Faye’s Blog – Money, Money, Money… Where’s the Money Gone?

Something that I have struggled with throughout my 3 years at university is BUDGETING!

So a little overview:
Year 1:
Semester 1: “This is great, yay, money, I have loads…” Christmas: “I can buy awesome presents for everyone!!”
Semester 2: “Okay, try and save some money. Food, food food.” “Oh, I have no money left at all, better use my savings.”
Year 2:
Semester 1: “Right Faye, budget better this year”, “I’ve budget really well, I deserve a treat. SHOPPING SPREE!!”
Semester 2: “Oh, we have to pay our own bills this year… Okay… I have no money left.”
Year 3:
Semester 1: “Right, cheaper room this year, but less people in the house… BUDGET!”
Semester 2: “Budgeting really well, but the bills are double what they were last year :'(”

Okay, so first 2 years did not go well at all, but this year is going okay.

My Advice:
1) Set reasonable weekly expenses! (Bills, Food, Clothes, Phone, Internet, Nights Out)
2) If you don’t really need something, DON’T BUY IT! Save the money. Trust me, when you have no money in your bank it is horrible.
3) Look for the bargains, but only buy what you need!
4) Think of cheap & easy meals to cook & plan them out for the week!

I have set myself a £30 a week budget for food, but when I go shopping I try and spend less if possible & I NEVER over spend any more.

 

Controlling the Spending… (Stephanie’s Blog)

If you have a shopping addiction like myself, controlling the spending is never the easiest thing to do… However it is something students are well known for – being money conscious and surviving on baked beans. (Not ideal if you don’t like baked beans!!)

However, although there is a lot of cost involved in going to University, it should never put you off going to University. No matter what University you choose I am sure there is financial help on offer. I can only talk from my experience at Edge Hill but I know there is a finance office and department that are on hand to help you all the time. You can apply for short-term grants and loans as well as there being grants and bursaries to help you through you studies.

Another great thing about Edge Hill is recently we have had Nation Student Money Week which has been hosted by Students, Lecturers and Companies. This week was full of fun and FREE activities, lots of competitions, shopping to be won and advise on how and where to save. We even got given a leaflet on how to make Pasta for £1 with onions and tomatoes – that’s better than living on beans.

On the Edge Hill Website there is more information about how to apply for

scholarships, bursaries and there are always people on hand to help you here at Edge Hill.  And there are other websites such as Student Beans and the NUS Website which also offer advice.

 

If you’re worried that you will spend too much money when studying; at least Ormskirk isn’t an inner-city and over-priced University… You can have a good night out for £10 (maximum!!) And there are always drinks deals and cheap nights out. The Rose Theatre at University offer Student Prices for theatre productions and cinema nights and there’s always free Pub Quizzes in the SU or around Town! Lots of cheap (and sometimes free) entertainment to get you through your Uni Years – even on a budget!

Elisha’s blog- Managing your money

As a mature student, one of the main things that I had to consider before coming to university was my finances. I had gotten used to earning a full time wage every month for a number of years and over time I had committed to various financial agreements (including a mortgage) that relied on this wage coming in; so I knew that giving this up would be hard. I had no idea how student finance worked so the whole process terrified me! I didn’t let this put me off though and after looking into it I realised that things weren’t so bad and it was doable.

Anyone, regardless of their financial situation is able to borrow their tuition fees from the government which you do not have to pay back until your are working and earning £21,000 or above per annum; and it’s a relatively small amount which you pay back each month (at a salary of £21,000 a year, you would pay £39 each month!).

Depending on your household income, you may also be entitled to a maintenance grant of up to £3,354 and/ or a maintenance loan of up to £6,535 (£7,675 in London) each year to help towards living costs. Both the grant and the loan gets paid into your bank account at the beginning of each term and the amount is (near enough) equally split; so for Edge Hill university students on full time, undergraduate degree programmes you get paid around the beginning of September, the beginning of January and the beginning of April (on the assumption that you’ll support yourself during the summer).

You can also be awarded a scholarship from the university and there’s plenty of research and field study grants out there; you just need to know where to find them ! I have been awarded a £1000 plant study grant and a £200 fee towards a conference (as talked about in my previous blog!) whilst completing my degree.

Edge Hill also offers financial advice and support to students who require it. They can offer advice on budgeting, help you find part time work and also help to make sure that you are aware of the financial support available to you. Also, each year the government provides the university with an allocated amount of money called the Access to Learning fund. This enables the university to support students who are struggling financially; I was awarded this in my first and second year because my income did not cover my outgoings (although I did have to prove this of course).

There is the option to work part time too, which is what the majority of students tend to do. I have worked several jobs throughout my time at university and although it can be difficult to manage this around full time study sometimes, it is doable ! I have always worked on a casual basis as a Student Guide and Blogger for Edge Hill and I have also had a cleaning job, carried out volunteer work and worked full time during the summer too.  Although this has meant that i’ve been extremely busy, it’s allowed me to keep up with my bills and i’ve actually developed lots of transferable skills that I can now use after I graduate!

Of course, a bit of common sense and budgeting skills also helps a lot ! I’ve cut down on a lot of things that I don’t really need (for example clothes shopping, expensive holidays and getting my nails done!), and just being organised and keeping on top of things really helps. I’ve found that because i’ve kept myself so busy, I don’t really miss out on some of the things I used to spend my money on because I now focus my energy on assignments and succeeding in my degree 🙂 Theres some very useful information out there as well such as Martin Lewis’ money saving expert website which I have found very useful !

