If you’ve got your place at university, then you’re on your way to three or more years of fun, and of course, lots of hard work. Gone are the days, however, when tuition was free and a beer at the local bar cost no more than a bar of chocolate.
Today, getting yourself through university is an expensive business, so you’ll need to be totally up on your finances to last the course.
Let's look at 3 ways you can follow to manage your student finances:
Apply For A Student Loan
With tuition fees for full time students costing on average R30 000 a year, you’ll need to put the finance in place to fund it. If it’s your first degree, you can apply for a student loan from lot's of banks and finance institutions at great interest rates. The amount you will get, differs from course to course and where you are studying.
Remember that you must apply for your student finance within good time. It can take over six weeks to sort out, so get your application in early to make sure you have the funds when universities or tertiary education institutions opens for registration.
Also available is student bursaries offered by lots of universities and tertiary education institutions. Students these days have better access to bursaries as companies and the government, with the NSFAS(National Student Financial Aid Scheme), are getting more involved with education.
Live On A Budget
At an average of R3510 per month, your spending money isn’t very much to live on, so you’ll need to be very cautious about what you spend. Write out a budget listing all costs (including rent) before you leave and stick to it. You will also most likely have to find part time work, but don’t factor that in until you have a job in the bag.
Ways you can save money include:
• Shop for food at the supermarket in the evening when goods are often reduced
• Look for student specials offered by lot's of retail chains and smaller shops
• Use your student card to get discount at book stores or even at the movies
• Always buy second hand course books and re-sell after use
• Spend more time drinking at home than when you’re out – we’re not saying it’s a good thing to drink, but hey, you’re a student, so if you’re going to drink then at least don’t make it even more expensive
• Take cash with you on nights out to avoid the temptation of late night ATM withdrawals, which can be expensive.
Open a Student Bank Account
A student bank account provides various benefits. Like for example, lower interest rates and more free ATM withdrawals. They’re normally excellent value, but they don’t provide the extra cover that premium bank accounts offer.
And don’t forget to insure your personal items such as computer or phone - if you have them damaged or stolen, replacing the items will cost as much as your nights out for an entire year!
Check out more of our personal finance articles