This post may contain affiliate links; please see our disclaimer for details.
Managing full-time school and full-time work is no easy task. Although it takes serious determination, the rewards can be outstanding!
Just remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel!
I went to school full-time and worked a full-time job for many years. This allowed me to graduate student debt-free and make $250,000 in profits through real estate investments!
“The average cost of college in the United States is $35,720 per student per year. The cost has tripled in 20 years, with an annual growth rate of 6.8%.”Education Data
In addition to tuition, many other expenses can add up fast, such as books, housing, and food, and more.
If you are still struggling to make ends meet or looking for ways to save money, you can check out this article I wrote sharing 11 Money Tips That Helped Me Graduate Student Debt Free.
We saved money by switching our phone plans to Mint Mobile.
Mint Mobile has helped us save tons of money, especially during college! We all know how phone plans can get pricy with long, frustrating contracts.
Our friends told us about Mint Mobile many years ago. For many reasons, we are still using them today!
Mint Mobile offers amazing plans at incredible prices, with plans as low as only $15 a month! My wife and I pay only $15 monthly for our phone plans. Check out how you can save money with them today!
Having full-time work and a full-time school schedule may sound too hard, but many people have successfully pulled it off. Even those with children like me! 🙂
My wife told me the following story back when she was in a college class
First, her professor asked everyone who is a full-time student with at least part-time work to raise a hand. Then she asked those who are full-time students with full-time jobs to keep their hands raised. Lastly, she asked those who do full-time school with full-time jobs and have kids to keep their hands up.
… And you know what?
There were still 4-5 people in the class with their hands raised! This was not a large-sized class either.
This was a big ‘wow’ moment showing there are many people out there doing full-time school and full-time work while raising kids. My wife never imagined her future husband (me) will be one of them.
So let’s jump into the 10 powerful tips I learned from my own experiences that helped me successfully balance full-time school and a full-time job.
Table of Contents
1. Write Down and Review Long-Term Goals
Think about then write down your career and life goals for the next year, but also 2, 3, 4, 5, or even 10-year goals.
Taking the time to write down and remember those goals is crucial because it gives you an empowered mindset.
When things get tough, remember that doing full-time school with a full-time job will not last forever, it is temporary and will help you achieve your goals faster.
Short-term pain brings long-term happiness; this type of sacrifice is very worthwhile.
Two years into my Bachelor’s program I started working a full-time job and being a full-time student. Shortly after graduating, I did my two-year MBA program as a full-time student with a full-time job.
Looking back, I know it was a challenging time but it was so rewarding. Graduating with my MBA from Washington State University in August of 2021 was a valuable accomplishment.
Especially now seeing how I can provide good financial support for my family and how I’ve found a job I love, etc.
I have no regrets; many of my goals have become a reality too.
My wife said that when she looks back, she has forgotten how painful delivering a baby was. She remembers how cute the baby is and how grateful she is to have our lovely children now.
Having a baby is much harder, but things worth it in life don’t come easy.
Set meaningful goals and work hard to achieve them. This is vital to finding success and a driving force to support you during hard times.
2. Keep Work, School, and Home Nearby
Time is a valuable yet limited resource!
When working and studying full-time, It is very beneficial to have work, school, and home close to each other (physically). A TON of time and money can be saved by having a shorter commute between work, school, and home.
A few months after marrying my sweetheart, we purchased our first home. The property was an older, cute townhome built-in 1970 with two bedrooms and 1.5 baths.
But the location was ideal, only a 10-minute commute from my work and school.
A year later, I received an offer as an account manager, and we were able to purchase our second real estate property. It is a cozy 3 bedroom/2 bath condo built-in in 2002.
The location of our second property (the condo) was very close to our college, our first property, and my new company! On average, the drive was only 10-15 minutes.
The condo was also 3-5 minutes from Walmart, Costco, and other shopping districts! This made it easy to get groceries and other items.
So try at all costs to cut down on commutes. I understand this may be difficult for many, but don’t fret; there are more ways to find balance and save time.
3. Find a Job That Offers Flexibility
Look for a company that offers flexible working hours or even a work-from-home option.
I am very grateful my work allowed me some flexibility during college. My manager was very understanding and knew I worked hard as a full-time student.
For example, if I had a school final on a certain day, I could go into the office later or make up my work project later.
Being a hard worker in the workplace is very important. It helps upper management know you are a dedicated employee and could help you receive more flexibility in the workplace.
Shortly after I started my MBA, my wife and I started working from home after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
I think COVID-19 has certainly changed the way we all think about work. Many companies are now offering more remote positions or offering hybrid schedules.
My wife can now work from home permanently, and I am on a hybrid schedule where I work in the office Monday-Wednesday but work from home on Thursday and Friday.
Working remotely or having a flexible work schedule has helped me in many ways. It has given me an amazing work-life balance and made life more enjoyable.
4. Make Smart use of PTO
Not everyone is lucky to find a flexible job or a work-from-home position. If that’s your case, it’s important to use PTO (Paid Time Off) wisely.
