How I Survive University - Financially

Regularly I get questions on Instagram regarding working and earning money whilst being at university, especially when it comes to working alongside placement. Here is how I have made and continue to make enough money to survive university.

Student Finance
If you are taking out a tuition fee loan then you may as well get a maintenance loan too. My lecturer described student loan repayments as a tax as you are unlikely to ever pay your student loan back fully, and you only repay a small percentage each month. I started my first year without a maintenance loan, and decided in roughly March that I could do with it. I applied for the last term and to my surprise, received the whole yearly amount in a one-off payment! Since then I have used my parents information to receive a means-tested loan, however I do not receive much unfortunately. My parents earn enough money that I receive very little maintenance loan, and as I am not supplemented by my parents and I do not live with them, I have to work and find other forms of income.

Real Work
Before I went to university, I had already been awarded my Lifeguard and Swimming Instructor qualifications. This was a lifesaver (pun intended) for me as lifeguarding and teaching both pay more than minimum wage. In my first and second year, I juggled these as I got paid less lifeguarding but had lots of hours, and got paid more when teaching but had few hours. This provided me with a steady income. In my third year, I had more days off from uni so picked up regular teaching hours which provide me with good money for few hours, so I live off this. I aim to earn £500 a month as this covers my rent and bills, and anything else I earn covers my fuel. I also worked for a few months as a healthcare assistant in a hospital, although I hated most of this, so the teaching was a much better choice for me. Working as a healthcare assistant works well as there are long hours going and the pay is slightly better than minimum wage. I juggle my jobs to ensure I am earning the most possible for the least number of hours, whilst trying to maintain my mental health - which means I have to cut off any jobs that I really hate if suitable.

University Work
I do not count this as 'Real Work' jokingly as I find this more like fun than work!! I love working for the university, providing campus tours, running activities for colleges and schools and leading Q&As. Universities normally have a 'fair pay' campaign where they pay their students more, and as I enjoy this so much I try and slot this into my 'Real Work' even though it does not pay me as much.

Swagbucks
This probably sounds a bit stupid, but every so often I fill out a few surveys to earn points which can be traded for PayPal giftcards. Although it may sound a bit lame, I earn at least £50 from this each month which really supplements my income thankfully! I also installed the toolbar which prompts me when I buy things online so I receive cashback which is great if you do not have the time for surveys. I have discussed this on many posts on my blog, so if you want to find out more, follow this link. If you sign up using my links then we both get bonus points! What is not to love? You can sign up here.

Gener8
This is my new favourite income. Its like an adblocker but better. It shows their ads which are suited to what your actual interests are, and you do not need to do anything other than sign up to earn. You earn whenever you browse the internet, which is great as most websites advertise on them. When a website advertises and you see it, you earn without clicking on it! Follow this link for more info, or to sign up and receive bonus points, follow this link.


I hope this has been useful to those thinking about finances whilst at university. As always, if you have further questions, feel free to send me a message!

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