Managing Your Finances As A Student Is As Easy As ABC

University is one of the most crucial parts of your life, which is why you mustn’t let financial worries get in the way. Encountering a few hurdles along the way is perfectly natural. Still, disruptions to your academic progress cannot be allowed to creep in. If they do, there’s a strong chance you’ll be left with regrets and unfulfilled potential.

Learning to take responsibility and manage your finances in a suitable manner is essential. It may seem daunting, but you can overcome most of the issues in just three easy steps. Here’s all you need to do.

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Tuition and related university fees are far from cheap, but finding the right student loan can remove some of the pressure. Other forms of funding may be available too, but it’s important to find one where the repayment starts after graduation. Otherwise, this could become a source of great stress.

Earning a little money to support your studies can be highly beneficial. A part-time job is a good option but isn’t the only way. These examples of trading show how the online arena can be used to increase your bank balance. Likewise, starting a blog or offering your services on a freelance basis can work wonders too.

While you don’t need to be rich to get yourself through the student years, having a little money in your pocket will remove a lot of strain. Do not forget it.

Budget

Having money certainly eases the tension, but you still need to be frugal with it. After all, you’re not going to have a full-time job when you’re busy studying. Getting organised with online banking and a clear understanding of when direct debits leave your account is vital. This will help you avoid late fees.

Moreover, you should try to incorporate these money-saving tips for students into your life. By spending less on daily habits and direct student fees, you’ll gain a huge sense of satisfaction. Better still, those skills should stand you in good stead for future life challenges once you’ve finished university.

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You needn’t stick religiously to your budgets. But knowing exactly how much you spend should help you pinpoint and eradicate problematic habits far sooner.

Credit

Good financial health isn’t solely about the amount of money sitting in your bank account at any given time. It’s likely that you’ll be a little short of money from time to time, and buying items on credit can be a solution. However, you must ensure that you are capable of meeting the repayment terms while also securing the best deals.

Several factors will contribute to the rates offered and the opportunities that are made available. Therefore, going the extra mile to keep your credit score in good health should be one of the top items on your agenda. By landing the best deals, you will naturally keep your finances in a far better condition.

Get each of these three aspects under control, and your finances will remain in good health. It won’t suddenly make you rich, but it will let you focus on your studies.

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7 Ways To Spend Less As A Student

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Many students can find it difficult to financially survive even with a student loan. Fortunately, there are many cost-cutting tricks that can help you to make the most of uni life. Here are just 7 ways in which you can spend less as a student.

Download e-books

Most courses will require you to buy some form of literature whether it’s a textbook or a novel to study. You can often save money on these by downloading them as e-books rather than buying physical copies. This may require investing in an e-reader first, although you can still read them on a tablet or a laptop.

Shop around online for supplies

You can buy many supplies such as HP printer ink and cartridges online for much cheaper than you would in the stores. Even with the cost of delivery, many of these supplies are cheaper. Don’t forget to also try second-hand sites such as Gumtree for cheap supplies such as used books.

Rent a laptop

If you don’t own a laptop and don’t have enough to buy one, you could always rent one. Many universities now offer laptop rental services for students in which you pay a small amount each month. You often don’t have to rent the laptop for a fixed term – if you only need a PC for a couple months whilst writing your dissertation, this could be a good shout.

Cook your own meals

It’s all too easy to overspend on takeaways and pub meals. Get into a habit of cooking your own meals. When shopping at the supermarket, buy food supplies in bulk and give own brand food items a chance. Try to eat healthily and not stick to £1 pizzas and noodles – vegetables are often very cheap compared to meets.

Pre-drink

Uni life can often involve a fair amount of boozing. Rather than spending huge amounts on drinks at your local bar or club, take advantage of comparatively cheap supermarket drink prices and dedicate some time to pre-drinking. You’ll end up spending a lot less when you go out and a lot less overall.

Share stuff with fellow students

You can save a lot of money by sharing things with fellow students. This could include cooking each other meals, sharing Netflix accounts and even sharing textbooks. By sharing the cost of these items, you could each save money.

Take advantage of student discounts

There are many places where you can take advantage of student discounts – many of which people aren’t aware of. With an NUS card, you can get discounts on shopping at Co-op, discounts on clothes at ASOS, A 12% discount on a 16 – 25 railcard and a 49% discount at Alton Towers. You can find out more about these discounts at the NUS site. Be wary that there may be local bars, restaurants and shops also offering student discounts.

