How to Juggle College and Living Expenses with a Part-Time Job

May 11, 2017 • Finance

College is exciting especially when you live away from home. For many young adults, it’s their first real opportunity at total independence. While it’s nice to live on your own and make your own rules, you also have to pay for your livings expenses. Sometimes even with a part-time job and a few roommates, this can become difficult. There are ways, however, to overcome this temporary setback and continue to enjoy your new freedom.

A personal loan

If you have a part-time job and have a way to repay the money, applying for a short-term loan can give you the funds you need quickly. There are many reputable online companies like that offer installment loans with low monthly fees, making it affordable. And, while a traditional bank will require an exceptional credit score and full-time employment, the requirements for these short terms loans are less stringent. Most times you simply need a bank account and proof of employment.

Using credit cards to carry you through

Many parents set their children up with a credit card to fill in on unexpected expenses for use at college. This is a great idea. It not only helps teenagers to learn how to budget their money, it also helps to establish credit in their name so that getting an apartment, a car or even a home after college won’t be as difficult. The problem is that you must make every effort to use it only when absolutely necessary, otherwise, you’ll have it maxed out in the first semester and then you’ll end up scraping for quarters for the rest of the year.

Borrowing from your parents

Having your independence is a big deal. But, sometimes, even the thriftiest of teens need turning to mom and dad for a little extra help. This in no way affects your new status. If you are borrowing because you don’t have enough to cover your expenses like books, food and utilities your parents are not going to begrudge you the extra you need. If, however, you held an awesome party that you paid for and now you’re broke, well then, you’ll learn not to do this in the future. True independence means supporting you. It also means that you have to live with the choices you make.

Taking on more hours

If you already have a part time job and now are just a bit short to pay your portion of the gas, electric and cable bill, requesting a few more hours at work will give you the additional funds you need to cover your expenses. Be careful though and make sure that you don’t make this a habit. Working full time and attending school full time isn’t going to end well. Your schooling must come first. After all, it’s your future. If you’re short each month, you may want to reconsider your living situation and either find a cheaper place or take on another roommate. If you are an ace in your field you could also offer to give private lessons for an hourly rate to make up the additional money you need.

College is a wonderful and rewarding time in a young adult’s life. You get to meet new people, build relationships, develop a career and learn how to function on your own. But along with this new found freedom comes responsibility and that means that you cover your expenses and do whatever it takes to repay the money you may need to borrow.

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