Student loans are a necessity for many students who want to pursue a career in their chosen field. With the cost of living continuing to rise, so do tuition costs, travel costs, and interest rates. As a result, many students wonder whether it’s possible to pay for tuition and live off their student loans, especially when it comes to studying abroad.
The good news is that it is possible to reduce your living costs while in college and live off your student loan by making smart choices and with a little budgeting.
Get a roommate
Why is getting a roommate such a great idea? Well, most of the time, you’ll be sharing expenses like rent, utilities, and food. If you’re living in an apartment or house, your rent will be split between you and your roommate(s) so that it’s cheaper for everyone.
Even if you have to pay more each month for a space that has more than one bedroom, it should still work out to be cheaper than getting your own place.
Some people don’t like the thought of a roommate because they prefer to stay with people they know. Living with relatives can be a good alternative to getting a roommate. The important factor here is to cut down on costs by sharing living expenses. This can really help your student loan stretch further.
Fixed & variable expenses
Your personal budget can be divided into two different categories: fixed and variable expenses. A fixed expense is one that remains the same every month, such as your rent or car payment. Variable expenses are those that fluctuate from month to month, including things like electricity or clothing. You should organize your personal budget based on these two categories to help you save money each month.
While living off of your student loan, the key to successfully managing your money is understanding how much you have left after paying all of your bills. This allows you to set aside a certain amount each month for savings and spend freely on whatever else you need/want. If you don’t know what your fixed and variable expenses are, it will be difficult to make a realistic budget that works for you.
Earn as you learn
Earning while you learn is another clever way to supplement your student loans and help your funds stretch further. By earning a living while studying, you can live more comfortably while also working towards a better future. The benefits are numerous, but some key ones include:
• Building up savings
• Starting to pay off your student loan early
• Learning money management skills
Cook for yourself
Cooking for yourself is a good way to save money at uni, as long as you shop around for ingredients that won’t break the bank. Look for bargains where you can and buy certain things in bulk when you can. To take the strain of cooking every day off of yourself, try cooking larger quantities of your meals or alternate cooking duties with your roommates or relatives.
Choose where you live wisely
If you have the option of living in different types of accommodation when you first arrive at university, do your research. Some halls of residence or private accommodation options might have extra costs attached to them, or they could be in less convenient locations. It might be cheaper to live further out from campus, but will you end up spending more on travel costs? Check out local transport links and costs before committing to anything.
Find cheap ways to travel
Traveling can be a great way to learn about the world, and it’s necessary when you’re studying abroad. But it can also get expensive quickly. If you’re a student on a budget, you might be looking for ways to travel that won’t break the bank. Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can use to travel without spending too much money.
If you want to save money when traveling, try to find the cheapest flight possible by using Google Flights. You can also try booking your flight through a discount travel site, which will help you find a cheaper flight. If you’re traveling with other people, try splitting the cost of a rental car or hotel room. When you get to your destination, consider taking public transportation instead of renting a car, so you don’t have to pay for parking or gas.
It is important not to be tempted by deals that seem too good to be true when you are shopping. Always make sure you check the unit price of goods (usually found next to the price), as this helps you to compare goods with different packaging sizes.
If you’re in an unfamiliar city, check with locals on the most affordable places to buy food and clothing so that you’re not spending more than you need to on essentials and wants.
You can learn how to budget like a pro and live off your student loan. The whole process may seem overwhelming at first, but it is surprisingly straightforward. Learning how to budget properly is a powerful life skill that can help you achieve many financial goals long after university. So why not start now? Use our handy Budget Calculator to create your personalized spending plan today.