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Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying A Property

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If you have decided that the time has come to purchase your first property, there is a lot that needs to be considered. Not only do you need to consider whether you are financially ready to do so, but you must make sure you are ready to put down roots in the area in question and you need to make sure that the property is right for you. With that being said, continue reading to find out about the key questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a property. This should help you to make the right decision for you.

Is your credit score good? There is only one place to begin, and this is with your credit rating. You can easily access your credit rating for free online today, and this is something you should definitely do. This will give you a good understanding as to what sort of offer you will get when you seek a mortgage. After all, if your rating is fair, you may still get offered a mortgage, however, you won’t get offered the best rates. Therefore, you may want to work on improving your credit rating before you make a mortgage application so that you will get offered a much better deal.

Are you ready to put down roots in the area? It is important to remember that when you purchase a property, you are not just buying the bricks and mortar, you are buying into an area. This is why you need to make sure that you are ready to put down roots here. Can you see yourself living in this area for years and years to come? Are you happy with your job here? Would you be happy to send your children to school here?

Can you afford the mortgage? – There are many different costs associated with buying a property, yet there is no denying that your home loan is going to be the biggest expense. You can use a refinance calculator to find out whether or not you will be able to afford a mortgage comfortably. If you can’t, or you are not happy with the rates you have been offered, you should work on your credit score and keep saving until you feel you are in a position whereby the mortgage is right for your circumstances.

Are you making decisions based on your emotions? Emotional decisions are often where we go wrong in life. When we make decisions based more on our emotions, we end up living to regret it. The worst thing you can do is buy a property based on emotions. Yes, you may see a property that you love, but if it does not cater to your requirements, it is no good for you. It is easy to get attached to a house and convince yourself that you can compromise. But once a few years have passed by, you will regret it.

Does the home and the location provide long-term resale value? You also need to look at the financial side of things in terms of future profit. The last thing you want to do is purchase in an area that is in decline. Instead, you need to do your research regarding house prices in the area. Do not only look at historical prices, but consider the future. Are there any developments in the pipeline that could impact the resale value? After all, while historical prices are beneficial, they do not guarantee that an upward curve is going to continue.

Have you got enough money to deal with any maintenance and repairs? Unlike renting, when you buy a home, you are going to be responsible for all of the maintenance and repairs. If the boiler breaks, you need to fix it. If the shower stops working, you need to pay for it to be sorted out. You can’t give these responsibilities to someone else, which is why it is so important to make sure you have an emergency fund so that you can pay for all of these issues as and when they arise.

Do you understand your wants vs. your needs? When it comes to purchasing a property, you need to have a thorough understanding of both your wants and your needs. What sorts of things are you willing to negotiate on? What sort of things are a necessity? Before you go to start house hunting, you should have a list of all of the things that are non-negotiable. This will ensure you can search for a property with greater clarity. However, make sure you actually understand your wants and needs. For a lot of people, the lines are blurred. They think they need certain things, when, in fact, they just want it.

As you can see, there are a number of important questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing a property. If you ask all of the questions that have been mentioned above, and you give honest answers to yourself, you should be able to come to the best decision for you. After all, there is no denying that purchasing a property is a massive investment. This is not something that you should rush into. You need to ensure the property is right for you and that you can afford it, which is why the questions mentioned above are so important.

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Careers That Will Give You More Than Just A Paycheck Each Month

There’s a difference between a job and a career. A job is a means of making ends meet. A career is something that you’re passionate about, and want to pursue further so that you’re not only bringing in money, but you’re getting something else out of it too. Have you ever wanted more from your job than just a headache and a pay packet? Take a look at these careers that will do more for you than just give you a paycheck each month and see if any of them take your fancy!

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Chef

Being a good chef means that you’ve got to be able to stand the heat within the kitchen, make decisions on the spot, and also direct a group of people as well as work with them to create food that people are going to love and enjoy. It’s a role that many people aren’t able to handle because of the unsociable hours and the pressure that you’re put under. However, if you’re a successful chef, you will have the pride of receiving comments about your food, and you’ll be able to work your way from a line chef to a head chef if you work hard enough. Being able to cook also helps at home too when you’re cooking for the family or entertaining guests!

Teacher

Making the decision to become a teacher requires passion for the education system. It’s a role that will test your patience from time to time, but it gives you the wonderful opportunity to be able to help mould the minds of the future generations. You will meet amazing students that will inspire you to carry on. Best of all? You’ll have the gratitude from parents for helping their children achieve the very best in their life. You can find teacher jobs online or alternatively, hand your CV in to local schools and wait for some call backs!