Alex’s Blog – Where’s my money gone??

Probably the most often asked question when it comes to Open/Applicant Days has to be about finance… It’s something that, at the moment, can’t be brushed under the carpet and loads of potential students are worrying about it, even up to the point where they are deciding not to go to university!

But not to worry, there are lots of different ways of managing your finances without worrying about student debts.. after all you do only have to start repaying loans once you are earning over £21,000. You can also apply for scholarships (which will be covered in next month’s theme) and non-repayable grants. To find out about grant and loan entitlement, click on the following link:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/loangrantentitlement

You can also go to these links to find out more about help with finance at Edge Hill:

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/feesbursaries

http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/fees/fulltimeguide

It might be easy for me to say, but if I was applying to university again, my number one focus wouldn’t be the finances involved. Yes it is important but I would urge anyone thinking of applying to university not to let it be your overriding factor when it comes to making a choice! There are loads of ways you can save money and many different job opportunities both on and around the campus, including being a Student Guide or a Blogger! The majority of people I know manage perfectly… but I guess there are always the odd one or two who think they are rich when it comes to student loan day!

Alex 🙂

 

Charlotte’s Blog – Job Hunting!

As the end of my final year is approaching way too quickly and my time at Edge Hill is nearly coming to an end 🙁 I have finally decided I have put it off for long enough and started  on the job hunt! This is a question I get asked regularly as in what would I like to do after university but the scary thing is really do not know!!! I have loved studying Psychology for the past three years and would definitely like to carry on in an area of that as I have a specific interest in Educational or Forensic Psychology. Obviously I know its not as easy as that and if I wanted to carry on into one of these professions I would need to complete a masters. So at the minute I am just looking into Graduate jobs, as I have also loved Liverpool and would like to live there over the next few years! I will keep you updated on how the job hunt is going and if I finally decide what career path I want to take!!

Faye’s Blog – Independent Study Week

End of the week of work. Kinda happy but feel like I haven’t had a rest! But at the same time wish I had longer to do more work!

Going to try and keep on working a hell of a lot more though in the next few weeks.

It’s finally hit me how close I am to finishing uni now! 5/6 teaching weeks left! Scary.

I still haven’t found out when my interview for my PGCE is yet either which is starting to annoy me as I was told that I would probably have heard something by now! I’m going to email them this week though if I haven’t heard anything in the next couple of days!!

Elisha’s blog- grant awarded

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I will be attending the Ecological Genetics Group conference in April; well I was very pleased to find out this week that i’ve been awarded a grant to help with the cost of the conference. The grant was awarded to me by the Botanical Society of the British Isles (BSBI) who are an organisation for the identification of British and Irish plants. The BSBI supports research to enhance knowledge of the flora of the British Isles, with an interest in young botanists; they also awarded me a plant study grant in the summer to support my dissertation research. It’s great news that they’ve also agreed to support me at this conference as it’s the results if my dissertation that I will be presenting. I am very grateful for this funding and it just goes to show that there is support out there to help students with their research…. i’m really looking forward to presenting my results and I hope it is a huge success 🙂

A Week of Reading… (Stephanie’s Blog)

This Week I am on Reading Week so I don’t have too much to report. I have gone home for the Week with two of my Friends from University… We have been to London sightseeing and Windsor too!

Whilst in London we have been trying to get some inspiration and ideas for Advertising Campaigns, we have now reached the end of writing our own briefs so we are working from the D&AD Briefs. Every Year there is a Student Awards section of D&AD and an exhibition, this year as a University, we hope to exhibit!

If you want some briefs to work on or an insight into what exactly I do on my course and what a ‘real life’ brief is like then take a look at the link below.. http://www.dandad.org/awards/student/2013

Next week I will hopefully have more interesting things to discuss, as I have a busy week planned at University and my Events Management Module is getting very interesting. Also next week we start responding to the briefs so I will keep you posted on my ideas!

Alex’s Blog – QTS Test Success!

After passing the Numeracy QTS test last week and the Literacy test today, I can now (very happily) say that I passed both tests! This means that I have pretty much completed the conditions of my offer for the Secondary PE PGCE course at Edge Hill which I will be starting in September.

Now I can focus on finishing my dissertation which needs to be finished before March 22nd. Thankfully, I’m now up to the Results & Analysis stage which means I haven’t got too much to do once that’s done.

But I don’t want to complain too much as I do have more spare time, only being in one day a week, than I will have next year! After speaking to someone who is currently on the PGCE, I was told to, “make the most of free time as you won’t have much next year”! Still very excited about starting the course though!

Alex 🙂

Charlotte’s Blog – Dissertation & Deadlines!

The last few weeks have been a busy few! With deadlines looming and a dissertation to write but I finally feel as if I am getting some where with all the work! I have finally started writing up my dissertation which as I have mentioned is investigated the transition from primary to secondary school with a child who has Autism and their family, which is an area that was interesting to me and something which you may think of looking into for your dissertation when it finally comes around! I have found this very interesting to investigate and I have been enjoying writing up what I have found! So far I have wrote my introduction and methodology section so I feel like I am finally getting somewhere with that. However I have also got a lot of deadlines coming up over the next few weeks so I am trying to juggle the work load accordingly, that’s another thing that the uni experience teaches you how to manage your time effectively and how to juggle the word load to make sure the work is completed to your best. This is definitely a skill I did not have before attending uni leaving everything to the last minute!