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Top tips to balance uni & part-time work

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As a student who juggles part-time work with university, society doings and extra-curricular volunteering, I’d like to think I know a thing or two about time management. So here are my Top 5 Tips for making money whilst getting your degree.

The 12-hour rule

It’s an unspoken rule that every part-time worker acknowledges. Don’t take on a contract for anything more than 12 hours. Just don’t do it. You can always pick up extra hours during the quieter periods of university life but it’s best to avoid the extra hours at exam time! There’s nothing worse than having to worry about getting 24 hours worth of shift covered, just so you can get through a week of exams.

Know what you’re getting into

Never take on a contract for work that’ll stop you doing well in your studies. Don’t take on a demanding role that detracts from your university work. Let your employer know what you can and can’t do, and stick to that. If you don’t enter into a binding contract for something, you have every right to turn it down.

You also have to understand that working alongside uni makes it harder to organise trips home, or social events. You’ll miss out on some things because of work, and that’s an unfortunate fact but it does mean you have money in your pocket to treat yourself every now and again.

Keep it casual

A lot of students enter into casual contracts, in catering or retail, where they only work if and when they want to. Don’t rule this out; it’s a convenient way to make money when you need it, without committing yourself to a job week in, week out.

Manage your time

This sounds fairly obvious, but spending time at work will eat into your time for your studies. So make sure you’re making up the deficit. Don’t waste time lazing about (even if you really want to) and be sure you know when you have deadlines and revision; do your best to plan work around university.


Another silly one, but don’t be spending your paycheck in a big-ol’ payday spree. Put the Dominos menu down, and pop some of that hard-earned dosh in a savings account where you can’t spend it, because there is no point in working alongside your degree if the money goes out as soon as it comes in!

So there you go. Good luck juggling!

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