Our financial goals for 2017

It's that time of the year where we reflect upon last years goals and set some new goals for 2017. 2016 was a huge year for us both; from getting married in January to Chris transferring universities in the Autumn it felt like it was all change. We are big believers in the benefits of writing downs goals to help with accountability and this year is no different. We are sharing how we did with our 2016 goals and what we have planned for 2017. 


2017 Financial Resolutions




Our 2016 goals
1. Save £2000 for the car -> We have earmarked the money Rebecca received from her grandad as inheritance as money for buying a car. 
2. Continue saving for a house deposit. -> We have diligently contributed to our Help to Buy ISAs the maximum amount (£200 each) every month. With the 25% bonus from the scheme gained £1200 in free money (when we buy our house). 
3. Have a debt-free post graduation life ->  The week after final exams Beckie started a graduate job in an Independent Financial Advisors firm. It quickly became apparent that this was not the career she wanted to be in (or the kind of work environment she would be happy in) and as a last minute decision she decided to reinstate her place at the London School of Economics studying a Masters in Law. Nonetheless we have still been able to cashflow the studies (with the help of our savings) and Beckie is now applying for PhD programs for next year. 
4. Chris to get a part-time job to replace the one he left in December 2015 -> Chris picked up a part time job at MacDonalds. Its not all that glamorous but he enjoys the social aspect of it (and its a nice break from uni). Its not been all bade as he is being promoted to crew trainer and has even won employee of the month in October. It is flexible around his studies and allows him to pick up extra hours during the holidays which works well for us. 


Our 2017 goals
  • Save £6,000 in our ISAs, £3000 each in mine + Chris' (Help to buy ISA transferring to Lifetime ISA in April). 
    • We are still working on the goal of buying a house the year Chris graduates (2019). We are therefore aiming to put £6000 into ISAs this year towards this goal. Which would see us achieve a balance of £12,250 in ISAs; with the 25% bonus scheme we would receive a bonus of just over £3,000. It is this bonus that is the driving force for us saving as much as we can into our ISAs.
  • Meal plan every month in advance (and stick to it). 
    • We definitely slipped out of the habit of meal-planning (or just eating in). We want to plan out our meals for the month in advance and reduce the number of times we take trips to the supermarket to once or twice a week. 
  • Obtain funding for my PhD either in the form of a scholarship or a research council grant.
    • Beckie is currently applying for PhDs in law/criminal justice and to be able to pursue this goal she needs to obtain funding (or a super awesome part-time job). There are a few things in the pipe-line so we will keep you posted on this. 
  • Never pay full price when dining out. 
    • We love to dine out. Whilst we want to cut down a bit (and meal planning will help with this) we are also keen to reduce the cost of eating out. Our goal is to never pay full price, whether that means using coupons, buying discounted gift cards or student discount. 
What are your financial goals for 2017?

Financial checklist for the new year

2016 has flown by, and 2017 is now only a few days away.  Here at SavingScotts we have compiled a financial checklist to get 2017 off to a flying start. 

The start of a new year provides a great opportunity to assess your financial situation and goals to make effective plans for the new year (and perhaps even some new years resolutions). As with all finances if you are in a serious relationship we recommend that if you have a spouse or partner to work through this checklist together and it is important you are both on the same page about finances (check out our post on money conversations to have with your spouse if your feeling a bit apprehensive about having a joint checklist meeting).


To get your new year off to a great start we have shared some of the key items to include in you financial resolution checklist. To help you on your way we have included a free printable which you can find at the bottom of the post. 



New Year's Financial Resolutions


Assess your current situation. 

Look at how much you have in debt, savings and investments and make a note of it as this is the starting point for your year. It is important to be familiar with your starting point to allow goals to be made and progression to occur. Reflect upon the past year and how your financial situation has changed throughout 2016. A great way to do this is to know your current net worth and where your assets and liabilities are held. This will allow you to compare where you are now to throughout the year. 

Pay down debt 
Paying down debt is key to making financial headway. Credit card and other consumer debt should be highest on your priority list. Look at paying off the debt with the highest interest level first in order to save more money. If you are working on paying off debt have a read of our 5 steps to becoming debt free. 