Carer

Some people aren’t as fortunate in life as others, and live some if not all of their lives, being unable to take care of themselves. Whether it’s old age, a physical condition, or a mental illness that’s disabling them from being able to look after themselves, it’s extremely debilitating. Being able to help someone achieve simple tasks such as getting dressed or making themselves lunch is an incredible feeling. While this role has difficult parts too, the reward is seeing how much of a difference you can make to someone’s life by simply just being there.

Writer

Finally, if you’re more of a thinker rather than a do-er, then a career within the writing industry might just be the perfect one for you. Again, not an easy role, but when you see people reading the content that you’ve produced and congratulating you for it, it’s a wonderful experience. Imagine having your writing published and becoming as famous as say, J.K. Rowling? How amazing would that be?

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Money Issues Everyone Faces

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Money, money, money… Everyone has it in life, and unfortunately the world won’t go around without it. Money and finance isn’t the most exciting topic in the world to talk about however it is integral to the way we live our lives. When you reach teenage and adulthood, money will start to become a large part of your life and eventually it will be common place to worry about your savings and bills. Here are some of the most common issues that everyone faces with money during their lives, and don’t worry because you are not alone with money troubles in life!

Getting into credit card debt

One of the things which will surprise you as you get older is the fact that it can actually be beneficial to have a credit card or take out short term loans for yourself now and again. Our credit history is built upon the credit cards and loans we take out and pay back, and by taking out loans and paying them back in time you can actually build up a decent credit score for your future mortgage or car. The issue that comes with a credit card is the temptation to spend beyond our means, and so many of us overestimate how much we can afford to use and this can cause us to end up getting into debt.

Students loans

After reaching college and potentially going off for university or an online degree, one of the main things you will suffer with is student debt. Student loans are often the only way you will be able to afford to study at university and it is this which can be an inescapable trap for many young people in this day and age. The good news is that you only have to start paying back your student loan once you earn a certain wage so you can spend some years saving up a small sum for when that day finally does arrive.

Struggling to save

Saving is the ultimate buzzword when it comes to finance as you grow into adulthood, and we spend our whole lives trying to save up money for one thing or another. To start off with it is usually a car or a house, then it could be a wedding, and then it could be children.. but no matter what, saving up can be hard. The key to saving successfully is to create a standing order which comes out of your account every time you get paid and goes straight to your savings account, this way you can’t spend the money you should be saving up.

Low wages for your lifestyle

Everyone wants to live a life of luxury, adventure and fun, but there are so many of us nowadays who struggle to do what they want to do with their lives. Living a fun lifestyle can be expensive and we often don’t have the money to go out and enjoyhe things we want to. The key is to remember that life’s what you make of it and you can have fun without spending a pretty penny. As long as you are surrounded by people you love, you can do anything and have a great life.

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Concrete Steps You Can Take to Become More Eco-friendly

 

 

If you’re looking for simple but effective ways to do your bit to protect the planet, keep reading. In this blog, we suggest concrete steps you can take to become more eco-friendly in your day-to-day life.

Don’t send your litter to landfill

If you have a bad habit of discarding all of your rubbish in regular bins when you’re out and about, now’s the time to stop. As environmental and safety product provider Glasdon points out in its eBook ‘Socially Responsible Me’, one way to become greener is to make sure you use recycling bins whenever you can. These eco-friendly containers are now easy to find on the streets, in supermarket car parks and elsewhere, meaning there’s no excuse to send plastic, paper, glass and other recyclable materials to landfill.

Instead of getting drinks in disposable cups or bottles when you’re on the go, why not invest in a reusable drinks holder? Try to steer clear of plastic-wrapped sandwiches and salads too. If you can, prepare your food at home in advance.

Reduce waste at home

Before you do your food shop, check your cupboards and fridge to see what you’ve already got and what you need. By making sure you only buy what you’ll actually use, you can minimise any wastage. Also, when you have leftovers after meals, try to get into a routine of freezing this food rather than binning it.

Think about how your household uses energy too. The chances are, you can take simple steps to cut your usage of gas and electricity. For example, make sure you switch off your appliances and lights when you’re not using them. You might also want to lower the temperature in your house during winter. By dropping the thermostat by a degree or two, you could significantly lower your energy consumption. If you get a tad chilly, simply reach for a jumper. Another way to become more environmentally-friendly is to ditch your tumble dryer in favour of a clothes line whenever possible.

