For many of us, student loans are a life saviour. The best feeling is at the beginning of every term when you look at your balance and sigh with relief. The smug feeling you get when walking into Topshop knowing that you are no longer poor and can actually go and treat yourself. This feeling, which I’m sure we all know too well, means temptation, is always there to spend.
With the excitement of summer just around the corner now is the time when your social calendar can blossom and you have more to look forward to than a date with the library. Holidays may be booked and festival tickets purchased, however as boring as it may sound, it is important to take control of your finances and budget to what you can afford to do over the summer break.
We must remember that even before the summer holidays make an appearance we have a whole term remaining. In which we will need to supply ourselves with the essentials of food, daily living and of course Extrav, which I am getting excited about already.
Credit cards are advertised constantly, and the majority of you may have one already, so the easiest thing you may think is to book your holiday on your credit card. This may seem the instant solution, but with your student debt already mounting it is best to stay clear of a credit debt which is easily avoidable. Unlike your student loan, credit cards will charge interest and with no main income this interest could easily build quickly and consequently increase the amount of debt you have. In the end you may end up paying more for your summer holiday than it is actually worth.
The other danger zone is using your overdraft. Whilst you may not be paying to borrow the money, it is much harder to pay the money back than you may think. The implication of going into your overdraft is starting off with more debt at the beginning of your next year at university. Think of fresher’s week and all the partying that needs to be done where a few extra pennies will most definitely be required and you are sure to be regretting not having use of your full loan.
Some simple and effective ways of increasing your income to help towards your summer plans is helping out around the university. Sona system is where you can help students by taking part in research studies, they take around 20 minutess and you can gain around £3 for your time. Therefore, the more you do the more you will make. Tour guiding around campus is another effective way of earning some money whilst helping out others.
You are sure to still have a memorable summer, even if you are watching your spending costs, whether this is through getting a summer job or embarking on a budget holiday. However, you spend your summer; you are bound to have fun. We are still students after all, and having fun is what students know best.