Studying away from home can be one of the biggest upheavals a young person can face, the idea of leaving everything they have known behind and making a new start somewhere far from the family and friends means that they are making independent choices and decision. This can be daunting as well as being freeing but young people will still look for a certain amount of guidance.
Here are some top tips for students to help them face the world of independence.
Living away from home means no more can I just borrow this from your wallet? It means you are in charge and responsible for your own money so be prepared. Maybe getting a home budget software programme can help you track exactly what you are spending and where. It might help you make better decisions with you money. Try to live off what you can earn part-time, keeping a steady income for your fun money might mean less debt at the end of your studies.
Study, Study Study!
And one more for the point… study! Moving away to study is not all about this exciting new time in your life meeting people and having new experiences. You are working to achieve something big in your personal development it is an opportunity to get something that can never be taken away and show the world you can shine. Studying well and achieving high will show prospective employers you can dig deep and work hard. It is a very difficult job market at the moment and if you waste this chance to get the right grades it will soon be gone and you will have to face this failure at every job interview you have for the next few years and explain it.
Here is where you can really make your money work harder for you, taking advantage of student discounts, special offers in travel, storage, food, nights out, software and technology on offer to students in a great way of getting the things you want at a discount. Using any group discount sites, social media offers or student discounts to make things a little cheaper will help you have fun without using all of you money in one go. You should always shop around for things you need and find out whether you can get it cheaper because you are a student. You may want to leave your belongings near campus while you go home instead of taking it all back and forth to your parents and using a student discount for storage will help. You should also be able to discounted travel if you don't drive and be may even be able to get discounted accommodation through a house share when you are a student.
Use this time to experience new things like a different cultural perspective, music or just getting know new people and it will help you get to know yourself and the person you are. It seems a bit obvious but coming away from your family will mean you the opinions you have been spoon fed since you were young can be challenged and affirmed by experiencing new people.
Costs of Living On Your Own
Many new college students are supporting themselves for
the first time and it's important to be financially prepared for this big step.
Read on to explore some of the common costs of living on your own.
Tuition and fees are, of course, a major part of your college expenses. But
while these are typically covered by grants, scholarships, loans and, in some
cases, family, there are many other expenses that you should be prepared to
shoulder on your own.
There are certain costs that you'll have to cover every month known as 'fixed
expenses.' Some, like rent, will be the same every month. Others, like
utilities, may vary somewhat, and it's a good idea to budget a little extra for
Common fixed expenses include:
- Utilities, including Internet
- Car insurance (if you own a car)
- Bus pass (if you use public transportation)
Students who live on campus can cut out transportation costs and will
typically pay their rent and utilities as one lump sum at the beginning of every
term. However, it is possible to find much lower rent living off-campus.
Off-campus students can also save money on utility bills by using less water and
Variable expenses are those that are difficult to eliminate entirely, but can
be kept down by consuming less and making smart choices. These typically
- School supplies
- Gas (if you own a car)
You can keep food bills low by avoiding packaged foods and focusing on fresh
and bulk items. Cooking at home as much as possible will also keep restaurant
Although textbooks are an unavoidable cost, you can save money by buying them
used or renting them. It's also important to budget for unexpected school
supplies in addition to notebooks and pencils, such as paints for art class or a
calculator for math class.
Save on gas expenses by walking or biking wherever possible and consider
switching to public transportation to commute to school. Many colleges and
universities offer discount bus passes and charge high fees for campus parking
in order to discourage car congestion.
While you can save money on clothing by not buying a new wardrobe every
season, it's important for new students to consider unexpected clothing needs.
If you're moving from southern California to a college in the Northeast, you'll
suddenly find yourself needing winter boots and a heavy jacket.
Finally, entertainment costs can be kept down by looking for student
discounts (always carry your student ID!) and free events. Many colleges sponsor
concerts, performances and other free campus entertainment