Cutting back on Costs as a Graduate Student

Dec 17

Recently I found myself in the situation that everybody dreads throughout their youth; finishing university and finding yourself a.) without any money and b.) with the slightest clue as to what to do with the rest of your life. Quite the quandary, I’m sure you’ll agree. I could wax lyrical to you about the difficulties of the credit crunch on the finances and morale of graduates eagerly seeking employment, but I’m sure you could find any number of articles whingeing about these issues all over the internet.

What struck me initially, alongside the shock of being let loose upon the “real” world, was that I was going to have to significantly cut back on my costs to maintain being a living, breathing human being. First things first this meant moving back home, a pretty common occurrence for all University graduates. I was trying my hardest to live a frugal, Spartan existence during these few un-employed months where I’d just be applying over and over again for jobs but soon found that no matter what I was doing I’d inevitably find myself spending. Even if you have no bills/rent/food costs to cover factors like your phone bill and travel costs really start to add up and I realised that I’d need to start getting a little bit of extra cash together to cover my overheads, however minimal they may have been.

The first thing that struck me was the fact that my old University textbooks were sitting around like a cumbersome nuisance on my desk serving no salient purpose whatsoever. As I’m sure you’ve all learnt the hard way, educational textbooks sit in a price range where you’d expect each page to be gold-leafed. Fortunately the high price of these books means that there’s a big market online for getting hold of them second hand. With 5 or 6 books I was able to gather together around £100, which is pretty good for such little time and effort.

During the first few years of University my friend and I would play on my Wii console quite a lot, namely for the unbridled joys of Nintendo‘s Mariokart. However when I bought myself a 3DS we found ourselves playing on this console rather than the Wii, for this reason I decided to sell wii games that I no longer had any use for. This was not only a fantastic way of clearing some space but obviously helped to keep me afloat in my period of unemployment. Further inspired by my thought process with the console games, I decided to have a route around in my attic for any electronic relics. Low and behold I managed to find some old games consoles that had been abandoned up there, simply accumulating dust. So, I decided to sell my xbox so that somebody else could get some good use out of it and I could get some money out of it, win-win! Plus, once I’d found that I could download pokemon emerald at, and so many other classic games from my youth, I didn’t look back once.

It was small touches such as this that truly helped me through the difficult interim period between University and full time employment. Obviously lots of people decide to work part time until they find a job they really want. However, I wanted to dedicate all of my time to researching and applying for work that I really wanted instead. Eventually it paid off, but it wouldn’t have been possible without having sold some of the above items to help keep my expenditure in check.