Sorry for the delay!
New Years is weird – you make all these resolutions, New Years Day becomes mentally symbollic as the deadline for turning our lives around and yet (well, for me anyway) the week after New Year passes as a depressing blur incurring a lack of success and a waste of time.
But anyway – here we are three days later and I’ve finally manged to get back on track, I even managed the first jog of 2013 – albeit a wheezy bordering on asthmatic one – it happened and that’s all that matters.
So I thought I’d start the year off with some good news – being a student isn’t so bad! As my other post predicted (see: https://studentrambling.wordpress.com/2012/12/23/why-students-shouldnt-really-love-christmas/) Christmas was an expensive time. Which got me thinking – there must be some other money floating around out there, MUSTN’T THERE?!
Well, as optimistically presumed, there is! I’ll make a little list below outlining how and where, because let’s be honest if there’s one thing students want, and most of the time need – it’s money:
1. BANKS – This one can be a little misleading, but still useful to bear in mind. For useful student banking tips I’ve already written a whole article about it on studentbeans.com (find it here: http://www.studentbeans.com/student-money/a/student-bank-accounts-how-to-get-free-money3077.html) BUT to summarise: if you’re a first year or will be next year and you haven’t got yourself a bank account – Santander are giving away £50 FREE CASH just for joining them – that’s a whole lot of Nando’s or one really nice Topshop dress. Other banks aren’t quite as generous but they do offer overdrafts (BE WARNED: THIS IS NOT FREE MONEY) and if you’re not really sure you should read the studentbeans article – but generally speaking as students they will lend you money interest-free, a privilege to be enjoyed only during your uni years, so you may as well take of advantage of it! I’m not saying go on a thoughtless shopping spree – I’m talking more using your overdraft to plan an AWESOME summer – go traveling, volunteer or study abroad, go to a festival etc…. Yes you will have to pay this money back (on top of your already growing uni debt) but most uni holidays last around 3 months – that gives you quite a lot of time to fit in some regular part time work such as waitressing, retail, bar work and mystery shopping (check my useful link tabs to search for student jobs) and the overdraft, if you’re organised, will allow you to plan your summer sensibly well in advance whilst flights will be cheaper and possibly at this time on sale – WINNING.
2. GRANTS/BURSARIES – This becomes slightly more subjective, but having done my research last night I was surprised at the range and actually very obscure bursaries available. Did you grow up in Camden? Or are either of your parents green grocers? Perhaps you’re planning on carrying out some research on Irish History? Well then you could be in luck! There are a number of charities with specific interests who offer support in many forms, many of them offering free cash grants/bursaries if you fulfill their criteria. It will take a bit of time to send off your applications BUT one postgrad named Luke Bexhill managed to raise £40,000 from charitable trusts towards his funding – that would pretty much wipe out any student debt. There’s a really useful article on Huffington Post which breaks down all the various forms of funding & explains grants in more detail: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/11/bursaries-grants-scholarships-students_n_1873918.html. But if you’re just interested in having a little check of what you could potentially be eligible for, I reccommend using: http://www.family-action.org.uk/section.aspx?id=21211 it does an extensive search based on your details, some may be irrelevant but it does normally check around 1000 charities so chances are you will match one! http://www.studentcashpoint.co.uk is also a pretty useful website to check out as well.
3. SURVEYS – Perhaps not quite as easy or nice as the other two mentionned above because you do actually have to put a bit of effort into this, BUT still fairly straightforward and easy. If you have a free half hour slot in between revision, or if you’re in bed watching a tv episode just quickly fill out an online survey – generally speaking most take around 10-30minutes (and that’s usually a maximum). PROS: don’t expect big bucks, in fact in the case of many don’t expect bucks at all – a lot of survey companies pay in vouchers (topman, miss selfridge, amazon etc) but let’s be honest as students vouchers are just as handy seeing as you can find most things on amazon and you could always do with more clothes! Some good ones to check out include: http://www.studentbeans.com, http://www.valuedopinions.co.uk, uk.mysurvey.com and http://www.swagbucks.com.
Please comment if you have any other suggestions for students to get free or easy money! Hope this helps.