Is University Worth the Debt?

One of the many comments made about University is about the debt students come away with once they’ve completed the degree. On top of the actual amount itself, you also have interest and that could calculate to £60,000. However, this amount of money shouldn’t scare you or put you off of going to University, especially if it’s something you’ve wanted to do. Here are a few reasons why University is worth the debt!

 Make friends for life

You’ve probably heard this one before, but honestly, it true. I know so many people that have come away from University, and they still keep in contact with the friends they made at University. I think it’s because you go through so much together such as: moving into a house, going on nights out etc.

Employment

Once you’ve got a degree out of University, you are more likely to be accepted for a job – sometimes it doesn’t even matter which subject your degree is (this doesn’t always happen). If you want to find out more about the statistics with the University you’re going to, look at the degree subject you’re wanting to study on the Uni website itself, or UniStats.

Career Opportunities

Work experience is a massive part of university life. You’ll get opportunities coming to you left, right and centre – yes you will probably need to apply for it by putting in an application, but it’s what it will be like in the future. I would recommend trying to go for as many opportunities you can as you never know if going for one could lead you to another.

Life Skills

You will gain so many life skills, many of which will be transferable throughout your days at University. Whether it’s getting better at presentations, or writing, these skills are always going to valuable to you, and will make you a stronger candidate for jobs going forward.

I hope this has helped if you’re still a bit undecided about University. Student Debt should always be considered, but it shouldn’t stop you from going to University, especially if that’s what you really want to do.

Ellis x

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Student Discounts

Hi guys, as a student money can be tight, so it’s a good job that there are a variety of discounts available if you are interested in saving money, here are a few things I use.

NUS TOTUM Card: You can purchase one of these in the on campus SU shop or online for just £12 a year. They can be used for discounts across a range of businesses throughout the UK and they can even be used within the SU shop and bar for extra sweet savings, also worth noting you save more  money on the card price overall by buying a three or two year card. https://cards.totum.com/join

UNiDAYS: Accessible through the website or via the nifty app, UNiDAYS is completely free and only requires verification of being a student by signing in using your Edge Hill portal credentials. The app also grants you discounts across a range of things like, shops, restaurants and online retailers. https://www.myunidays.com/GB/en-GB

16-25 Rail Card: My personal favourite, the rail card can save you up to a 1/3 on rail prices, usually the 1/3 is more applicable if your ticket is over a tenner but savings can be made regardless of the fare. I use this all the time and would recommend it to anyone who used trains at least every now and again. It costs £30 a year but I managed to get it for free with my bank account so that’s something else to look out for. https://www.16-25railcard.co.uk/

Mobile Network Rewards: OK, this one isn’t exclusively for students but I thought it best to put here since there are some really great deals to be had through some networks own rewards for being a customer. Networks like 02, Vodafone and EE among others all have various deals, such as discounted cinema tickets, free food and priority booking for concerts.

Student Offers: Sometimes you don’t always need an extra item to avail of discounts, an Edge Hill card will get you plenty of discounts on it’s own. From  student offers in restaurants, to saving on movie going, through a student ticket.

So there’s a few ways the student can save money, hope this helped and thanks for reading.

Jordan

Countdown to Graduation!

Hi everyone!

My graduation day is looming and I am definitely feeling a mixture of both nerves and excitement.

For more information on Graduation week at Edge Hill see below!

Your Graduation Day

I’m sure it’s going to be an amazing day, I have finally found my outfit as well so that’s definitely made me more excited for the day. My ceremony is at 10:30 so it’s going to be an early start but hopefully I’ll be so excited I won’t care about the time!

At your graduation you also get the option to buy any last minute momentous such as the Edge Hill merchandise including a special 2019 graduation hoodies, teddy bears, key rings etc. Most departments are also throwing parties for students after ceremonies which is such a good opportunity to say goodbye to lecturers!

