While it may have been previously seen as unconventional, in recent years we’re seeing a rising number of working adults choosing to pursue post-secondary education and expand their resumes.
Diving back into the world of higher education holds real potential for many adults looking to take the next step in their careers, but it comes with a list of expenses that need to be accounted for.
In order for you to successfully complete your courses and return to full-time work, there are five tips we recommend keeping in mind if you want to minimize the costs of your education.
Finding Free Money
There is a misconception that grants and scholarships are only available to recent high school graduates when most are actually open for applicants in all stages of post-secondary and often receive few applicants. If you’re heading back to school to jump-start your career, it’s worth researching your grant options.
Look for Short Term Help
If you’re waiting for a student loan or bursary to come in but you have no cash in the short term, a payday loan from the right provider might be the perfect thing to help tide you over.
With little in the way of red tape, you can get access to the funding you need to help you between bursary or grant payments. Just be sure your other money is coming in soon so that you can pay down this loan as quickly as possible.
If you’re leaving school with any student loans, it may be helpful to weigh the costs against your current salary. It’s recommended that you refrain from taking on more debt than you’ll make in a year.
Understanding the smart steps to take when it comes down to borrowing money will help minimize your post-schooling debts.
Lookout for Used Supplies
Textbooks are often one of the highest markups for students and most of the books you’re required to purchase are only used for a single class — depending on the number of courses you’re taking, these costs can add up quickly.
Most institutions host a used book store on campus where you can purchase gently used copies for a fraction of the cost of a new book. Additionally, try searching for social media groups from your college or university. There are often student-run groups dedicated to sharing their used textbooks at reduced rates.
Cook for Yourself
While grabbing lunch on-campus or a daily coffee may offer convenience, they’ll also create a significant dent in your budget. Cooking, and more specifically meal planning, will save you money in the long run.
If you set aside time every week to prepare your meals and snacks, you set yourself up for convenience during the school week. If you do decide to eat out, look for happy hour or daily specials at your local restaurants — if you have a student card, there are often student discounts available even for adults taking additional classes.
Take Public Transit
Travelling to and from campus can burn both gas and a hole in your wallet if you’re driving multiple times per week, not to mention the parking rates often imposed by colleges and universities.
Consider purchasing a student transit pass — not only are you reducing your carbon footprint, but you’re saving a few dollars that can be put towards your fixed expenses.
Pursuing education as a working adult comes with its fair share of challenges, especially when you have already established fixed expenses and a full-time job.
Just as you have to budget in your daily life, applying similar tactics and finding creative ways to save money will ensure you can seamlessly transition and complete your program without taking a major financial hit — leaving you with more opportunities to pursue the career of your dreams.
Find Savings with Your Phone
There are apps for just about every daily task, so it’s no surprise that there are apps out there to navigate your family’s budget. There are a variety of apps available that help you find the best virtual coupons and deals to easily cut your costs down.
You should have an idea of what items your kids will need for the upcoming year, so if you can plan ahead of time you may be able to take advantage of season-clearing sales.
You’ll find major savings on winter items at the beginning of summer and vice-versa. Stores often have sales on school supplies after the current school year ends — looking out for those deals will keep you ahead of the game and take some of the pressure off when it inches closer to September.
If you plan on going back to school, it pays to finance that endeavour intelligently. Follow our tips and you’ll be well on your way to educational as well as financial success.