How To Take The Headache Out Of Saving For A Post-Graduate Degree

Hustling through university was bad enough. According to Quartz Africa, nearly 75% of Nigerian youth don’t even make it into the university in the first place. And now, here comes another ‘battle of the bills’ for your post-graduate degree. Sometimes, it seems like the best way through school is to have rich parents, relatives or guardians. Or are there other ways?
There are many opportunities open to a young graduate and the information age has played its fair part. Sadly, not everyone is able to successfully take advantage of those opportunities.
Full certificate courses can now be gained online. The educational system is making its transition from the four walls of a classroom. However, you still need adequate financing to get a full-fledged degree online. You need money for tuition, course materials and don’t forget the high bandwidth data!
In a world with so much to learn, you can earn your way to a desired degree with less stress and headache by following a few tips:

1. Decide early on a savings amount and method
Money matters are put in good perspective when viewed through long term lenses. Regardless of the cost implication of your choice institution, the funds needed, can be saved up if broken down over a long period of time.
It may be a daunting task to come up with one million Naira in one month, but saving ten thousand Naira over 20 months is less daunting.
Here is a simple way to start a savings plan:
Graduate degree cost = 10% of monthly income x number of months.
(If the percentage of your income is too little or too much, you can adjust it as needed)

2. Make use of money market funds
Money saved long term without interest, could lose value due to inflation. Beyond having savings, you should take advantage of compound interest.
Compound interest is simply interest gained on your interest. In a basic interest system, your principal (the initial amount you put in) is the only amount that gains interest. For example, an annual interest of 10% on 10,000 Naira, would yield 11,000 Naira at the end of the year. If this amount was untouched for the second year, the acquired interest would still be 1000 Naira (10% of the initial 10,000 Naira). With compound interest, the subsequent interest amount be 1100 Naira (10% of the initial 10,000 Naira, in addition to the first interest of 1000 Naira).The Abacus Money Market Fund from Investment One is an easy way to earn compounded interest on your savings. It is a conservative and safe approach, but still offers good returns.

3. Consider student work and business
The university campus is full of people within a young demographic. These people are a target market for many brands, which means that these brands seek out vocal ambassadors on campus. Why not someone like you?
You may also start a business on campus, get a part-time job, or work full-time and get a part-time degree. Whichever method you chose, earning a little extra income and saving as you go, is certainly a key way to avoid the pressure of education bills.

4. Apply for scholarships
You don’t have to begin your post-graduate degree before applying for scholarships, and it is not too late to apply, if you are already in the university. There are a lot of scholarship options to sift through, and any scholarship gained can contribute to your education fund. Stay updated on the latest scholarships with resources from sites like:
Saving towards your post-graduate degree might pose a bit of a challenge, but those who do so successfully, find it to be a worthwhile investment.
Interested in starting your savings plan? Open an account with Abacus Money Market Fund here: http://www.investment-one.comfunds-management/mutual-funds/abacus-money-market-fund/.

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