Check your credit score
Though it is a good idea to check it regularly, now is a great time to check it. We love to use Noddle who provide a free credit check for life. Making sure your credit score is where you need it to be is important when you set your goals for 2017.  For example, you may want to take out a mortgage, but have just discovered your very low credit score, knowing this information will allow you to take steps to amend your credit score and move it in the direction you want it to go. 

Set your goals

Set a few goals (but not too many) to aim for achieving this year. If you have any debt then your focus should be on working to pay of this debt first before any savings goals are set. Whatever your goal is it is important write it down and make realistic steps for achieving that goal. Think about how you will achieve this goal? Will you need to cut spending, do you want to take on a second job, work from home more. There are so many ways that you could achieve goals, so it is important to discuss the how within the making of a plan. 

Perfect that budget

If you already are using a budget then work through how effective it is and if there are any areas that need to be tweaked (especially in light of the goals you have set). If you don't already use a budget then now is a great time to start. Get out a pen and paper and write down your income and expenses for the month. If you prefer an app why not try Dave Ramsey's every dollar or out student budget spreadsheet. What is important is to pick a method, go through your budget monthly and stick to it. 

Be tax efficient.

Tax efficient savings accounts often have a limit of how much can save within a certain period. Whilst in the UK all of this periods are based around the tax year; the new year provides a good opportunity to assess how much you are going to want to use up of those allowances (obviously the optimal option is to max them out, but that can't always be the case). For those in the UK making use of accounts such as ISAs (tax-free savings accounts) especially Help to Buy or the soon to be launched lifetime ISAs where you can receive a 25% bonus on all your savings when used for property. If you are saving for retirement, ensure that make use of the tax relief (for most its 20%) meaning that if you contribute £8000 into your pension, the government will raise it to £10,000. 


How are you preparing for 2017?



Financial Checklist



______________________________________________________




    If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:

    • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
    • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek (get £5 free with this link) to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
    • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
    • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
    • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

    Earn money tutoring

    Becoming a private tutor is a great job option for university students. It is flexible, you manage your hours, for anyone looking to go into teaching it is also great experience. Depending on your qualifications you could earn £15 - 30 per hour depending on your experience. If you have academic knowledge, good communication skills and lots of patience then tutoring may be the job for you.


    earn money  tutoring

    How much should I charge?
    There are a few factors to consider for how much you should be charging. The first is your experience, do you have a undergraduate, postgraduate or PhD in this subject (the price should increase respectively) and do you have previous teaching experience of this subject. Secondly you will want to think about transportation costs if you go to the student. 
    However, don't forget Tutoring doesn't just have to be face-to-face. There is an increasing demand for Skype tutors (allowing you to cut down on the cost of transportation and increase profits). But if you are tutoring face-to-face you are going to want to determine if you go to the student or if they come to you.

    What should it tutor?
    In the U.K. demand is primarily for 11+, common entrance exams, GCSE and A-levels tutoring. Try to think about which exam systems you have experience with (and success in) and focus upon teaching these areas.In addition, it is often easiest and most appropriate to tutor in a subject directly or closely related to your degree subject (I.E maths and physics for those studying engineering) as this demonstrates a higher level of understanding in this subject than your student is required to learn.
    If you speak another language fluently or play a musical instrument to a high level (typically at least grade 8) then you might want to consider tutoring in these areas and these also present lucrative tutoring opportunities.

    When tutoring you will want to be aware of what exam board the student is studying for and be familiar with the specifications of that exam board in order to tailor the tutoring to their needs. Be sure to brush up on the course syllabus before you start tutoring so you can provide the best quality service possible.

    How to advertise?
    Websites such as GumTree or other local listing sites are a great place to start. Beckie had a flatmate in her first year of university who found maths tutees this way very successfully. Whilst tutor specific sites such as First Tutors 

    Word of mouth is also a great option. Ask family and friends if they know anyone who needs tuition. Once you start to get tutees  encourage them to share your services with their friends (perhaps offer a referral discount) as this is a great way to gain new clients.

