will barely cover your accommodation costs, so how do you ensure you don’t get into more crippling debt during uni?

How to make extra money whilst at university

In order to boost your income, you need to make more money. Getting a part-time job is a great option and guarantees you regular income but some students can’t commit to this as they’re too busy with uni work or extracurricular activities. Luckily, getting a job isn’t the only way to make extra money as a student.

They say it doesn’t feel like work if you enjoy what you do so if you’re talented in any way, consider making money from it in your spare time. Here are just a few ways you can sell your skills:

  • Start an Etsy shop – for those who like to make and create
  • Music gigs – get paid for gigs in local pubs and restaurants. Ideal for music students looking to boost their confidence and fanbase
  • Sell your photography – great for photography and art students who constantly take photos anyway
  • Tutoring – if you know subjects or topics inside out then offer to teach it to A Level or GCSE students in your local community or via online video call

Ever heard of a side hustle? I don’t mean babysitting or dog walking (but if you can do these, they’re great earners for just a couple of hours work), I’m talking about quick and easy ways to make extra money from your mobile phone. Check out these top 5 apps to make money – you can earn whilst waiting for a lecture to start, sitting on the bus or even whilst watching tv. I have loads more tips on ways to make extra money, just visit my Make Money Archive.

The importance of saving money whilst at university

It’s wise to think ahead – if you don’t go straight into employment after uni you’ll need a certain amount saved to keep you afloat until you land that dream job or find work in the meantime. Figure out how much ‘buffer money’ you need and then decide how much you’re going to save and how regularly in order to reach that goal. As long as your savings account is (slowly) growing, you’re doing a great job. Saving just £5 extra per week is £260 more at the end of the year!

One of the easiest ways to start saving money is to look at how you can cut costs easily. If you regularly buy convenience food then maybe it’s time to start meal planning and making sure you’ve always got something to eat. A meal deal might only cost £3 but two of those per week comes to a total of over £300 spent on a sandwich, crisps and drink each year…it all adds up. My top recommendation for reducing food costs is to make it a habit to get free food.

Consider swapping days and nights out for these free activities and only go to the swanky bars and clubs for special occasions such as birthdays and graduation. Not only will your bank account thank you, it will make those places seem more special and you’ll look forward to them more!

Need more help?

If you’ve been meaning to sort out your spending but never get round to it, sign up to my free 3-day email course Improve Your Bank Balance In Just 3 Days. I’ll send you daily emails full of ideas on how to make money, save money and budget in order to steer you in the right direction.

You can also find me on Instagram (@studentskint) and on Facebook (Student Skint) to keep up-to-date with my latest blog posts and to get extra money making and money saving tips.

Author – Katie Schulten, Founder of Student Skint Blog

Katie Schulten - Student SkintKatie is the person behind Student Skint. She’s a self-confessed money maker, money saver and bargain hunter! Katie stopped mainstream education in 2016 when she finished sixth form college and turned down offers from her top choice universities to do an apprenticeship instead.

Katie’s been employed since the age of 17 when she had two part-time jobs alongside going to college full-time. Even then, she would save as much as she could whilst on minimum wage. Frugality and minimising costs has always been something Katie prides herself on and she hopes that you’ll join her in challenging yourself to spend less and save more.

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