My plan is to go out for a meal afterwards with my family to celebrate me and my degree, it’s also going to be such a nice day to reflect on what have been an incredible three years!!!

See you all next time,

Ellie 🙂

Student Bank Accounts

When it comes to finances during the time you spend at University, one of the things you will need to look at is opening a student bank account. The majority of the banks within the UK will give you an overdraft but, there are other incentives too depending on what bank you go with. These are my top 5 bank accounts for students that I think would be suitable for all your University needs.

Santander 

Image result for bank account

With Santander, you not only get up to a £2000 overdraft but, there is also an incentive for a 4 year railcard and up to 3% in-credit interest rate. If you’re like me and are living far away from home but would like the opportunity to go home quite a bit, this would be a perfect option for you, allowing you a 1/3 of your train travel. 

HSBC 

If you apply for a student account with HSBC,  you can get an £80 amazon gift card as well as 1 year student prime. This is a great deal and on top of this, the overdraft is up to £3000 as well. Starting with a guaranteed £1000 in the 1st year and up to £3000 in your 3rd year.

NatWest 

NatWest offers students up to a £2000 overdraft and a choice of 1 out of these 3 options:

  • 1 year of student amazon membership and £10 amazon gift card.
  • 1 year national express coach card.
  • OR a 1 year taste card.

All of these options are amazing however, you do have to deposit £750 into your bank account every 6 months and you need to make 3 monthly transactions in order to keep your overdraft.

Lloyds Bank

Image result for student bank accountLloyds Bank is one of the lower overdrafts out there only offering up to £1500. Tiering to £500 for the first 6 months, £1000 from 7-9 months and £1500 after that. Even though they don’t offer the highest amount, they do have the incentive of the NUS student extra card.

Barclays 

Although Barclays don’t offer any incentives for students, they do offer up to a £3000 overdraft which is one of the best deals to go for. Upon opening the account, you will get £500 and ask for it to be increased over time. This will then go up to £2000 in 2nd year and £3000 in 3rd year. Also, Barclays do offer cash-back with a few retailers so its good to keep an eye on their offers through their website or app.

There are so many more UK banks out there that offer other incentives, so all you have to do is go in to your local and ask about student accounts prior to coming to University. I should specify that even though you shouldn’t rely on overdrafts as ‘money to spend’, it’s always a comfort to know that you have something to fall back on in times of need.

Ellis x

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Where to Do Your Food Shop

Hi guys, one of the main things people say about university is that you will never have any money which can be true. Obviously there are a lot of factors which will affect how much money you have to get by on, such as if your working or how much financial support you get, either way it will be a given for most of you that you will have to budget your money while away so I thought I would talk about the thing that will probably take up the most of your budget, the food shop and how best to tackle it.

Where to shop: Choosing where to shop is probably the most important choice you will make each week. Ormskirk has a variety of supermarkets including Morrison’s, Aldi, Iceland and Marks and Spencer’s, here’s a brief rundown.

M&S: This is the most expensive and probably won’t be your frequent if on a tight budget, but you may go there occasionally because some of the stuff is pretty good.

Morrison’s: This is your bog standard big supermarket that stocks everything, price wise it is probably a bit pricier than Tesco and Asda, more like Sainsbury’s but if you are just looking for the standard weekly shop, this is for you.

Iceland: Another choice, obviously specializing in frozen food that is especially handy for students as well as stocking a range of cupboard and fridge fillers, it’s great value and they sometimes offer student discount but you may not find everything you would need here.

Aldi: is the most budget friendly option, and where I do near all of my shopping, I love the place. Now obviously with Aldi most of what’s on offer is own brand  but most of the own brand food is just as good as branded and yes you do have less choice but they usually have everything you need and the lesser choice means that you pay a good bit less. Compared to say Morrison’s you could save £10 maybe £15 a week.

If you are someone who likes saving money, then shopping in multiple places will net you all the best bargains. When you first venture out to do your shopping your best bet will be to check out what’s around town and make the best choice for yourself since only you will know what you want.

