Tips and Tricks on how to keep financially afloat in college.
I’m a spender not a saver. I’m good at putting money away for a rainy day (and then spending it) and making silly, spur of the moment purchases. For the start of my college life, I realised I needed to get a little sense and curb my spending ways. Face it, college is expensive. Even with a grant (and in my case, staying at home) it can be sometimes difficult to afford everything. From printing, to new text books, to food and the odd night out, it all adds up. While my methods aren’t going to make you a college millionaire, they may help ease the financial suffering of some students who just need a little extra to tide them over.
Get a Job
In second year I worked 40 hours weeks and attended college. It killed me and definitely had a negative effect on my grades. No-one’s suggesting you follow me down my over worked path (I’ve since learned the wonder of work/college/social life balance) but a part-time job is a great aid to any student. Insert here the cries of “But no-one will take on a college student” and while many businesses are wary, it’s all about proving your ability to work hard and be flexible. Local shops, pubs and restaurants can be great territories to make a few extra euro and not only will it look great on your CV, it will help ease the financial stress.
Do a Survey (or 100)
We learned about Acumen Panel in our Advertising lecture in 1st year and I’ve been using it since. The premise revolves around filling our various surveys for a small financial reward. You can cash in these rewards for vouchers for a number of different shops and experiences. While this is a slow process, the more developed your profile is and the more experienced you are, the more surveys you’ll complete. I gotten 5/6 €50 vouchers in the past two years which have helped me buy groceries and some other necessities. I also am a member of Irish Opinions (Which I don’t like as much) and RedCLive (which cash out cheques for every €50 earned)
Knowledgeable about Maths or Business? Studying Accounting or Science? Good at languages? Happy to help teenagers? Good planning and communication skills? Giving grinds may be for you. I originally began helping a cousin and it quickly took off from there with recommendations and word of mouth. Depending on how qualified/experienced you are and the going rate for grinds in your area, you can earn between €15-60 an hour for simple lessons. I like thinking outside the box in my teaching and using different ways of demonstrating examples. Lesson content is easy to comprise from books, personal knowledge and the internet. It’s interesting to adapt to different learning styles and so rewarding when you see a student finally understanding something. This one’s beneficial to the community and your cv too.
Many college run their own grinds centres and are often looking for people to give grinds. You can find information on WIT’s programme here.
Pick up Some Odd Jobs From the College SU
Believe it or not, many colleges have temporary and part time positions available that are great for picking up a little extra cash. I’ve worked at student elections and have friends who have worked as parking attendants, at graduation ceremonies and as student ambassadors. These are a brilliant opportunity to have a hand in your college community ~(and HR always love to see students who are willing to get involved!) Keep an eye on Facebook, your SU website or drop their campus offices to ask about what’s going on.
May I also recommend on Campus Career Centres. Our own in WIT is a great source of job, internship and volunteering positions and I know similar services are offered in colleges far and wide.
Sell Your Soul (or Just Your Stuff)
Have old text books lying around? Sell them! A guitar you’re not using? Flog it! An ancient iPod you don’t have the time to use? Sell, sell, sell. Local Buy and Sell Pages on Facebook are brilliant places to sell your unwanted or unloved items. eBay and Amazon also having trading options and Donedeal and Adverts are also options. Free up the space and fill up the pockets.
Use Your Student Discount
A no-brainer to some but you’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t know of the great offers and savings they can get with a student card. Sign up for MyUniDays using your college email and save, save, save on all your online shopping and don’t be afraid of asking in store in student discount is available. Take advantage of student centric nights at cinemas (Odeon Ireland offer a cinema ticket, a medium popcorn and a drink for the small sum of €12. Bargain!) and look out for student prices from theatres/concerts/travel tickets.