Shopping for University on a budget!

Hello!

I know shopping for University can be exciting, at least it was for me! However, it is so easy to spend money on things you don’t need or too much money on things you could get cheaper. Keep reading for some tips and ideas on how to save as much as you can while you shop for the things you will need a university!

The Range

The Range is a really great place to get your bedding, towels, any decor you may need for your room like lamps, blankets etc. The prices here too are absolutely amazing. I didn’t know about this place until a few weeks before uni started and my friend took me there and I kicked myself because I could have saved so much money on the things I had already bought so make sure this is one of the first places you go!

b&m Bargains or Home Bargains

I love the treasures you can find in these shops and the prices are incredible too. Both B&M and Home Bargains are great shops to find things like laundry baskets or duvet and pillows and everything you could possibly need in the kitchen!

UniKitOut

Unikitout is an online store that puts together packs of the absolute esstentials that you will need. They provide a kitchen, bathroom and bedroom one that comes as it’s own kit and then if you need anything else you can shop for extras. This is a little more pricey but may end up costing you less in the long run as the packs are pretty stocked. Check them out here.

Thanks so much for reading today’s blog. I hope you’re getting as excited as I was, it’s going to be amazing! See you next time.

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Fun on a Budget

Hey all, I hope you’re having a good day and your March is going well!

As a University student, it’s always nice to kick back and have some fun in your spare time and have a break from studying and the student life. There are the obvious culprits; going to see a movie, bowling, going for a nice meal out, things like that. But if you do these things quite often, they can become expensive, and on a student’s budget, that can be an issue.

It’s certainly been an issue for me, especially as I am paying more towards accommodation this year than I was last year, so the last couple of months I’ve been trying to find alternative things to do that don’t make my wallet cry! And I’ve found some really awesome things to do!

Pub Quizzes and Games

I’ve recently started going to 3 different game nights at pubs a week. On Tuesdays, Mylo & Co do a variety of games and quizzes, all free of charge! These games include Rock N Roll Bingo, a general knowledge quiz and Deal or No Deal, which has the biggest prize of all; a bar tab (usually about £50)! This is usually followed by karaoke, which is a laugh!

On Thursdays there are two different quizzes. In the Golden Lion there’s a variety of games such as Play Your Cards Right, Bingo and Chicken Chucking, in which you chuck rubber chickens into a bucket in order to win chicken soup. This challenge is free, but you only have to pay £1 to play the others, and the money goes towards the Bingo jackpot! They also end the night with karaoke.

Also on Thursdays, Styles get the same company who do the Mylo & Co night to put on games, also free of charge. I’ve seen the Styles bar tab for winning Deal or No Deal actually go up to £200!

Clubs/Dancing

Styles also have an upstairs area in which you can go and dance free of entry on Fridays and Saturdays, so if you’re a fan of dancing but don’t want to have to pay entry fees, it’s a good way to party on a budget!

If you wanted to go into Liverpool for clubbing, there are places that have reasonably cheap entry or drinks. I used to spend a lot of money on entry or expensive drinks, however, this has recently changed.

I usually start my night in a pub named Poste House, which is just by Moorfields station. As it is a pub, it is free entry, and the drinks are at great prices, so it’s perfect for a quiet drink before you go out!

There are also a lot of nightclubs that do special entry on certain days. An example of this is GBar– also near Moorfields- which has free entry on both Thursdays and Sundays, and even host a special day rave called Fruit Sundae occasionally which is also free entry! There is also Heaven, which has free entry on both Fridays and Saturdays. Krazyhouse, which is closer towards the centre of Liverpool, also hold some events, such as the events for St Patrick’s Day and Easter that are coming up, which have free entry and cheap drinks! So you can go clubbing on a budget, just make sure you keep some money aside for trains or taxis!

Local Events in Ormskirk

Ormskirk has a lovely park called Coronation Park which sometimes does family fun fair type events. They do this at Halloween, and have a horror walk through the trees at the back, and also do this during the Summer and other holidays. It’s always fun to just decide to go to these with a few friends, go on a couple of the rides and get some candy floss, and it’s also not too expensive!

So those are just a few ways you can enjoy your free time on a budget! If you have any questions about anything in particular just drop them in the comments below!

Money Makes the World Go ‘Round: Budgeting for Students

Financial troubles are one of the biggest causes of stress for students and it’s not surprising. Since a lot of students go from living with their parents, not having to pay for much, to fending for themselves and probably having a lot less money than they are used to, they find it a struggle to stick to a budget. I thought I’d share with you a few tips that I’ve found useful in saving and managing money during my time at uni.

Draw up a budget and stick to it

The best way to keep track of how much money you have is to create a budgeting document. This highlights all the ingoing and outgoing money and from that you can work out how much you have spare to spend each week. I find that the most effective way of doing this on a word document but if you’re feeling it you can transfer it to an excel spreadsheet that you can colour code to easily refer back to. I get very excited over spreadsheets…

After you have drawn up a budget the biggest challenge is sticking to it! What I find helps to combat that is to keep track of everything you spend – I do this on the notes app of my phone – and then you won’t have any nasty surprises next time you check your bank balance. It will also prompt you to make smarter choices if you see what you are actually spending all your money on.

Shop smarter

A great way to save money is to try and go for cheaper shops such as Aldi or B&M. Finding cheaper alternatives to things you can afford to scrimp on will save you a lot of money. I tend to do my weekly shop in Aldi for around £15, whereas in first year I was spending nearly £30 a week in Morrisons! It also helps if you plan out your meals for the week and draw up a shopping list from there so you know exactly what you are getting, rather than aimlessly browsing the aisles.