My schedule was fixed while working in a call center when I started college. I needed to use PTO if I had any important school things.
Using PTO allowed me more time to prepare for my finals or big school-related projects.
PTO was precious like gold for me as a full-time student and working full time, so I tried hard not to use it unwisely.
5. Consider Taking Online Classes
Driving to and from school takes time, especially for full-time students who have full-time jobs. Online courses are a very good choice to help save more time and increase flexibility.
The flexibility of online courses combined with less time commuting makes sense for those with a busy lifestyle.
During my bachelor’s degree, I received my first salaried job offer and left my call center job.
I then decided to switch all my college classes to online, so my schedule could be more flexible, and it sure was!
When applying for my MBA, I sent an application to Washington State University. One big reason was that they offer online MBA courses.
Online classes have been a lifesaver!
6. Increase Efficiency
Efficiency is very important, especially when life has so much going on with deadlines to meet when with full-time school and work.
We don’t want something that can be done in one hour to end up costing two hours, right?
Create a designated study workspace to become more efficient while working on assignments or working from home.
I always treasured having my own office/study space. If you don’t have an extra room, that’s ok! The goal is to find a quiet place free from distractions.
Add elements to your study space to keep you focused and on track. For example, I enjoy having a whiteboard to write down important deadlines coming up and my long-term goals printed out with some inspiring photos, etc.
Last but not least – put the phone and/or other distracting things away! This may be hard at first but will pay off.
7. Create a Schedule and To-Do List
As a full-time student with a full-time job, life will get so busy, and frequently I find myself forgetting things that need to be done.
Do your best to stick to a schedule and a to-do list with specific deadlines. This is an important aspect of balancing full-time work and full-time school.
Once committed to a task or project, write it down ASAP. If you wait, you might forget it later on.
Check your schedule and to-do list and update them daily with what has been accomplished and what needs to be worked on later.
I won’t lie; it took me a while to get a system down that worked for me.
Try writing down everything needed in one week, then break down assignments and tasks into ‘bite-sized’ chunks.
I started as the world’s greatest procrastinator, but I changed greatly during my full-time school and work life.
Getting things done on time or ahead of time will also help your mental health; it certainly helped reduce my stress.
8. Be Willing to Sacrifice
To successfully work and study full-time, you need to be willing to sacrifice – no other way to put it. Just remember, short-term pain will bring long-term happiness!
When roommates, friends, coworkers, and family invite you to hang out, sometimes you need to be ready to say no, and that’s ok! I know it is hard because I’m an extrovert and love socializing with people!
I knew spending too much time hanging out would break my efficient schedule and to-do list, creating more stress in my already stressful life.
Since I graduated, I have had more time to hang out with my friends. Sometimes they will still talk about how busy I was when back I was in college, but true friends understand and will be happy for you.
Another sacrifice is spending less time watching TV, being on social media, etc.
First, I want to say that you don’t have to be as extreme as I am. My wife and I deleted our accounts on Facebook and Instagram. We did this to increase efficiency, amongst other reasons.
Now we have some business social media accounts, we would love for you to follow us!
9. Take Mental-Health Breaks
Life will get frustrating and overwhelming at times. Please make sure to take care of your mental health while going to school and working full-time.
Taking breaks is good – take them in moderation.
For example, having a nice rest, walking, watching a movie, enjoying a meal, and hanging out with friends.
Proper relaxation can benefit your work and study life, helping your mind stay on track.
10. Special Bonus Tip for Parents
So life gets even crazier when kids are in the picture. Our first kid was born while I was still working on my MBA. I still remember trying to finish my assignments early in my wife’s delivery room before our baby was officially born.
I also remember in my MBA class, one of my classmates told us she finished our project WHEN she was in the hospital and had contractions.
No matter how busy life gets, it’s important to remember family time. Time needs to be spent building important relationships with family.
I love spending time with my wife and kids, but we plan wisely on when and where we will hang out.
Relationships are the spice of life!
I would always do my homework after my baby was sleeping because I wanted to help my wife and spend time with our baby.
I don’t want to miss any special moments of fatherhood and raising a kid.
Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Recap of all 10 tips:
- Write Down and Remember Your Long-Term Goals
- Keep Work, school, and Home nearby
- Find a Job That Offers Flexibility
- Make Smart Use PTO
- Consider Taking Online Classes
- Increase Efficiency
- Create a Schedule and To-Do List
- Be Willing to Sacrifice
- Take Mental-Health Breaks
- Special bonus Tips for Parents
Can you Balance Full Time School and Full-Time Work?
The answer is ABSOLUTELY you can!
I was able to pull it off, and you can too if you so desire! Follow the 10 steps above to help give you a good start on finding balance.
Thanks so much for reading! We’d love to hear your thoughts or questions; drop a comment below!
We hope the information in this article provides valuable insights to every reader but we, the Biesingers, are not financial advisors. When making your personal finance decisions, research multiple sources and/or receive advice from a licensed professional. As always, we wish you the best in your pursuit of financial independence!