Thursday, 10 January 2013

Money, money MONEYYY!!

Now that the Christmas period has come and gone, and we entered the New Year, it became very clear to me what my next blog should be about: MONEY!
What with it being Christmas and all, money was even tighter for me than usual :( and I know the same also applies to my fellow students! Never underestimate when a student says “WE ARE POOR!” as it is so true!! As a student, you are lulled into a false sense of security with a hefty sum of “free money”, but once you take out things like rent, bills and travel, what you’re left with is often JUST enough to cover the essentials like food and nights out! And being a uni student is totally different than being in sixth-form/college, as you have to pay for more!!! When I was in sixth form, I got free bus travel, free medical prescriptions, free eye checks/glasses, free dentist visits, as well as getting my £30 EMA from the government each week….what do I get out of that list now?! Nothing. NADA. :’(
So my advice? Budget and get a job! As you all know I work for my university in the Enquiry Unit – getting a job for the university has been ideal for me, as the work is term-time and fits around my university schedule. In addition, as it is a university job, the manager is very understanding about exams and coursework deadlines, so it provides some degree of flexibility if I desperately need time off. This is a luxury you may not get working for an external organisation, so if you’re looking to earn a bit of money while you study it is definitely worth taking a look at what your university has to offer (the pay is often better too :P).
It’s also useful working within the university, as you gain a deeper insight into the university as a whole; as just a student it is easy to become detached from some university affairs. Working at the Enquiry Unit has allowed be to become very familiar with the university’s website and intranet, and I feel more involved with the university’s policies and activities as they not only affect my academic life, but my pay too!
Anyway, moving on to budgeting. As a student it is very easy to see that large sum of money sat in your bank account and think “shopping spreeee!” NO! YOU MUST BUDGET!!! It is extremely important to work out how long your money needs to last you (if you are not working, it is usually until the next loan instalment comes through, so roughly 3-4 months), take away any costs for each week (food, travel, toiletries, etc.) and then divide what’s left into weeks. That way you know if you can afford to go out three nights one week AND buy that new dress you had your eye on (as I am partial to a pretty new dress, or three) or if you need to cut back on your spending, and stay in that week instead. By doing this, it will allow you to have enough money in your account to pay all your bills on time, (and avoid those nasty bank charges) as well as providing you with a clear understanding just how much disposable money you have, so you don’t get to the end of the term and have literally no money to pay your rent etc..
Moving on from that, here’s a little update on my personal life… I sold my car :( Bertie is no more! I slowly began to realise that I had to sell him as I never drove him. This coupled with the fact that its tax and MOT runs out soon, (which would have meant MORE money) made me realise it would be kinder to us both if I found him a loving new home :( Fortunately, he hasn’t gone too far; Denise’s (see her blog here: dad bought him :D so this way at least I know he will be cared for, and can visit him on occasion! LOL! Who knew you could get so attached to a car?! Ahh well, now my pocket’s a little heavier, and whilst I’d love to blow the lot on clothes and fine food, the moral of this blog is budgeting :( So that is what I shall do :(!
Until next time, folks!