Money Matters!

Budgeting is definitely a life skill that we all would benefit from having! Thankfully one of the skills that uni teaches you is the ability to manage your money…. or at least there’s an opportunity to learn anyway!

By this I mean that it is all well and good coming to uni with the best intentions; to study and not spend an excess of money of food, going out… basically everything that’s unnecessary! However it is easy to get sucked into the lifestyle of eating rubbish (take-aways!) and going out, especially when you get your big lump sum of money from student finance!

So my advice is to work out much money you will have left from each term’s payout and split this into how many weeks you need to make this money last by! Hopefully you’ll have enough to see you through- and if not you can make the necessary precautions before you come to uni so you don’t have to worry about money. I did this before I came to uni and set up a direct debit to my current account from my student bank account so I knew how much money I had a week- sort of like giving myself an allowance!

I would definitely advise you open a student bank account, there’s lots of information via this link which advises which account is better depending on what your needs are.

Finally, remember to apply for your student finance, you can make an account here– this will guide you through what you need to apply.

Good luck guys- have a lovely Easter!

Money Money Money

Sorry for the Mamma Mia title there, it’s clearly on the mind…
I feel that one of the biggest worries when coming to university is, how the hell am I going to afford this?! And you’re right, it’s a huge investment you’re making and a huge amount of debt to be getting into that sometimes it can seem a little overwhelming. But here I have compiled a little list of things to think about before coming to university to show how you can earn, save or raise your university funds…

Scholarships
Hopefully your sixth form and college has talked about this with you already, but just incase they haven’t I thought it would be worth a little mention. Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships to reward excellence in prospective students. Excellence Scholarships and Sports Scholarships have an application process while the High Achievers Scholarship and Liverpool Scholarship are awarded automatically to eligible prospective students. This is definitely something worth looking into as you could be entitled to a little bonus you didn’t even know about that will help you pay for things throughout your university experience, for more info check out this link Here.

Jobs
I’ve done a whole post on finding jobs at university so I will link that here.
But I’d also suggest trying to get a job during the summer break before coming to save up a little bit. I did this and I found it a huge help to have a little savings that I could dip into when I really needed a night out or some retail therapy.

Saving
There are loads of ways to save money at university but one of the best ways I have found is saving on the food bill! This can be done in so many ways but the best way I have found is to shop at Aldi and do a food shop with your flat mates. Even if just two or three of you do it together every week you’ll find you save so much and bonus: you don’t have to cook every night!

I’ve also written a whole post about what I’m not worried about student debt and neither should you read that here.

Last semester, let’s do this!

OMG GUYS IT’S MY FINAL SEMESTER… let’s not panic.

I can’t actually believe I’ve made it here, like seriously. University is such a rollercoaster of emotions and I’d be lying if I didn’t say there has been days when I just wanted to walk away… BUT, I’m so so so so so SO happy I stayed. EHU has definitely been one of (if not the) best decision of my life. Obviously, you’ll think I’m biased towards this uni because I go here, but seriously I don’t know any other uni that provides as much support and care for it’s students as EHU. EHU has reassured me that I can do it, every time I wanted to give up and I’m so glad they did.

EHU has a range of supportive areas. Everything from personal tutors who are willing to drop their massive work load at the drop of a hat, to financial and special learning requirements support. Staff are willing to help in any way they can, whether the problem is big or small… so never feel you can’t go to them for help. Staff are friendly and very approachable and I’m sure you’ll love them just as much as me.

When you arrive in September you’ll know exactly what I mean…

Until next time…

It’s just another manic Monday…

I wish it was Sunday…

Anyway, enough of the Bangles, how are you?

I’m good. Actually, I’m really good. All my assignments are finished and submitted, my presentation went super well and our group worked so well as a team (well done guys) and lastly I have my first and only exam of the year on Thursday. I can’t even describe how excited I am to get it out of the way and to finally say goodbye to exam stress, revision and worries about results.

I feel like 2016 is looking good already. One of my new year resolutions was to be more optimistic, so maybe that’s why I see a silver lining for everything at the minute, but positivity is actually making me smile way more, yay. Once this exam is out of the way, my dissertation is going to be my main focus, then assignments, graduation and then, well, life I guess. I’ve started to think what’s after uni and I have a range of options. I’m most likely going to take a year out, hopefully travelling, exploring and getting lost half way around the globe… but after that I need to start with a career direction. I’ve been thinking about whether to do a post-grad qualification, or maybe an extension to my course to possibly go into counselling? But who knows.

