The current cost of living crisis has been difficult for everyone – and as a student or new graduate, you may be feeling the financial squeeze. Juggling student loan debt along with the skyrocketing bills for things like housing and healthcare can be incredibly tough. Pressures could lead to some pretty challenging decisions – like putting off important life milestones, having to live with your roommates for longer periods or having to move back in with your parents to make ends meet.
The great thing is, you’ve got options to make your money go further without feeling the pinch too hard. Here are some practical ways to save money and ease the financial pressure:
Start an emergency fund
Unfortunately, life has a way of throwing curveballs from time-to-time, whether it be repair bills or sudden job loss. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to set up a savings account just for emergencies. It’ll give you the peace of mind that you have a financial cushion when things go wrong, rather than having to take out loans or borrowing from family. Try and save between 3 to 6 months of savings worth of living expenses saved in an easily accessible account to cover you when you need it most.
Find part time-job or internship
As a student, it’s natural to have concerns about managing your rent, groceries, and day-to-day expenses, especially when your student loan only provides a limited budget. If you find yourself in need of extra income, it could be beneficial to look for part-time employment opportunities. Not only will this improve your financial stability, but it will also allow you to develop valuable skills that will be appealing to potential future employers. When applying for these jobs, it’s a good idea to communicate your existing commitments to your prospective employers so that you can arrange flexible working hours that accommodate your studies.
Another option to consider is searching for a paid internship over the summer. This would give you the opportunity to gain practical, real-world experience in your desired career field and set you on the path toward landing your dream job after graduation. You can also explore graduate internships tailored for recent graduates who want to explore specific career paths at Inspiring Interns.
Reduce unnecessary spending
Take a closer look at your spending habits and identify areas where you can scale back. Start by distinguishing between needs and wants. Essentials like rental housing and groceries are vital, while dining out and retail therapy shopping are simply ‘wants’. Here are some top tips to help you cut down unnecessary spending:
- Cook at home: Dining out or ordering takeaways can quickly eat into your savings. Choosing to cook at home not only saves money, but also allows you to have better control over your nutrition. Plan your meals, make grocery lists, and avoid impulsive purchases.
- Subscription services: Do you have multiple subscription services that you don’t use anymore? (e.g., streaming platforms or gym memberships). Cancel or pause those you no longer use or can temporarily do without.
- Shopping: Are you guilty of heading to the shops only to throw unnecessary items to your basket? It can be easy to fall into the trap. But try not to splurge on things you don’t need right now. You’ll be surprised at just how much you can save.
Written by Inspiring Interns. Inspiring Interns is the first recruitment company to use the innovative technique of video CVs to place young jobseekers into employment. Since their founding in 2009, they have placed over 7,500 graduates into the workplace, as well as providing useful advice for recent graduates and employers.