Think green in the office

It might be time for your company to conduct a waste audit to see if you’re using any resources unnecessarily. While you’re at it, why not try to make the shift to a paperless office? This will mean you get through less paper – and it has the added benefit of making it easier to keep your workplace organised.

Although these actions may not seem like much in themselves, put together they can seriously reduce your carbon footprint and mean you’re much kinder to the planet.

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Choosing an Office Chair that Really Suits Your Style

 

 

Given the amount of time you may spend sitting in your office chair, it’s important that this piece of furniture is comfy and supportive – but this doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style. With a host of seating solutions now available, you can get chairs that are both practical and pleasing to the eye.

If you’re searching for inspiration for your next workplace chair, you might want to check out Furniture At Work’s recent infographic ‘My chair: get the celebrity look in your office’. Showcasing some classic seating styles and revealing what the designs say about their owners, it could give you some great ideas for your next office purchase. Keep reading to discover a few of the looks explored in the infographic.

Understated chic

Are you the sort of person who prefers to blend in at work rather than stand out? Do you enjoy some privacy and peace and quiet when you’re getting on with your tasks? If so, an office chair that exudes understated chic may be your best bet. Perhaps an elegant yet simple visitor chair or operator seat finished in neutral shades such as cream, black or grey would suit you. There are plenty of models available that fit into this category. In fact, they’re among the most popular types of office chair.

Making a statement

On the other hand, if you like to be noticed in the workplace, you’ll want a chair that makes a statement. One of the easiest ways to showcase your personality is to opt for a seating solution in a bold, vibrant colour. From red and orange to green and purple, there are plenty of striking hues to choose from that reflect a direct, assertive character. As well as going for a standout colour, you might want to choose a contemporary seating design, such as an angular mesh model. These chairs can signal your playful, creative side.

The executive look

If you want to assert your authority at work, a leather chair is hard to beat. These timeless designs have long been a hit in manager’s offices and boardrooms thanks to the sense of professionalism and power they convey. Black leather is the classic choice, and this material can be brought bang up to date when teamed up with chrome and steel. You’re bound to feel in control at your desk when you’re sitting in one of these chairs.

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Things That Every Great Entrepreneur Needs To Know

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Becoming a great entrepreneur is a gradual process. Despite how successful business owners might present themselves, it isn’t something that happens overnight. As we’ll discuss in this article, becoming good at running a business is a learning curve. You have to make some mistakes and keep developing yourself, as well as your company, if you want to succeed. Here are some of the things that every great entrepreneur needs to know.

Failure is part of the learning curve.

This is something that many entrepreneurs don’t realise. Failing on a minor or a major level doesn’t mean you’re not cut out for the business world. In fact, failure is necessary to making it in the business world. You need to understand how your industry works, and making mistakes is the best way to learn which routes shouldn’t be taken. Perhaps you’ll come up with a few bad ideas that don’t really take off, but that’s okay. It’s part of the learning curve.

You might even want to sell your business if one of your initial ideas didn’t work out in the way you imagined. You can do some research over at AFHWM if you want help in this regard. The profits you make from the sale of that business can be used to support your next business venture. And you’ll know which mistakes to avoid making on your next attempt at building a successful company. The vast majority of wildly successful entrepreneurs failed time and time again before they finally nailed the winning recipe for their businesses.

Investment is necessary for business growth.

Another thing that every great entrepreneur needs to know is this: investment is necessary for business growth. Your company won’t get anywhere unless you invest in it. It’s understandable that many small businesses fail in this regard because many business owners are afraid to take risks. You might be in the same boat. You don’t want to spend your profits unwisely. However, these risks are necessary; if you don’t stimulate your business’ growth then it’ll fail to beat the competition and it’ll fail. Making a bad investment shouldn’t scare you off. As mentioned in the last point, every mistake is part of the learning curve. But you should start investing in areas such as technology, marketing, and employees. It’s a stereotypical thing to say, but you really do need to spend money to make money.

A loyal client base is everything.

Every businessperson knows that making a profit is essential to the success of a company, but you need to think about this on a bigger scale than simply “making sales”. Turning over a decent profit from good sales figures is a good start, but you might only be getting one-time customers. If you want to ensure the longevity of your company then you need to be finding ways to secure repeat customers. That way, you’ll ensure that your sales figures remain promising in the long-term because you’ll have a loyal client base that sticks by you. The way to achieve this is to build good relationships with customers. Thank them for their custom. Email vouchers and discounts to clients to get them returning time and time again. If you value your customers then they’ll value your business.

