If you want to get the most out of your student loans, it is important that you follow some basic tips. There are a few very simple things you can do to stretch the money you have been given farther than you ever thought possible. Being a student means having to save everything you can so you can live as comfortable as possible.
Create a Firm Budget for Yourself
One of the first things that you need to do is to create a firm budget that you live by month to month. You will want to write down all of your recurring expenses; including rent, utilities, food, text books, and anything else you can think of. This will give you a good starting point for making your loans last longer. When you actually see how much money you have to spend on a monthly basis, you will be far more likely to spend it wisely.
Examine Your Student Loan Options
There are going to be numerous student loan options that you will have to choose from, so it is important that you take a close look at them. The Maintenance Loan can provide you with a decent amount of money, but it’s definitely not the only option you will have. Make sure that you get money any way you can, including from your parents, your job, state benefits, local incentives, and other things. Every little bit is going to help, so take the time to review your options carefully.
Rearrange Your Spending
If the money you get from your loans doesn’t cover all of your expenses, you will need to get creative and do some rearranging. Make sure that you give first priority to the most important expenses, such as rent and other crucial bills. The money that is left over after you pay off the basic bills will be the money you can spend how you like. It is important to be responsible with your money, but there is nothing wrong with splurging once in a while.
When you are rearranging your spending, you will want to eliminate anything you don’t absolutely need. Chances are there are numerous expenses that you can forego. You need to be honest with yourself when going through this process.
One of the best ways to stretch your student loan money is by shopping around to get the best deal on what you need. You might be surprised at just how much you will be able to save when you take the time to do this. The internet can be a great resource for trying to find the best bargain on just about anything.
Take a Look at Your Rent
Rent is usually a person’s biggest recurring expense, so it is therefore important to see how you could possibly pay less. The ideal situation would be living at home so that you don’t have to worry about paying rent at all. If you absolutely have to rent a flat, you might want to try negotiating with the landlord for a lower monthly rate.
It is also a good idea to see if you can find a cheaper place to live while still remaining in the area. Take some time to compare different flats near where you go to school so that you know exactly what your options are. There will likely be a number of places you can live, so you don’t want to rush into a final decision.
Look for Loan Alternatives
Even those who already have student loans should take some time to look at the alternatives that are available. You can always use your credit card for certain school-related purchases, but you have to be careful. The last thing you want to do is accumulate a significant amount of debt that you are going to struggle to pay back for years. You should set up direct debit with your bank account so that your balance always gets cleared on time. Being late on your card payments can quickly ruin your credit. There are numerous credit cards that come with 0% interest for the first year or two, and they can be particularly useful for students.
Always Spend Wisely
One of the most important things that you can keep in mind when trying to make the most out of your student loans is to spend your money wisely. You should always think about how much you are spending and whether or not it is a good idea. The more cautious you are about spending your money, the easier it will be to pay for the essentials and still have enough left over for emergencies. This is something that many students don’t even think about, and it ends up causing them quite a bit of grief.