Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Uni Tips - How to Budget Like a Boss


Keeping track of your money is vital for university. Student Finance is a pain in the bum, and getting too much into your overdraft is not ideal. So here are some of my tips on how to budget your money and spend a bit less

1. Work out how much money you will have per week 
Once you have your letters from student finance, take off your accommodation and that is how much you will have to spend that term. Divide it by however many weeks until your next loan and tadaa! Remember to take off any other monthly expenditure such as phone contracts, netflix etc. Also, remember to save some money for the time that you are at home as well!

2. Use cash instead of card
If you are serious about sticking to your budget, get out the cash for the week rather than using your card. You know then that you can't spend any more than your weekly budget. This is also important when on a night out. I often don't take my debit card with me so that I don't spend a lot of money!

3. Keep tabs on what you are spending money on
If you do use your card, write down what you spend on food/going out/online shopping - this is not only useful for looking at how much you are spending, but you can also make sure that nothing fishy is going out of your account.

4. Save your change
Saving your £1/50p/20p to pay for washing machines and bus fares etc can all add up if you save a bit every time you get some change.

5. You may have to make some sacrifices 
You will not be able to afford to do your food shopping at Marks and Spencers or constantly go clothes shopping. Just be cautious and don't go crazy.

6. Save Save Save
Don't spend all your money for one week? Don't spend it, save it!

7. Get an NUS Extra card
I think that they save a lot of money. I bought a 3 year one so that I wouldn't have to remember to renew it. Although your normal student card will offer you some discount, you can often get extra discount with the NUS extra card

8. 16-25 Railcard 
One of these is also a must! You can save a third off rail travel, vital for going home or visiting friends. Santander give a 4 year one away for free when you sign up to their student accounts.

9. Don't let it stress you out
If you are having problems with money, the student union can give you advice. It is just about having a bit of restraint and being responsible. There is no point using all your money in Freshers Week and not being able to eat, but don't feel bad if you don't stick to your budget for one week, just save some money the next.

Hopefully this will be useful!
University is getting close now for many - I don't start until the 29th of September which is really late. 


xxxx


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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Uni Tips - Living in Halls

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Living in university halls of residences was something that I never prepared myself for. The accommodation that I was put in had 19 of us on one floor with shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. It doesn't sound very glamorous does it? Luckily, I got on really well with the majority of my flatmates this year, but here are some tips and tricks on living in halls.

1. Set up a facebook group
If you live with a lot of people, or just a few, set up a flat/floor facebook group. It's a good way to communicate about problems throughout the year and also through holidays as well to keep in touch

2. Set up rules early on
I am not talking about written down rules, but things such as 'you can use my kitchen things if you put it back' etc. Setting these up early will make it a lot more easier. Also sorting out cupboard/fridge space early is also a must. 

3. Keep Communal spaces tidy
This goes without saying... *cough* although some people will not follow this! Clean up after yourself whether this is in the kitchen area or bathrooms. It really isn't nice when it is dirty!

4. Noise
If you live with a lot of people, it will be very noisy, with different people coming in and out. This is what I found quite hard at the beginning. Earplugs are great, and don't be afraid to ask people to be quiet. A good nights sleep is crucial!

5. Try not to fall out with one another
If there is a problem, take it up individually and nicely. I couldn't imagine what my first year would have been like if I hadn't got on with some of my flat mates. It can make the atmosphere tense not only for you, but for the rest of your flatmates. 

6. Quiet time
What I found the hardest about living in halls was the constant amount of people. I felt like I didn't have any time to myself - I couldn't watch some tv or a DVD without someone knocking on my door wanting to join. It can be very hard for an introvert like myself. So remember to have some time to yourself! 

Living in halls can be challenging, with fall outs, breakups and misunderstandings. However, this is a new time for you all, so the best thing is to support each other. And of course have fun! I regard most of my flatmates from last year as really good friends. It's like having your own family away from home. 

Check out more of my Student Advice posts HERE 

xxxx
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Saturday, 16 August 2014

How to have fun clubbing when sober

This may seem a slightly weird blog post, but over my first year of university, I have had some great nights out, as well as some truly awful ones. I enjoy a drink, but don't like being completely out of it when I am out clubbing - I like to remember what happened in the morning. And sometimes, I don't drink at all.

So.. I am writing this to debunk the common myth that you can only have fun when alcohol is involved.


1. Positive thinking
Don't go into the evening thinking that it is going to be awful because (a) all your friends are drinking and you aren't (b) you are going to be the odd one out etc etc. Go in thinking that you are going to have a good night with your friends. 

2. Getting ready 
Be geared out to go out! Get involved with getting ready with a group of friends. Or if you are by yourself, get dressed up, put your favourite music on and jam out. Get your mind into the partying spirit

3. Have a drink in your hand
This is mainly one for pre-drinks (especially at university). Don't awkwardly stand there. Join in, take your own soft drink and keep it with you, talk to people and get involved. 

4. Stay with your friends
Whilst this may seem a little clingy, don't let them out of your sight. Stick with them. If they are your true friends they will stay with you for the night and not leave you by yourself. There is nothing worse than that. 

5. Boogie! 
Dance, have fun. Even copy what some of your friends are doing. If you are dancing or singing along then it will be a lot more fun

6. Don't constantly look at the time

7. Suggest to be the designated photo taker
Great if it is a friends birthday. Take a camera or use your phone and take photos of the night. Then you can be in the action and with your friends

8. And if it all goes wrong... Make sure you have enough money to get a taxi home and chalk it up to experience. 

If you don't drink, or choose not to on a night out, it does not mean that you can't have fun! Plus it is hilarious to update your friends the next day of the funny things that you saw them do

On a sidenote, thank you to everyone who is following me on bloglovin'. I hit 100 followers last night and am so grateful, so thank you so much! 

xxxx
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