    Creating a Facebook page or website to advertise your tutoring services is another great way to share your tutoring services and adds a level of professionalism.

    Reaching out to schools. Putting up flyers at schools (or university) is another great way to reach out to potential students. Just make sure to get the necessary permission first.

    Have you worked as a tutor? What are your experiences of it as a part time job.
    ______________________________________________________



    If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
    • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
    • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek  (get £5 free with this link) to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
    • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
    • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
    • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

    Win £500 with smart money people

    We all come into contact financial service providers. Maybe you had some amazing customer service who went out of their way to help you. Or perhaps you had a terrible experience where you felt like you were going around in circles. Well here is your opportunity to share your experience and be in with a chance to win £500.


    SavingScotts is working with Smart Money People whose mission is to improve banking, so we welcome bad reviews as much as good ones. They are collecting honest reviews to get an accurate picture of which financial companies are best (and which are worst!). Everyone has a chance to have their say, as every single review is helping to make financial services better for everyone.

    To be in with a chance to win £500 all you have to do is head to Smart Money People and write a review (good, bad or indifferent) for a financial product (anything from current accounts to credit cards). For every review you write between now and February  you can be enerered into the prize draw. 
    ______________________________________________________



      If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
      • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
      • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
      • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
      • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
      • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!





      #giveorgift


      We've all received a secret Santa gift that just wasn't our taste. Often it can feel like this way of gift sharing is a waste of money. Even though it was designed to make gift giving in big group settings more manageable. But imagine if Secret Santa was an opportunity to bring meaningful joy to others and avoid waste.


      give or gift

      This year SavingScotts along with the rest of the UK Money Blogger community is joining together to form an alternative to secret Santa called #giveorgift

      Instead of buying a physical gift for Secret Santa the idea is that the recipient can opt for the gift to go to charity instead. 

      Which charities are #giveorgift supporting?


      We’re supporting six charities this year with the money raised evenly split between them. So a £5 donation plus Gift Aid will see each of the following receive just over £1:
      * The Trussell Trust (food poverty)
      * Shelter (housing and homelessness)
      * Citizens Advice (money and legal help)
      * Children in Need
      * Stand up to Cancer
      * DEC (humanitarian crisis)

      For more information on these charities click here. 

      How do I donate?
      If you’ve been allocated someone who wants you to give to charities on their behalf, simply donate the present fund at BT.com/GiveOrGift. You can print out a giving certificate so there’s something to handover on the day everyone exchanges presents. We are using BT.com because they don't take a cut of the charitable donations unlike other giving sites. 

      UK Money Bloggers have even created a pack to help you on your way to organising a #giveorgift including sign up sheets and gift certificates for those who want to give something to show they have given to a charity. You can find these and more here

      Learn more about how you can get involved in the #giftorgive initiative over at UK Money Bloggers 


      ______________________________________________________




        If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
        • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
        • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
        • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
        • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
        • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

        Financial goals to reach by age 30

        This week Chris turns 30. This big milestone got us talking about what financial goals are great to achieve by 30 to give you a great foundation for financial success. Today we are sharing our top 15 financial goals to achieve by age 30. 


        financial goals by 30

        1. Get out of debt.
        Your twenties are likely to be the years when your first accumulate debt. Obviously the easiest option would be to never get into debt in the first place, but life doesn't always work out like that. If you are in debt purpose to become debt free by 30 allowing you to spend future years accumulating wealth rather than drowning in a sinking hole of debt. 

        2. Retirement savings.
        It is never too early to start saving for retirement. Make sure you are taking advantage of employer contributions and tax breaks to make the most of your investments. Setting up a regular payment each month will help you to achieve this goal without feeling the pinch. We recommend contributing about 8-10% of your income towards retirement. Also if you have changed jobs, it is also a great idea to move you pension funds into a single account allowing you to manage them more easily. 

