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5 Financial Tips for Students Taking on an Internship Comment

5 Financial Tips for Students Taking on an Internship
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It would be nice to work on career goals without worrying about finances, but that's just not realistic for most people


College students, in particular, may not have to worry about very many bills, but that doesn't mean they don't have ends to meet, which can become difficult if they take on an internship, which may not pay all that well. These internships are vital for all sorts of other reasons such as hands-on experience and networking, so they are worth the sacrifice, but that doesn't make them a financially viable proposition for many.

 

That means students who decide to pursue an internship still must figure out how to stay afloat for the duration of the position, and the following tips are meant to help with that. If you're a student who is about to begin an internship, read on.

1. Start Budgeting Now

College students stress out about money like anyone else, but this stress might be exacerbated during an internship, which is one reason budgeting is vital. Living without a budget can drain a bank account in a few weeks or days. The first step is to look over your savings and calculate how much money you have coming in any given month. Use the total to find out how much money can be spent each week. Keep in mind that there are a number of apps that help make this process a bit easier. If your internship won't come close to covering your costs, you may need to take on additional work in advance to build up a bigger financial cushion to see you through.

2. Reduce Expenses

Students do not always think about ways to reduce their expenses, but there are a number of ways this could be done. For example, a student's living situation can eat up a lot of income and it needs to be addressed one way or another; one strategy is to move in a roommate or two to reduce your living expenses. Those lucky enough to have family members living nearby may want to consider staying with them during their internship to eliminate this cost completely or at least reduce it to the greatest possible extent. It's also necessary to take control over entertainment expenses. It's easy to lose track of how much money goes towards eating out and attending concerts and other events, so the key is to eliminate as many expensive outings as possible.

3. Internship Negotiations

Internships may not always pay very well, but that does not mean there's no room for gains through wise negotiations. To begin with, it's important to get a general sense for what interns in your field are paid, on average, so you will know if there's room to negotiate. Then, if you're considering an offer that you know to be lower than it should be, you can try to wring out some additional money. Let your potential employer know that they are your preferred choice, but that you've gotten a higher-paying offer, and ask them to match it. If you're reasonable, there's a good chance they will be too.

 

There are also some companies that may be able to offer other perks that could help interns along the way, like covering transportation costs or organizing an employee carpool to work. Some companies can actually provide flexible hours that might make it possible for you to take on a part-time job or freelance work from time to time. Also, find out if the company provides food or something similar that could end up saving you a buck.

4. Have Backups

Budgeting well and finding ways to reduce expenses should definitely help, but that does not mean you shouldn't have a backup. There are a few ways that you can do this; for example, you can create an emergency fund that can be used to get you out of hot water if necessary. Furthermore, it might be a good idea to go ahead and find 0 APR credit cards that can be used when money is a little too tight. Credit cards may not be something you want to rely on completely, but they can be helpful during emergencies. Just make sure to use them with care and pay them off as soon as you can to avoid taking on too much debt.

5. Generate Extra Income

If you're taking on an internship, you'll be dedicating a large portion of your time to it, which will limit your outside earnings potential. Thankfully, it has never been easier for students to generate income through things like the shared-economy where you can take on side gigs at your leisure, or whenever the opportunity presents itself. It might be a good idea to think about investing some of your earnings as well because it can become an excellent source of passive income that requires little additional time. You should also look for ways to make money by doing things you already do, like monetizing an existing YouTube channel. If you're already taking the time to create content, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

These are just some tips worth considering to help make sure that you can survive your internship and emerge in decent shape. That will also mean far fewer headaches as you transition into a career, as you won't be starting out mired in debt or in an otherwise compromised position – and that's the best possible outcome an intern can hope for.

Becky Kells

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