Money: Pound coins

Top options for university spending money

Spending money in college can be a pretty big dilemma for students and families. Let’s face it, college costs a lot of money. With tuition, housing, food, books and all the other extras, you will need a nice chunk of dough to sustain you while you are attending. The good news is, there are a number of ways in which college students can get the spending money they need to make ends meet and have a little fun now and then.

First on the list is the student loan refund. Simply put, this is money leftover from loans taken out to pay for a semester of college. It could be a few hundred dollars or a few thousand depending on the amount borrowed and the price of tuition. The remainder can be used to cover the cost of groceries and school supplies throughout the year. While not recommended, this money can also be used for a night out or two – in theory.

Work study can be a good option when you need some extra spending money in school. It’s not a huge amount of money, but it can sure help if you need a few clothes, to pay for entertainment or other extras. But it’s also important for college students to be frugal with their money. College students often times waste their money on things they don’t need. Now is the time to learn about managing your money. Time will fly by in no time and you will be out in the world. Six months after you graduate, the student loan man’s gonna come a calling and you’d better be ready.

Short term options like a cash advance can tide you over briefly, but they should not relied upon for the longer term, and if you can get yourself in better financial shape before you leave college then all the better. These loans are also generally dependent on the borrower (you) having some form of income to pay back the money in monthly instalments, so a job history is always welcome.

A part-time job in college will be a great way to learn about putting back your money. The fact that you aren’t earning a great deal of money is unimportant. The fact that you learn how to put your money up for a rainy day is. But to land a part-time job, here are some things to consider:

  • Location: If you’re going to work a part-time job in college, make sure it’s close to campus or within walking distance of a bus stop. If you have your own vehicle, you should still avoid traveling unreasonable distances to work. This saves time and gas money.
  • Pay: Get a job that’s going to pay above minimum wage. Don’t waste your time on some boring minimum wage job that’s not going to supplement you they way you need.
  • Schedule: You definitely need something that’s going to work around your class schedule. Be sure you can commit to a certain shift, whether it’s days, nights or overnight.
  • Relation to a college degree: Most college workers want a job that will give them some real-life experience pertaining to their degree. For instance, if you are a journalist, you may want to work part-time in a newsroom or write for a newspaper. Who knows, it could lead to something bigger once you leave college.

But there are also many places in college towns looking to hire students. Some of the most plentiful jobs include fast food, department store cashier, cell phone stores, supermarkets, lifeguard, barista and even administrative assistant.

Just remember to find something you’re comfortable with. College is stressful enough without having to deal with a job that will add even more. Just remember the purpose of this job is to put some much-needed money in your pocket. But it also serves as a means to teach you how to save money.

If you need more help with locating a part-time job in college, there should be a number of resources on your campus to help.

Photograph by Public Domain Images

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