Anyone who has completed an undergraduate degree knows the pain of having to decide between going out with your mates or saving money, and sadly this struggle continues into your postgraduate degree.
However, who says there aren’t loopholes to help you with managing your money as a postgrad?
Most undergrad degrees finish in May time after you’ve slogged your way to the dissertation submission stage, and made your way through your exams; leaving June, July, August, and part of September, completely empty!
So why not pick up a part-time or seasonal job? This is an excellent opportunity to bank some cash ready for your postgraduate studies to ease the strain of having a smaller loan from the government, which has to stretch to cover expensive rent and tuition fees.
I know, I know, you’re tired from completing your final year, but no one is saying you have to burn yourself out over the summer. Take some time for yourself, take a good couple of weeks after your final deadline to relax, explore, and plan some exciting days out with your friends! And afterwards, start job hunting – whether it’s a part-time job for 12 hours per week, or a full-time seasonal job, you could bank anywhere between £1,596 and £4,921!*
You’re probably looking at that figure thinking whaaaat, no way can I earn that much over the summer, but actually… you can!
P.S. Don’t forget to apply for your Master’s loan from the government!
*(based on 14 weeks of work on £9.50 per hour)
Let’s fast forward a little, you’ve started uni and you’re trying to establish a good budget, something workable that means you can save money but still have fun.
Look no further, I have the perfect template for you.
Straight up, the first thing you need to do is subtract the total of your tuition fees from your Masters’ loan, and then the sum of your rent from the remaining total. This will then give you a good idea of how much money you have left to live off, and whether you need to dip into your savings.
Most postgrads have to dip into their savings, so don’t feel bad if you do too. The money you save from the summer will lessen how much you have to borrow from your savings, and picking up part-time work during your studies is not a bad shout either! Just be sure not to exceed the University’s recommended limit of 20 hours per week so as not to negatively impact your studies.
A weekly budget for a postgraduate student might look something like this:
- £20-30 on groceries
- £20-30 on socialising (drinks with friends, cinema, eating out)
- £10-15 on toiletries
= £50-75 per week.
If you are able to work 12 hours per week during your studies, at £9.50 per hour you’d earn £114 per week, still leaving around £40 for you to put aside for clothes or more socially busy weeks!
Bursaries and scholarships
Depending on the course you’re taking there may also be bursaries and scholarships available that you can apply for.
There’s a variety of websites that can help with your research:
- University of York Postgraduate Taught Funding
- University of York Postgraduate Research Funding
Scholarships and bursaries are competitive, so do not rely upon them to fund your studies. Whilst they are 100% worth applying for if you are successful try to see the extra cash as a bonus rather than something to depend upon, especially since there are sometimes restrictions on what you can spend the money on.
Use the summer to your advantage, work and save up, explore the possibility of working part-time during your studies, and stick to a budget!