The impact of a good education can be transformative. While pursuing a university degree might seem like a lot of time and money, it can open many doors, improve your chances of securing a better-quality job, and increase your productivity and income.
A study by the International Labour Organization found that an average of 83% of young people with university-level education secured jobs in 27 countries across Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East, as opposed to 40% of those with only secondary education.
If you’re already planning to pursue a degree or are currently in university, it’s time to look at your finances. No matter your financial situation, everyone can benefit from healthy financial habits. Here are some tips that you can weave into your everyday routine and set you up for long-term success.
Paying for University
If the cost of university overwhelms you, think of it as an investment in your future. Paying for university is a significant financial commitment that you want to make as painless as possible. If you’re like most students and families, you will pay for your degree through multiple sources over a period of time.
Scholarships and grants offer money that does not need to be paid back and can cover a specific area of study or interest. They can be funded directly by your university, but there are countless scholarships available outside your university as well.
Check out your university’s career center to apply for part-time jobs and internships that can help you gain professional experience while making money. You can earn extra cash with side jobs like tutoring, driving for a ride-sharing app, or even remote freelance work, such as writing, coding, or translating. You can also slash living expenses by choosing a university close to home and living with your family or sharing an apartment with roommates.
If you need a significant amount of financial help, you can apply for student loans that offer low interest rates and flexible repayment plans, like the CIB Educational Loans.
Budgeting Crash Course
If you don’t already have a budget, it’s time to make one. Healthy spending habits will benefit you at any point before, during, or after your time at university.
To create a budget, first establish how much money you have to work with. Common sources of income for students are part-time jobs, savings, money from parents, and funding, such as scholarships, loans, or grants. Once you’ve determined all your sources of income, make a list of fixed expenses, which may include tuition, rent, utility bills, and any other regular fees you are responsible for. Calculate your total income for a university term, subtract your fixed expenses for the same period, and divide the total by the number of months in your university’s term. The final number is your monthly student budget, which can be used for all fluctuating expenses, including food, gym memberships, travel, and going out with friends.
You can keep track of your budget on a simple spreadsheet, or, if you’re not a total math whiz, you can use an online budget calculator that will track your expenses and help you stick to your spending goals.
Being serious about money as a university student doesn’t have to be boring. Many students don’t realize they have access to discounts and rewards simply for being a student. Always check for student discounts when you’re shopping for clothes, booking a trip, joining a gym, buying a mobile plan, subscribing to a publication, and more.
You can apply for an International Student Identification Card (ISIC), which is an internationally recognized prepaid card that is accepted at more than 36 million outlets globally and provides benefits and discounts recognized in 130 countries.
The CIB BONUS Points Program is also popular with students, which rewards banking activities with points that can be redeemed for e-vouchers, cashback, and travel benefits.
It’s no secret that getting a degree will broaden your horizons. Attending university can bring you new experiences, lifelong friends, study abroad opportunities, a professional network, and more. By making good financial decisions and developing healthy spending habits today, you can start preparing yourself for a lifetime of financial success.