Anyway less about me, more about you… How’s college? Decided what course you’re studying at EHU next year? Excited? You should be! Uni is a whole new ball game. You’re going to love the independence, from learning how to manage your own money (sometimes poorly, but it’s all a learning curve) to deciding what to have for tea, it’s all very exciting. The social life is fantastic and you genuinely will meet your friends for life here (I definitely have) and studying a subject that you love makes everything worthwhile.

I’m jealous I can’t start again with you, but I’m very excited for the next chapter to begin…

Until next time…

Where to go for a helping hand

Going to university is all about gaining independence. Learning to cook, learning to manage your finances, learning to be self-motivated, learning to use a washing machine! But we can all do with a helping hand every now and again, and that’s where the Edge Hill Student Services Team comes in (sadly not to help with the washing or cooking mind you!)

The Student Services team (based in the Student Information Centre (SIC)) are on call to help you with the hard stuff, the team is made up of experts and specialists that can help you out with everything from career advice, CV writing, looking for work experience, finance and inclusion services!

Career Centre
The award-winning Careers Centre at Edge Hill University can offer you many opportunities for learning, developing your skills and gaining experience which will help towards your future career and job prospects. They have a huge list of places that can offer work experience and volunteering opportunities in a whole load of different areas! I’ve met with the team and they were so helpful, I cannot recommend them enough! They can also offer opportunities to start networking for your future career and give tips for your CV!
For more info check out: Career Centre

Accommodation and Finance
The Accommodation Team can offer advice and guidance for student both on and off-campus. They are so helpful if you are unhappy with your accommodation and who your living with, and also if you have any trouble with your landlord if you’re in private off-campus accommodation! The Finance Team are also absolute life savers, this team can help you in a number of ways including helping you create a stress free budgeting plan, helping you understand what finance is available to you, support and guidance for student finance, and if applicable can offer support with hardship funds.
Check the team out and see what they offer HERE.

Edge Hill offer amazing support services that are there to be utilised! If you have any questions when you get here there will always be someone that will know the answer.
Next week ill be covering a few more of the support services we offer so stay tuned!!

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HELP! I need somebody…

So student support?

Well.. when it comes to student services EHU provides a range of different support systems in order for their students to get the best out of their university experience. Which of course is FAB. Areas such as essay help or academic support can be located in the library and meetings can be arranged at the help desks for further information. The black building located next to the hub is the home for all areas relating to student support. In here, you’ll be able to find a financial team ready to answer all your queries, and other help such as guidance for looking for a part time job.

This year EHU also has a FANTASTIC team of student mentors, who have been fully trained to aid students in settling into uni life. Some students may take a little longer to find their feet at university, but fear not, you’re not alone! The mentors will be around through out your years at the university, so whether you need directions to your next lecture or a quick chat, you’ve always got someone, yay!

Support network? Well, you’ve got your family (can’t forget them), your friends.. then there’s your personal tutor?, lecturers?, seminar tutors?, society friends?, student mentors?… the list is endless (well obviously it ends, but you get my point.. right?).

So basically, to sum up… you’re never alone at EHU and we don’t want you to feel like you ever are. Make sure you use your links to your support network when things get a little rocky, cause suffering in silence really wont help… trust me!

Until next time…

 

A different kind of work…

So, summer is upon us and it’s time to relax… or so we thought. My summer so far has consisted of a 5 day break to Berlin, dissertation research and work (oh the joys). To be honest, even though I moan every day in work about being there, I actually don’t mind it. I have managed to find a summer job in retail and it’s actually quite nice. The staff are lovely and getting paid for throwing food on shelves isn’t as bad as I thought it would be! So, what’s my savings going towards?

1- RENT! First and foremost the majority of money I save will be going towards helping my parents with rent. Accommodation can be costly, but EHU has student facilities which help students to learn how to budget, as well as a financial team who are there 24/7 to answer any queries.

2-NEXT SUMMERS ADVENTURE! I personally want to travel everywhere! So, hopefully next summer I will be volunteering in southern Africa (fingers crossed) after graduating (FINGERS CROSSED).

3-HOUSE SUPPLIES! I need to buy a few bits and bobs for my new house in Ormskirk. I have the majority of items I need, due to living away the previous two years, but small things like new plates might be in order.

Well anyway, results are fast approaching. Good luck and hopefully EHU will see you in September! If you have any queries about EHU or your course, please don’t hesitate to contact us either through the website or by phone! I will also try my best answering any questions you may ask!

