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Can't Afford Student Accommodation Rent
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Can’t Afford Student Accommodation Rent

Written by Sam | April 28, 2020

Due to the student living/maintenance allowance being means-tested on your household, there will be some students that receive the minimal loan as a student. This isn’t a problem, however, student finance doesn’t necessarily tell you that, your household is the ones who are to make this up!

There will also be students who want to just earn some extra money while at university in order to top up their savings and live a little more extravagantly.

When working make sure you know how much you need to earn in order to pay your rent and live and if you have money spare, please don’t spend it. Save it for a rainy day. Keep it in a separate savings account so you don’t see it in your account and build up a pot where if anything goes wrong, you have something to fall back on!

If you are really struggling, the university does or should have a fund set up to help those who really need it. In most cases, you can get money and they will ask for receipts to prove that you have spent it on food and necessities!

Read this article on ‘How Much is Student Accommodation?‘ to see what it looks like in your student city.

What You Can Do To Earn More

There are the obvious ways and then there are some not so obvious ways to earn money, what you will need to decide is what sort of job you are after. Consider the following:

  • Zero hour contracts
  • Regular shifts
  • Type of work you want to do
  • Where is it based
  • The environment
  • Will they be flexible around your studies and University work

This can then help you to decide the type of work you want to look for. When you go to a university city, there will be lots of businesses that rely on students working. There are lots of advantages to students working in businesses as we shall find out!

What Work Can You Do

Some fairly stable jobs can be:

  • Supermarkets
  • Clubs & Pubs
  • Restaurants
  • Retail and high street shops
  • Work in the SU
  • University Open Days

There will be lots more that are unique to the city and where you can work. These jobs can be steady, have regular shifts, and can pay well. It will also give you good experience in the working world, processes, and systems if you are in a big company. If you work for a small company, you can be part of the team and see how tight-knit these small companies are!

These are for those who want a reliable amount of income, you can pick up regular shifts and are secure jobs for as long as you need them.


This is for students that don’t want a regular income but don’t mind working that little bit more for less reward in the beginning and hopefully picking up more in the end.

You can create your own Facebook, website, and other business pages if you wish or you can post your services on Fiverr and pick up freelancing work through websites similar to that. The good points about Freelancing:

  • You can work your own hours, however, if you get busy, you will have to work more
  • You can charge your own rates
  • You can make good business connections within the industry
  • When you leave university to get a job, you will be desirable to any employer for the skills you have gained
  • Always start in your area of expertise
  • There is no set income and you may have to spend money before winning any clients

Freelancing is a great way to get business experience and you can always fall back in the ‘safety net’ of the university. This means that you can go back to studying and find a job to build up your bank balance. Freelancing is difficult and it is hard to start out, however, there are many businesses that would prefer to use students than businesses.

A Business Venture

There will be some students that start or want to start businesses at university. Please only consider this option if you have some money you can live without, have tested and researched your idea, and have spoken to many about it. The art here is to limit the downside of business rather than focusing on just the upside.

There are many businesses that have and will be started while they are at university, however here are some quick points and our thoughts on it:

  • In the early days, it is likely to cost you money and time
  • You must have tested, spoken and researched your idea thoroughly
  • It can be like riding a roller coaster, going through, highs and lows
  • After researching the idea, understand business setups, financing, and accounting
  • How much are you willing to spend
  • Will it just be yourself, or will there be a group of you?
  • Unstable income because you will be starting with nothing
  • Likely to work a lot more hours than what you would in a part-time job
  • If it goes well you might not regret it and you might not want t carry on with university, we don’t advise this!

The End Is Near

With anything, decide carefully about what you want, it might be that you work for the first year and then go into freelancing. If you want a stable income that you can rely on, I would definitely pick something from the very top list and send your CV to businesses. Here are our tips on how to get and where to apply for jobs

  • Start applying before you get to University – you can line up interviews when you are there
  • The SU or University will have a list of jobs, you can start here, join recruitment company lists, sign up for email alerts and take CV’s to businesses
  • Work on your CV, make sure that it is a maximum of 2 pages and focuses on what experiences you have and what you have done
  • Practice your interview skills, this sounds really cliche, however coming across well in an interview is a must in order to get the job, you should always be yourself!


To wrap all this up, make sure you understand what you need to earn and make sure you earn more and save anything over the top. This ensures that if anything goes wrong, you have a backup of finances.

There are a lot of stable, reliable, exciting jobs out there for students to do and get stuck in to, you just need to find these. You can find these through the SU, recruitment companies, and looking on their website. You can even drop off your CV to them to be on the ball.

Freelancing is a way for you to get extra training in your sector or niche. You can build contacts, work on real-life projects, and learn a lot about how to market your services and get paid. This is essentially a mini business. This may start slowly and ca pick up speed if it is done right, but this path is not for everyone. You must declare any earnings for tax purposes also.

Finally, you can set up a business. This is not for most, this will require money to be set up on some setup costs and you will need to put a lot of effort in doing your research, due diligence, and fact-finding to make sure it is viable and there is a market for you to enter.

Work and build your CV, apply early, show up early, believe in yourself and be YOU. You are capable and if you want any help just contact us and we will help you.

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