Ah, the olden days. When I was a student back in the early 1980s, we got a grant. And we didn’t have to pay it back.
I only qualified for the minimum grant because my folks were reasonably well off. They paid me an allowance for the three years while I was at art college in Brighton. But I was still broke much of the time, mostly because we were completely unable to stop partying.
Back then the UK was deep in recession, just like today if not worse. It certainly felt worse – things really were grim. Luckily, unlike today, it was easy to get ‘cash in hand’ work. So I had at least three jobs going at any one time to keep the wolf from the door: behind the bar in various pubs, waitressing in cafes and sandwich bars, washing up in restaurants, a Saturday job in an estate agency, working in a jewellery shop… I even spent a few months labouring on a building site. Anything to keep lentil stew on the table (!) and pay the rent.
These days students have a much harder time on the casual work front because cash in hand jobs are mostly a thing of the past. At least student loans are reasonable and even though they eventually have to pay the money back, the repayments are about as far from difficult as it gets, tiny weeny amounts over millions of years. Hardly a problem, no matter what the media says.
So how can you save cash as a student? The interweb is full of bright ideas, with websites like studentbeans offering a vital helping hand to impecunious youngsters who want to minimise the amount they borrow and steer clear of expensive, scary overdrafts.
Studentbeans is jam packed with special student special discounts and advice on everything to do with being a student. They come up with all manner of useful and cool offers and exclusive editorial features to help youngsters hack their way through the financial jungle. And they attract more than 300,000 new registered users every year. Impressive stuff.
Launched in 2005, these days it’s Britain’s leading student website, a hub of all things sensible, useful and fun if you’re studying. It would have been incredibly useful back in the day when I lived in a series of slug, flea, rat and damp-infested student flats in Brighton with barely a penny to my name… but a seriously lively and rich social life!
If you’re about to embark on student living or your kids are, point yourself in the direction of studentbeans.com and take advantage of a resource that would have been a lifesaver back in my day. She says, sounding about a thousand years old! 😉