Until next time…:)

Why I’m not worried about student debt…

One question I get asked all the time, from friends and family and even at a teaching conference I attended a few weeks ago is, are you worried about your student debt? Maybe I’m very naive about the whole thing but my answer is always no, I literally haven’t lost a wink of sleep thinking about the huge mountain of debt I’m going to come out with at the end of my degree, and to be honest I don’t think I ever will.
Now when you think about it, 9 grand a year is a lot of money, then add your maintenance loan and any other money you might have borrowed from your parents and you’ve racked up a pretty healthy sum. But because you never even see half the money enter or leave your account, in my mind, I kind of forget it even exists. I do realise how naive I sound there, but I do kind of think about it as monopoly money that I’ll have to slowly pay off like a phone contract some day in the future. When you look at the facts, you only start paying it off after you earn £21,000 a year, and even then you just have to pay it off in small steps each month like a phone contract. See not quite so scary after all.

I also like to think of it in the way that everyone is in the same boat, all of my friends went to uni, and they’re all totting up debt too, so I feel like I’m not the only one. And it could be worse, I could be borrowing money from loan shark to settle my topshop addiction and then paying crazy amounts of interest. Additionally, it’s nice to think about it as a long-term investment, I’m in the mind set like ‘hey its ok I’ve borrowed loads of money from the government, because I’m learning loads of really awesome stuff and hopefully it will land me a good job some day in the future!’ I really think that’s what you need to keep telling yourself. There’s absolutely zero point stressing about it, because the price is the price, and you’ve just got to think positively!

Here is a little article I found about myths and the facts of student loans, check it out because it really teaches you a lot about what the real facts are: Loans

Third year all done.

I can officially say that my time at Edge Hill University as an undergraduate Law student has finished. My last exam was on Thursday, which I have to admit didn’t go too badly! I just hope that I have done enough with coursework and exams this semester that will push my marks up.

Last Friday I moved out of the student house. It was a very emotional day, as I was here there and everywhere saying goodbye lots of people, who I feel I’ve made long life friends out of. My mum came to pick me up Friday, and because I’d finished my last exam Thursday, it was only right to go and celebrate in Liverpool! So, bless her, she had to pack up my room whilst I said my goodbyes. To be honest, it was about the only thing I could manage with a hangover! Haha!

So what’s next for me?

I guess you will just have to keep reading my blogs to find out my new adventures. But the plans I do have to look forward to is summer holidays with friends, my 21st! Graduation, and the big one… finding a graduate job! But for now, I’m going to enjoy a stress free life, spending quality time with family and friends, and oh, I can’t tell you how good it feels to read something non-law!

I hope that for those of you who have also completed exams, they the went as well as they could! All you can do is your best and if you can honestly say you did that, then that is all anybody can ask you to do. 🙂

 

How to save (and earn) money whilst at University

This week at universities across the country (not just Edge Hill) was student money week, so I thought I’d talk about ways to saving and make money when you’re at university.

Saving Money

One of the many stereotypes when it comes to university students is that they’re always broke/cash strapped. However, whilst this is a common stereotype it’s still important to save money. One of the best ways to do this is to get student discounts on things. Lots of different shops and restaurants do student discounts (of varying types). Student discounts are most commonly available through an NUS extra card (I have one of these and I love it). These are available to buy from £12 per academic year from:  http://www.nus.org.uk or from the Edge Hill SU shop. If you click on that link you’ll find more information about what one is and what things it entitles you to. I most commonly use mine for the 50% discount it gets me on my Spotify premium membership. Another great way to get student discounts is through UniDays https://www.myunidays.com where there are lots of discounts for different things. Aside from student discounts there also ways to save money when it comes to buying food. You don’t need to survive off the very best food you can get your hands on. Supermarkets like Aldi and Netto (both of which have branches in Ormskirk) are both very well valued for the products they sell.

Making Money

As well as saving yourself money on things, you can also earn money. The best way to do this is to get a part-time job (if you feel you can schedule it around your lectures/seminars and workload). Edge Hill Career’s service advertises all their part-time job vacancies here: http://edgehill.prospects.ac.uk/index.html which inevitably at the end of the day will look good on your CV should you get a part-time job. One other way you can make money is to sell your unwanted items on sites like Music Magpie, GumTree and Ebay and Amazon (who will also let you sell stuff pre-owned. I myself have bought pre-owned stuff from there).

Anyway I hope you have found this blog informative when it comes to money when at university 🙂