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How To Give Your Partner A Style Makeover

If you’re the kind of girl who is fashion mad, then style is always going to be a key part of your life. Now, if you have a partner, they are also going to be an essential part of your life. While you love your partner and all his cute quirks, his strange fashion sense might not be one of them. You don’t love him any less because he lacks a sense of style, it’s just that you would love to help him reach his full fashion potential with a style makeover.

Does your partner lack a sense of style? If so, you might be keen to do something about how he dresses and help him to become a more style concious individual. The question is, of course, how can you go about doing that without offending him? The key to success here is being smart about how you go about it.

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Dig deeper

Ask your partner (casually) where his sense of style comes from – find out why he dresses like he does. He might have styled his look on his favourite TV star or band or it could just be that, like many men, he dresses for comfort. If this is the case, what you need to do is show your man that he can easily achieve the perfect combination of both style and comfort, it’s just about teaching him how to edit his sense of style and showing him that style and comfort can go together.

Say he lives in sweatpants, what you want to do is get him to try on a pair of stretchy skinny jeans that fit well and are comfortable. These can be just as comfortable to wear as sweats and look far smarter. While skinny cuts are on trend this season, for bulkier men, a slim cut can be a slightly better choice.

Surprise him with some new clothes

A lot of guys don’t like to show for themselves, so it might be down to you to surprise him with some new clothing. If you know his size, you can easily shop for him. There are plenty of clothing stores, like John Henric, for instance, that offer a wide selection of clothing that comes in a range of styles designed to perfectly fit any size and shape. So whatever your man’s size and height, you should be able to find him some more stylish pieces.

When you surprise him, simply tell him that you saw the item and just new it would look incredible on him, and so, had to buy it. If he’s not sure about the piece, ask him to try it on and see how it looks – the chances are that once it is on, he’ll love it.

Encourage him to get a new haircut

If your man has worn the same hairstyle for years, now is the ideal time to change that. Maybe the hairstyle he has just isn’t all that smart, and looks a little messy. Get him to have his hair cut into a more polished and on-trend style. Create a Pinterest moodboard of ideas and ask him to pick a cut that he would like to try, and see which he goes for.

You will both be amazed by how much difference a new hairstyle can make to your partner’s appearance. It’s incredible how much of a change a new haircut can make to how fashionable and on trend a person looks.

There you have it, a guide to everything that you need to know about giving your partner a style makeover.

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Running Circles Around Your Larger Competitors

Think of your small business as the roadrunner. And picture a large competitor you see as a rival as the wily coyote. The roadrunner is far quicker and more flexible than the coyote. As long as he remains this way, the larger and more powerful coyote cannot catch him. This is what is happening in the real world of business, whereby any time consumer trends shift, the economy plunges, or a new technology emerges, small business runs circles around large business. On the face of it, it may not look that way because larger corporations find a way, and that’s true, they do. But they stand a bigger chance than you of being late to the party. So as a small business owner, how can you remain at the forefront of demand from clients, consumers and even investors?

Go the extra mile

A company that is ready to work at short notice, performs to the desired standard, and produces a great result for the client, is going to be the first order of call of many different companies. They know that if they are in an emergency, and they need a business to perform a task for them, be it research, complete a marketing project, file a report using their collected data or simply, sell their products, then you should be their for them. Going the extra mile to cater for such companies will land you in a position where you will be receiving loyal clients and those that are willing to pay you very well in return for your ability to adapt to their demands quickly.

 

Target short-term work

Every business has it’s long term goals, but keeping your eye on those is short-sighted. You must be willing to take on short-term work so that you can make a little extra profit if you ever have the chance. Long-term goals are often fraught with financial inaccuracies whether small or large. However, first you need to have the discussion about umbrella company vs paye and what kind if best for you. PAYE is paid as you earn, which is basically an open-ended agreement that two parties must hold to. You can also refer to these as zero-hour contracts as there is no guarantee of work but if there is, you’ll be paid for the amount that you do, do. On the other hand, an umbrella company is set up in purpose to find companies work. They will charge you a fee for doing this but many clients go to them so that they can use their contacts i.e. a business such as your own, to fill short-term orders. This could mean working on a project with other companies or simply performing menial tasks such as collecting data, doing surveys and perhaps basic marketing projects. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages, but they both offer short-term work for a company that is seeking to make a quick buck.

Large businesses don’t adapt well to sudden changes. Small businesses do however, which is why clients will often utilise them and give them short-term work. You should keep yourself in this kind of market, not just to usurp your larger rivals, but to remain flexible.

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