Most South African students don’t just leave university with their degrees – they leave with a sizeable amount of debt in their names, too. If you don’t have access to tuition finance from your parents, and your part time job simply doesn’t cover your living costs, student debt is inevitable. However, if you manage your money wisely and avoid spending it all on fun nights out with friends, it doesn’t have to mean financial suicide for your future!
How Many Students Are in Debt?
The Credit Ombud office recently surveyed more than 250 South Africans between the ages of 18 – 30. They found that the vast majority of them are currently in debt and, unsurprisingly, struggling to pay it off. What was even more shocking was that their student loans weren’t their biggest problem. The largest amount of debt came in the form of maxed out credit cards and clothing accounts!
How to Manage Student Debt
The most important thing is to spend your money wisely. It is essential that you put it towards that new textbook that you need, before you spend it on a lavish meal and drinks at Kitcheners.
As alluring as it may sound, avoid getting a credit card. Just don’t do it. Almost all of them come with hefty interest rates and a whole host of dangerous temptations!
Creating a student budget can help you keep track of how much you’re spending each month. You can then take action to curb any bad habits and choices before they really start costing you. Smart decisions, like eating in. Make your lunch to take to varsity instead of visiting the cafeteria. These tips can wind up saving you thousands of rand each year.
You also don’t need to go out every night of the week to enjoy yourself. A fun Netflix session at your digz with friends and hot chocolate is often just as thrilling as dancing the night away in a club. Plus, you can do it in your PJs!
If you need a little bit of extra cash to put towards #studentlife luxuries, start looking for a part time job rather than dipping into your reserves. You’ll enjoy the benefits of more dough and you’ll rack up some valuable work experience too. It’s bound to look impressive on your CV, after all.
Need more student living tips? We have written countless blogs to help you stay strong when it comes to your budget and ways to manage your money. From simple recipes to affordable travel for students.
Check them all out here.