Hope this helps and thanks for reading!

Jordan

Going to the Cinema

Hi everyone, if like me your a big film fan then getting to the cinema to see the latest big film is a must, so here’s a few different things to keep in mind if your looking for a movie fix while living in the Ormskirk area.


The arts center within Edge Hill does show films year round, they don’t have as much choice but occasionally you might find something that isn’t out on DVD and you haven’t seen yet, for a few pound, additionally there is a free film Friday that runs most of the academic year that runs a selection of classic films and  newer films like Deadpool 2, and again it’s free so what’s not to like.


Southport is another option from Ormskirk via bus for cheap, the VUE cinema there is good value for money at around £5 a ticket so definitely a good option if you want to see the latest films.


On the other hand I most frequent the Liverpool One Odeon cinema, while it can be expensive, prices have dropped to a more reasonable level across the board with a student ticket now costing between £7 or £8. The cinema itself has nice big screens and comfy chairs and its location means it is a great place to visit after shopping or before eating out.


It’s also worth remembering that there are various deals on cinema tickets to be had as a student. On Vodafone, my rewards membership offers me two Odeon tickets for £7 which is a total bargain and great for a significant other or a mate. So there you go even though there isn’t a cinema in Ormskirk which is a shame there’s still definitely options if your itching to see the newest thriller, horror or Disney film. Till next time.

Jordan

 

Budgeting at Uni

When coming to University, one of the many things we think about is money. Of course, if you apply for Student Finance, you will get tuition fees and a maintenance loan after going through an application process. However, because the maintenance loan is based off what your parents/guardians earn annually, it can result in the amount not being as high as quite you hoped, meaning you might need a little bit of help every so often. So, here are a few tips to help you out if you have little money.

  • Know Your Dates!

Know when your maintenance loan is coming in. This will help you so much as you know when your money is expected to come in and probably help you figure out how much you can spend a week to get by before getting the next lot of money.

  • Calculate Maximum Budget!

One of the things I did before coming to University was to roughly estimate how much I would have weekly once I knew my maintenance loan amount for the year ahead. Firstly, you need to have applied for Student Finance so they can calculate your loan and then the university can figure out how much you will pay for your accommodation (once they’ve put you in one). You take away that amount from the maintenance loan and then divide that amount by how many weeks until your next loan date. Then that number left is your weekly budget.

  • Food Costs

Luckily in Ormskirk, we have an Aldi which is one of the cheapest supermarkets, normally costing me between £10-£15 per week depending on what I get from there. With food, I would try and buy fresh ingredients as sometimes this can be more cost effective for you. Also, cook in big batches: you’ll have loads left over which will probably do you dinner/lunch maybe 2 more times.

  • Student Discount

Since coming to Uni, I’m always on the lookout to make things cheaper for myself. Whether that means going on voucher codes, downloading Unidays or inviting your mates over for a dominoes and splitting it so it’s only £5 each. This is a definite hack you need to keep in mind🍕.

I hope this has helped for those of you with money worries. If you would like some more advice, please drop comments down below. Also if you need to look into student finance just click on the link down below:

https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-register-login

Ellis x

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Budgeting Tips!

Hi guys, so with it coming to the end of the term and Easter fast approaching people are coming to the end of their student loans and so less money to live on. So I thought that now would be a good time to give you some tips on budgeting and living on a budget.

I think for a lot people end up breaking the bank when they go out a lot because it can end up getting expensive, however you can get it into your weekly budget. So that is the first tip…

  • Set yourself a weekly budget- for me the money I receive from the Government goes into my mums account as I know that I would just spend it straight away. So my mum and I have a system that she gives me £35 a week to cover my food, travel and sometimes treats as well depending on my plan for the week. This is really helpful because then I know how much I can spend on my food shop etc.

