How to Stick to a Budget When Going Back to School as an Adult
The conventional ideas we have about careers often involve one-way paths. Many people believe that the “right” road involves a simple journey from college to retirement, all spent progressing in basically one career without complications. However, this isn’t a portrayal of real life; career changes are extreme, and this often means going back to school as an adult while being required to also stick to a budget.
For adults in the working world, this can be an intimidating prospect. In addition to the time commitment involved, you need to figure out how to make finances work. College is expensive, and most people can’t juggle full-time school and full-time employment. Fortunately, Worldwise Tutoring has some tips to help you reach your dreams without breaking the bank.
Stick to a Budget by Keeping School Supply Costs Low
As a returning student, you’ll need basic supplies such as notebooks, pens, binders — the whole “back to school” package. Thankfully, there are two basic ways to save money on these products. First, search for deals online. Shopping at retailers like Walmart is a great way to find affordable products. Beyond the fact that these shops usually offer pretty affordable options, you can find a Walmart coupon online to push the price even lower.
You can also look into buying supplies in bulk. Take a look through your expected course catalog to try and get a sense of how many binders, folders, and notebooks you’ll need while pursuing your degree. Afterward, you can check out bulk and wholesale sellers to get a lower price per item. This doesn’t necessarily work if you don’t have the funds to buy your products upfront, but if you do, it can save you money in the long run.
Find Your Work-School Budget Balance as an Adult
If you can’t manage full-time employment while taking on a full-time course load, you’ll need to do some math to prioritize things. Does it make more sense to study part-time and extend your overall time in school, or is it wiser to cut back at work and make your budget a bit leaner in order to enter your aspired career sooner? There’s no one right answer. It all comes down to what you’re studying, your income, and your savings.
If you do decide to cut back hours at work, use money-saving techniques to help your budget stretch further while you’re studying. For example, you can save money on basics around the house by switching to reusable power towels or food wraps. If you live close enough to shops and services, you can try to walk more to pick things up and cut down your gas bill. There are a ton of ways to cut costs — use the methods that work best for you.
Look Into Funding Options for Budgeting
Finally, anyone going back to school should explore funding options to help lighten their financial burden. You may be anxious about taking out student loans, and that’s totally understandable. However, there are grants and scholarships that don’t need to be paid back.
You should especially look into grants for non-traditional and returning students. There are plenty of organizations out there that want to support people interested in a career change. These often require some sort of essay or application; consider checking out our tutoring services to make sure you give the best possible impression.
Going back to school can put a strain on your finances, but it’s always worthwhile to transition to a career you can be proud of. So, take the time to explore your funding options, as well as to consider course schedules that can accommodate the level of employment that’s best for you. By doing so, you can make this process far easier on your budget.