Be harsh

To save money you have to be super harsh with yourself. If money is tight begin to really question whether you need something before spending the money on it – if you get into the habit of assessing the worth of what you buy you will begin to realise what you actually use and what is a waste of money.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you find yourself knee deep in your over-draft don’t just suffer in silence, speak to someone who may help you lift yourself out of it. Asking your friends and family for financial help may seem daunting and I don’t entirely recommend it but of you are in a really sticky situation the best thing to do is tell someone and they may be able to give you the help you need, whether that is a loan or some advice. Never go to loans companies above people you trust, it won’t end well!

All things budgeting…

Hello all, I hope you’ve had a good week so far!

One of the things that I’ve had a love-hate relationship with since arriving at Edge Hill in September is money and budgeting. Many students find that this is the first time they are completely reliant on their money source without the help of family- this was definitely the case for me. I had a regular income from local paper rounds, but I didn’t have to pay for my meals whilst at home and I didn’t have rent to pay, which all changed when I arrived.

Now, it might worry some people that they have so much responsibility, but if you breathe and plan out what money you have, you’ll be ok! So, I thought that I’d give you some of the tips I’ve picked up over the past 5 months or so, some I’ve had in my mind since September and some I’ve figured out from making mistakes along the way (something we all do, don’t worry!):

  • Get that calculator out: Once you know how much money you have for each semester, and once you know how much rent you need to be paying (if you’re in halls or renting elsewhere), work out exactly how much money you have a week to spend on food and recreational activities. This makes it a lot easier to make sure you’re spending the right amount of money each week, just don’t get tempted to go over budget!
  • Don’t pay for everything on your card: One of the mistakes I’ve learned from over the past few months… If you’re paying for everything on your card, because transactions take a while to come through with some banks and because it’s easier to forget exactly what you’ve spent that week. I fell into a loop hole of forgetting what I’ve spent, and it just made things harder in November and December. It’s stress that’s easily avoidable by drawing out your week’s money from the bank and only using that money. Physically holding your budget makes you think more about how much you have left to spend and stops people like me who see things they like and think “I need that now!!!”
  • Take every week as they come: Although you might have a set out budget, some weeks you might have a very busy week, and others might be very quiet. This means that you might spend more some weeks than others, and if you go over budget on one week by a little bit, don’t kick yourself about it, because you’ll have weeks when you have spare money! Just don’t get into a habit where you overspend for loads of weeks at a time- take some weeks out to do something that’s either cost free or doesn’t eat away at your budget! And yes, this is especially important when it comes to partying…

So, as long as you are sensible with your spending and keep in mind what exactly your budget is, you’ll be fine! There’s always help available at the University if you do need it, which takes a lot of weight off your shoulders (click this link if you want to read about just what the University offers and some more tips).

If you are wanting to apply for a Student loan, remember to keep checking the website to see when applications begin and get it in on time!

Below I will link some of the past blogs by other students on budgeting, but for now, I hope you have a lovely weekend!

 

Here’s what Ellie Clarke had to say: https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2016/08/28/budgeting-2/

Here’s what Beth Rhodes had to say: https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2016/07/24/living-on-a-budget/

Here’s what James Hubbard had to say: https://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/insideedge/2016/02/02/budgeting-student-finance-how-much-will-it-cost/

Living on a Budget

Money matters, at the end of the day it’s the whole reason why you’re going to uni; to widen your horizons and open up career opportunities! Hopefully you’ve chosen a course you are interested in which will definitely motivate you throughout the next three years until you reap your rewards with your first paycheck!

However unfortunately for now… living on a budget may be different to what you’ve experienced before living at home. It can be a sharp learning curve but you’ll soon become accustomed to how much money you have and how you’re going to distribute it i.e. on food and going out.

After the first few months you may find that your student loan isn’t as big as you originally thought after your rent money for your accommodation has come out. But don’t worry, you won’t be the only one that will sometimes have to pass on nights out now and then. However this isn’t the end of the world, if you’re lucky enough to have parents that are financially able to help- GREAT! You’re one of the lucky ones, however if not there are plenty of job opportunities around uni and Ormskirk that you can venture into.

There is a fine line between being able to maintain your studies and a job, you need to make sure that your priorities are correct, that being your course that will determine your future and that you are spending A LOT of money on! Don’t waste your time and have any regrets!

Good luck, if you can get get a summer job and get saving before you come to Uni if you can- you certainly won’t regret it!

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!

Faye’s Blog – Induction Day & Money!

So today I had my induction day at Next! It went really well and I actually start my job tomorrow!! Excited.
Now this means I will be earning money! And I am going to try my best to save up as much of it as possible, which means using my previous budgeting tactics from uni to help me!!

Now I have finished uni I feel like I have spent the last three years of my life living off no money what so ever, so I think I am going to be good at saving up my wages.

Budgeting was a major part of university life and it is really difficult to stick too. You have to find the healthy balance of what you can afford to spend and what you need to spend.
Necessities; food, housing, house bills, phone bills, health care.
University; stationary, course material (books etc.)
Nights out; club entry, travel, alcohol, outfit.
Socialising; cinema, going out for food etc.
Luxuries; extra clothes, CD’s, DVD’s etc.

You really need to think about things you cannot live without and how much they are and then the things that you don’t really need and can live without, no matter how much you think you can’t!

If you do run into any trouble though there are services on campus that can help you out with budgeting and ‘crisis’ loans.

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.