Filling out my application to attend the local college was the easy part. What followed was the complexity of how I was expected to pay for everything with my personal finances and then be able to afford the college classes I needed to take.
Cost of College
I knew that working as a waitress for tips was the best way to pay my way through college. This would allow me the flexibility of a work schedule and the inflow of cash to pay the expenses that came up each semester. Tuition and fees for school are going to be covered by grants and loans. I still need to pay for my living expenses with my personal finances.
Books and supplies for each class are expensive, I will need to take on a few more shifts at work to cover these expenses.
My hourly income will pay for my basic expenses, the costs for things like my laundry and telephone fall under personal expenses. Gas and insurance. Utilities and lots of top ramen.
The tips I earn will pay for the additional expenses for attending school.
Accommodating scheduling options for a working schedule
At least there are a few ways to be able to mix work with school. I am able to have a flexible work schedule while waitressing which makes it more convenient when the class I need is only offered on a limited time schedule. There is always an availability to acquire more shifts when needed to cover unexpected expenses.
Online classes. I love online classes. The only drawback is that there is usually an extra cost associated with these types of classes just for being online. But the flexibility of working on the class assignments at any time is great. This fits into my work schedule, and convenient if I ever need to pick up a few extra shifts for more tips.
Minimize your student loans
There are additional ways I am able to afford going back to school. These are programs that do not need to be paid back but they also come with some strict guidelines and requirements from me to keep up my GPA and work schedule. Grants, College Scholarships, and Financial Aid are all available to me while I am a working student.
With the cost of school and living expenses, the grants, loans and scholarships cover some but not all of my expenses. To be able to continue work, go to school and afford my basic living expenses I need to earn tips. I love to waitress because of the tips. I only wish that people knew that I am getting paid far less than minimum wage and rely on tips to make up the difference. Sometimes the tips are great but other times, the tips are scarce. I still have to pay taxes on the tips I would supposedly get even if I was stiffed by the customer. Tips make up the difference that I need for gas and food. Cash in hand at the end of each night is great for my personal finances.
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