        3. Be bold about your career.
        Your career is going to be the main source of income in your life so it is important to choose something you enjoy.  Your late 20s is a great time to assess where you are in your career and if you are happy with the current trajectory. If you are not happy in your job NOW is the time to make a change. Chris started his Engineering degree at 28 having decided he was no wanting to spend the rest of his working years in sales and we know in the long term this decision will be for the better.

        4. Financial independence.
        Gaining financial independence from family and friends is a key. Whilst you may have relied on them to 'help you out' in the past now is the time to move away from that habit as it not only doesn't build financial independence it creates relationship problems. 

        5. Have an emergency fund.
        Having a solid emergency fund is a valuable financial asset. This money is set aside and used ONLY in the case of emergency. As financial responsibilities become greater (i.e having a family or a mortgage) having this contingency plan becomes increasingly important. An emergency fund of 6 months of expenses (not your 6 months income) is a good benchmark to aim for. 

        6.  Get life insurance.
        Often your employer will offer some form of life insurance (or death in service). Life insurance is like your BIG emergency fund and just like an emergency fund the more financial responsibility you have the more important it is. 

        7. Learn how to budget properly.
        Knowing how to create an effective budget and sticking to it will help give you to the tools to achieve financial goals in the future. Only through knowing where your money is going will you be able to manage and manipulate your budget to meet your needs and aims. We love using Tiller as our way of tracking our spending for budgeting purposes. 

        8. Live away from home.
        Living away from the parents and other family is key to developing financial independence. It allows you to gain a realistic understanding of day to day costs of living and running a house. And we're not just talking about living in halls of residence where all your bills are included. 

        9. Stick to debit only. 
        Plastic is fine, but its needs to be debit all the way. With credit cards its all too easy to spend more money than you have. Whereas, a debit is more similar to spending cash. Whilst you are more likely to spend more on plastic vs cash (which makes using cash very good option) at least with debit you won't spend more than you have. 

        10. Be overdraft free.
        Its time to kick that overdraft to the kerb and stop paying silly fees to borrow money. After all an overdraft is just another form of debt. Get out and stay out by deactivating your overdraft. Many students will take advantage of the free overdrafts available and treat it as an extension of your income what they forget is that this money will at some point need to be paid off. 

        11. Be open with your partner about your finances.
        By 30 you are likely to be in long-term serious relationship that warrants the discussion of finances. Being open with your partner is the key to being on the same page financially. Devote time together each month to go through your budget and talk about your short and long term financial goals. Whilst one person may feel more comfortable taking charge of the budget it is important that both of you are involved in the budgeting process. 

        12. Be tax savvy.
        Never pay more tax than you need to. This could mean taking advantage of tax free savings allowances for ISAs, pension saving bonuses or using tax free side hustles such as competitions or matched betting.  


        13. Make use of sinking funds.
        These are savings funds for specific expenditures (such as roofs or car maintenance) that you make a regular contribution to so that when you need to spend money in those areas you use the money from their respective sinking fund.

        14. Start developing passive income sources.
        Being able to supplement you main income source with passive income source(s) is the best way to get intense with your financial goals. Starting a blog is a great way to introduce a passive income stream into your income. 

        15. Work on getting onto the property ladder.
        You might not own your fist home yet (the average age in the UK is 34) but you should be working towards the financial steps necessary. These include saving for a deposit (of at least 10%), increasing your income, knowing and improving your credit score and saving for the additional costs (taxes, estate agent fees) that are associated with purchasing a property. For those in the UK making use of Help to Buy (or in April 2017) Lifetime ISAs to gain tax benefits towards saving are a great option. 



        What financial goals are you trying to achieve by 30?


        ______________________________________________________



          If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
          • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
          • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek (get £5 free with this link) to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
          • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
          • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
          • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

          Blogging your way to riches

          I love being a blogger. It provides me with an income that allows me to work around my masters degree.  It has allowed me to develop my passion for personal finance but also rediscover my passion for graphic design. Through blogging I am able to support my husband and myself through our degrees. 

          What I didn't expect when I started blogging was the amazing community there is. Whilst it's important to carve out a niche (puts here at SavingScotts being personal finance for students) I have loved immersing myself in the community of UK personal finance bloggers. It is actually one of our goals next year to get even more involved and attend the Sho-Mos (which we won runner up for best money making blog).

