It can be the best time of your life, or the worst depending on how you approach what life deals you as a university student. For most of us heading off to college or university is the first time we’ve ever been away from home for any long period of time. It is also one of the first times we are pretty much completely responsible for our finances. It is a sad but true fact that for most university students, money is just as important (or more important) than good grades.
Because of the high tuition rates and the incredible costs of text books many students life on and below the poverty line. In many cases it is hard to manage a decent paying job and course load and so you have to sacrifice one or the other. Work for less at a job that matches your class schedule or reduce your class load to get a better job. Neither is really ideal.
The biggest challenge is making sure that you have enough to cover the essentials each month – rent, food, bills, beer/coolers. This means you need to plan things out a little ahead of time and be smart about how and why you spend your money. However there always are times when the money is especially tight or simply not enough. In these cases there are a few things you can do.
1) Apply for one of the many student credit card offers you will find on any campus – READ THE DETAILS CAREFULLY
2) Apply for a bank line of credit or personal loan to help cover your needs
3) Look into scholarships and bursaries available through your school – there are MANY that go unclaimed yearly, and they are often based on need, not academic scores
4) Short-term loans from family
Going through the fun and pain of university can be interesting enough without having to add-on huge money stresses. As a student you will have financial troubles, there is almost no doubt about that. However, how you manage your money on a day-to-day basis will ultimately determine how you deal with financial troubles when they show up. Just keep a cool head, use your campus resources to get unbiased advice and help if you need it.