  • Plan your weeks meals- I have been doing this the last couple of weeks and it has really helped when doing my food shop. I have planned my whole day of food so that I don’t buy unnecessary food that is just going to go to waste. Once I plan my meals it means I know exactly what I need for the week and can create a shopping list and try not to veer away from it too much when I am shopping.
  • Looking for the best deals- I generally do all my shopping at Aldi, however sometimes when it comes down to a deal, I do shop around a bit. For example recently I have been buying my alcohol at B&M as they have had a good deal on that I couldn’t get anywhere else. However this is always changing and there are always lots of different deals, in either B&M, Aldi and Morrisons (which are the main places people shop).

Lastly, when it comes to things like Student Events in Liverpool… which generally take place in September and April (Tomorrow, 3rd April 2019), make sure you set yourself a budget and make a list of things that you want/need. It is nice to be able to save up a bit of money to go to these events because it is a good way to bond with your new friends. Also as a side note, there are lots of way to make money whilst being at uni and I would definitely recommend getting a part time job, whether that be with the University, or off Campus, it is a good idea.

 

My University Highlights

Hi everyone,

As I enter my penultimate week of lectures as I am in my last year I thought it would be nice to look at my highlights of being at Edge Hill over the last three years! I have had a great time and I am definitely going to miss it!

Celebrating 21!

This year all my friends are turning 21, and whilst my birthday isn’t until June, it has been amazing celebrating with my friends! For example, we have been for meals, attended parties and even just had a sleepover and film night!t! 

 

 

 

Ghetto Golf!

This year I went to Ghetto Golf for the first time! This is located in the heart of Liverpool next to the baltic market, for £10 you can play an 18 hole round of crazy golf, the decorations are incredible and its such a fun night out!

 

Liverpool! 

I had been to Liverpool before coming to Edge Hill but I feel that in my time here I have really got to know the city and I love it there its such an exciting and thriving place. In September last year, we went to see the Giants as they returned to the city. They were incredible and it is a day I will never forget.

 

 

Days Out! 

In the summer months, me and my friends make the most of our free time and we try to go on as many days out as we can! We have been to Southport a few times, which is just a short train or bus journey away. It is so nice to just walk around the gardens and along the pier, I really love playing on the 2p machines!

 

 

Occasions!

Finally, getting to celebrate special occasions with my housemates have been some of my favourite memories of university! I made us a Christmas dinner last year and we all loved it, we even had some bucks fizz! Living one of my friends has definitely been my favourite part of university and I will really miss them when I move home!

 

 

I hope you enjoyed this post!

Ellie 🙂

Campus Sport

Hi everyone,

Today I thought I would talk to you all about campus sport here at Edge Hill’s Sports Centre. These are  fun recreational opportunities for students, staff and adults from the local community to get involved in on Campus!

  • The Get Active Programme – 

The Get Active programme provides a wide variety of regular recreational sports for you to choose from. These include Badminton, Netball, Football, Couch to 5K etc. Membership holders get this included but others can pay between £1 and £3 depending on the session. The aim is to have fun whilst exercising so that it doesn’t become a chore and you will continue to enjoy it!

  • Game On – 

The 5 a side football league has a student social league which runs during term time for campus sports users!

  • Volunteer –

Volunteer

Volunteering at the Sports Centre is a great way to get involved and gain new social skills, but also to enhance your CV.

  • Intro Courses

These introductory courses available with Campus Sport are a great way of improving your fitness levels slowly and steadily, at the right pace for you! These include pop up sessions throughout the week as well as a couch to 5K group!

  • Women Focused – 

Sometimes joining a gym can be a little daunting so I think women’s only sessions are a great way of starting! Women’s active is a group where you can find other women looking to get active, and there is also the women’s football side!

  • Free Events – 

Everyone loves a free event! These usually occur during freshers weeks, therefore whilst exercising you can have lots of fun with new friends. For example, in the past there has been pool parties, roller discos and zorbing!

See you next time!

Ellie 🙂