Apparently, the Summer’s here, and with that, comes more time and freedom, which unfortunately equals $$$. The beginning of the university term is looming far off in the distance, but you find yourself almost wishing it was here – so you could at least blow a little of your next student loan instalment. When your situation gets really dire, you find yourself creating a love/hate relationship with your laptop – in which you try to fill your lack of social interaction with constant internet-lurking, then hate yourself at 1am when you realise you’ve done sweet fuck all, all day. In summers passed, this was me – but this year I refused to give in to laziness and now I’m actually happy when I happen upon my bank balance… And you can achieve this, by following these 5 handy tips:
- Remember That Getting a Job Really is a ‘Hunt’.
There is little more disheartening on the job search, than receiving email after email of rejection – especially when it comes to places that we feel we lowered ourselves to apply to in the first place (*Ahem* McDonalds). I’ve been there – I really have, and I know how much it sucks. It becomes super easy to just sit back and think ‘Sod this’ and devote the rest of the holidays to re-watching all 5 series’ of Gossip Girl. But alas, no amount of Chair-shipping is going to buy you the summer wardrobe you’re drooling over.
Therefore, you need to get ‘on it’. Apply to absolutely everything online that you are suitable for, even if you think it’s slightly above your experience. Go into stores or restaurants and personally hand in your CV whilst trying to strike up a little chit-chat – leaving your potential employee more likely to remember you when there’s a vacancy. My best piece of advice in this respect is to join a recruitment agency. Before this summer, I had very little knowledge regarding these agencies and always assumed that you had to pay some sort of membership fee to join. However, I called a local one up and arranged an interview and within less than a week of me joining, I was working 9-5 in an office – a job I still have now! Give it a try, what have you got to lose?
- Clear Out and Cash Up.
I recently moved into a new student house, meaning that I had the perfect opportunity to clean out some clutter and find out what I really needed. Now that I’ve reduced my worldly belongings to something a bit more practical, I’ve been selling away my soul on eBay. Old books? On eBay. Old phones? Definitely on eBay. This is a simple way to make a bit of cash to keep you going, without really having to do a thing. Old jewellery, music players, clothes – you name it… someone’s going to have a better use for it.
- Take Advantage of Being a Student.
If you’re a university student like myself, you are probably in possession of an incredibly handy NUS card – priced around £12 online for a year. These cards get you discounts on all kinds of things, from travel to high street stores – which can come in handy when you’re big on shopping. My favourite recent offer of their’s is their collaboration with Spotify, where students can now receive Premium Spotify services for half the normal price (£5 instead of £10 a month!). For an avid Spotify user, this was probably the best financial news I could hear!
- Get Shopping Savvy.
It is so easy, especially when you’re in the supermarket and drooling over the idea of tea, to just throw half the store into your trolley, without thinking about the cost. Write yourself a list before you leave for the shops, make sure you’re only buying what you need. Not only will doing this save you money, but it’ll probably save you a couple of inches on your waistline from buying unnecessary snacky food. Look out for offers and don’t get snobby with your purchases. Studies have found that most brand-labelled food, once shed of its superior packaging, is from exactly the same batch as that of the supermarkets’ own brands. For example, unless there’s a really good offer on – switch to ASDA or Sainsbury’s own ‘Not From Concentrate’ juice – it’s just as scrummy; you’re just not leered in by the cutesy packaging of Innocent. I still love you though, Innocent. Your smoothies win forever!
- Weirdly, Watch ‘The Apprentice’.
Whenever I watch ‘The Apprentice’, my head gets filled with all kinds of entrepreneurial ideas and schemes. In a fashion-y mindset, this gets translated into “let’s buy cheap things from charity stores or eBay, add some quirks and modern twists, then sell on for a little profit”. This keeps you from driving yourself crazy with boredom and wasting any creative energy on procrastination – whilst giving you a little extra income and an increased eBay score!