Student loan arrival day is an exciting day for many of us. No longer are we eating sawdust from under the fridge, and we can now finally go for that drink that we wanted to have 3 weeks before. It can be both exciting and dangerous. Yes, we can go back to our previous standard of living, but sometimes we can go a bit over the top, buying more clothes, beers or whatever you like to indulge in than we should.
Regardless, having a student loan, if we ignore the crippling debt it puts us in, is quite a comfortable position to be in. However, there are more sensible ways to use it that you may not have thought of yet, and my plan is to teach you how to make it last a bit longer while still maintaining that quality of life you enjoy.
Step 1: Use the quantity!
Some of us very rarely have the quantity of money available to us that student finance provides us with. I, myself, use it to cover both living costs and my rent. Naturally, I put all my rent to one side, so I know how much I have left to spend for the rest of the term. What I can then do is put a proportion of that extra money into a venture that will make me more on top.
For example, one of the best times to get started with Matched Betting is when the loan comes in. Bet365 offer a bet £100, get an £100 free bet. Matched betting with this can make you £70 with very little work, but it requires high initial liability. Use this newfound quantity, and you’ll be glad you did!
Step 2: Earn with your rent!
Having the money for your rent is obviously vital, but when the loan installments come in, you may be left with 3 or 4 months of rent that aren’t needed for at least a month. Utilise this time and spare capital to invest! Being able to put £2000 into a stocks and shares ISA and investing it carefully could bring in 2-3% over a short term period. Considering when it sits in your bank account, you earn 0.5% (most likely) in a year, investing it could make you some short term profit that you can then use to improve your quality of life for the rest of the term.
Other investment forms can also be used, but REMEMBER, EDUCATE YOURSELF FIRST. Investing always has risk, and the more you educate yourself, the less risk is involved.
Step 3: Budget!
Budgeting sounds boring, but it can seriously improve your overall quality of life during term time. It can help you avoid overspending at the beginning of the term, and can provide you with more ability to go out and have fun towards the end of term. This is especially important during exam period, the shortest term and the most available loan. Overspending during the term might cause you to lose out on doing certain things in the summer! Money is never worth wasting, so set yourself a weekly budget, practice as much self discipline as you can, and stick to it. It might just settle your mind financially while improving your bank balance at the same time.
Your student loan, despite the high interest rate and debt following, can be a very useful asset. Don’t waste it, and more importantly, use it to its full potential. It’s easy to do, and doesn’t take much time. Any of these three steps can help, and altogether they can do a world of good.
Good luck to everyone during this exam period!!