The lockdown has placed tremendous stress on many people’s finances. Students, in particular, may be finding it difficult to keep funding their studies. But there are ways to stay on track!
When you started studying, we’re sure you were feeling excited about taking that next step towards a successful future! But then the coronavirus swept in and likely put quite a big dent in that excitement; and your wallet. As a student, you may be particularly concerned about how you’re going to afford your studies.
Never fear, we’re here to give you some tips on how to keep funding your studies so that you can get your qualification and be prepared for a better future.
1. Speak to your college about funding your studies
If you’re a distance learning student, then you’re able to continue studying through lockdown. Another advantage of distance learning is that financially, distance learning courses are generally far more affordable than other options. And choosing to pay through monthly instalments can make your studies even more affordable. If you’re still battling to fit your studies into your budget, then you shouldn’t be afraid to speak to the college about payment plans. It is better that you contact the college and tell them about your financial difficulties. They will do everything that they can to assist you.
2. Realise that you can get by without luxuries
The lockdown might have given you an opportunity to discover that there are some things you can actually live without. You may have missed luxuries like fast food, but you probably survived perfectly fine without them, and saved money while you were at it! A good lesson to be learnt is that you have been able to get by with less than you did previously. As the weeks go by, consider making this a permanent habit so that you can set aside money for more important things, like funding your education.
3. Rework your budget
Your spending habits have likely changed a lot since the start of lockdown. For example, you probably aren’t spending much on entertainment or travel at this time. On the other hand, you may be spending more on buying food or data. Now is the perfect time to sit down and see how your budget has changed. Keep all your receipts so that you can keep track of your spending. And if studying is a priority for you, then try to take the money you’re saving in other areas and channel it into funding your course.
4. Take advantage of loyalty cards and student discounts
Many people have free loyalty cards which they haven’t really used or don’t understand. Start using these cards more often, and become familiar with the benefits and savings that these cards give you. You might be pleasantly surprised to see how much you can save in the long run. And in this pressured economic environment, every saved cent counts! Additionally, you can use your student card at some outlets to gain some handy discounts on things like clothing or food.
5. Be extra-cautious about using electricity and water
Spending more time at home means that you may well be spending more on electricity and water. More than ever, now is the time to focus on saving as much electricity and water as you can. So follow all the usual advice —switch off lights and appliances when they’re not in use, shorten your showers and keep your geyser switched off as much as possible. Do whatever you can do to bring those utility costs down.
6. Cancel subscriptions for services you can’t or don’t use
With gyms closed during this time, there’s not really a point to having a gym membership! That’s one example of a subscription that you should consider cancelling. If you are unable to use products or services because they are unavailable, then you are fully within your rights as a consumer to cancel subscriptions or to request refunds.
We realise that these are challenging times financially. But by paying special attention to your finances and keeping in contact with your college about payment arrangements, you should be able to continue funding your studies!