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Financing your studies

Most people think that life is easy being a student and generally speaking it is much more fun and stress free than the real world of nine to five, or more accurately eight to six. However, stress levels skyrocket come exam time, but also when anyone mentions the 'm' word: money.

Students may get a loan to cover their costs whilst at university, but in most cases this doesn't stretch very far. Most students either need help from parents, a bursary or stipend, a part-time job or a combination.

Depending on where you live in Bristol, student rents can vary from an affordable 250 to over 400. With tuition costs rising along with the cost of food, booze and clothes, student life is no longer cheap and cheerful.

What could potentially make matters worse for students is the Russell Group's idea to raise interest rates on student loans and lower the figure at which graduates have to start repaying their loan, currently 15,000.

So what can you do if you need some extra cash whilst at uni, to cover rent, buy something other than potatoes and baked beans in Tesco and not be coerced into purchasing all your clothes and shoes from Primark?

Getting a part-time job doesn't have to get in the way of your studies or your social life. One of the best jobs to get at uni is in the Student Union bar. Not only do they tend to pay some of the best wages - some London SUs pay 2 to 3 per hour above the minimum wage - but they are also highly social and better suited to tailoring your hours around your schedule. You will also make new friends, expand your social network and get to socialise on the job.

If you can't get a job in the Student Union (competition is fierce) then look at other jobs in the uni before venturing into the outside world. Student shops, restaurants, cafes and the library always have jobs on offer for students so check with these places first.

Otherwise look for shift work so you don't have to give up whole days during your weekend. The best places are bars, restaurants and cafes, but also consider telemarketing work as well as market research companies. Most of their work is usually done in the evening.

If you are in need or a quick fix and can't ask mum and dad or get a grant, then investigate your loan options.

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