          Emma Bradley and Lynn James are personal finance bloggers who I have great admiration. Whilst blogging is a part time income for me, these ladies have mastered blogging in order to make it their full time income.

          They have just released a new book 'blogging your way to riches'
          In which they share their wealth of experience on how to turn blogging into a successful income. 

          They share guidance on all areas of blogging making it a great book for both the novice blogger and the more seasoned writer. Whatever you expertise there is sure to be something for you. Their book will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and build your strategy accordingly. It would make the perfect Christmas gift for any blogger. 





          Blogging has had such a positive impact in our lives. It has helped give us greater purpose to achieve our financial goals, seek out new earning opportunities and continually grow our knowledge. When we first started blogging we had no idea how many doors it would open or that it would become such a large part of our income. 

          The financial power of youth

          As a 20-something making progress towards your financial goals can feel challenging. With paying off university debt to trying to get a foot on the property ladder it can feel like your opportunity for success with saving and investing is limited. Plus many millennials cite lack of personal finance knowledge for failing to start investing. Yet there is one powerful reason why it is important to not become complacent with saving in your 20s. 


          financial power of youth

          The power of youth. Millennials listen up, you have time on your side when it comes to investing - the most powerful tool. After all money is simply a medium for exchanging time so it makes sense that as you have more time to invest than someone in their 30s, 40s, 50s etc you have the potential in the long run to earn more. 


          This is all links to the power of compound interest. Compound interest is the idea that the interest you earn each year becomes part of the cumulative balance that is interest earning. Over time the balance will grow exponentially (at a greater rate the higher the interest rate is) , meaning that the more years you allow it to grow the greater the increase each and every year. 


          For longer-term investment goals such as retirement this is hugely beneficial as it means that you can invest less but gain the same returns. It is only through the power of compound interest that millennial can retire as millionaires from as little as £65 a month.  


          The danger of compound interest 

          However, this is what makes being in debt spiral out of control. As just as compound interest can be hugely beneficial to your savings and investment goals it is can see debt balances exponentially increase too. This is why you have to get intentional about paying off debt in order to make progress quickly as all to often you will spend years simply paying off the interest without even touching the principle. 

          What you can do right now. 

          Firstly, get yourself out of debt so that the negatives of compound interest don't eat up your money. If your unsure where to start read about the 5 steps to getting out of debt. So whilst your earning potential may not be as high in your 20s as it is in your later years. Investing now can allow you to save more money in the long run. The trick to making the most out of compound interest is to start investing NOW. Even if its just a little amount, investing young is so important. Don't let being a student let you put of starting to invest, try supplementing your income with these ideas and check out these investing options for students


          How are using time to your financial advantage?


          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

          If you are new to our blog, We are all about finding ways for students and millennials to make and save more money. Here are some of my favourite sites and products that may help you out:

          • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
          • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
          • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
          • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

          10 ways to save money as a student

          save money as a student
          This post was originally written for Student Nannies blog, click here to see the original article.
          Autumn term is coming to a close and odds are you’re finding yourself at the end of your student loans. With money running short, Christmas presents and parties adding up, you need some money saving tips to make it until the January loan installment. Here’s my top ten thrifty tricks for students….


          Cook with friends. Food shopping for one can be quite expensive as often you will purchase larger quantities than you need just because it is the smallest amount available. Shopping and cooking with friends allows you to share the workload, take advantage of special bulk offers and reduce the cost of your weekly shop. 
          Buy your textbooks secondhand. Textbooks are extortionately expensive, especially from the campus bookstore. Odds are you can find a much more reasonably priced second-hand copy from someone in the year above you. Check to see if your department runs book sales or see if there is a Facebook buy/sell page for your course. 
          Don’t pay for a TV license if you don’t need it. If you are a student, your parents have a TV license and you are watching on a device not plugged into the mains, you do not need to pay for a license. If you do require a license don’t forget to reclaim the summer months you are not living away from home. For more information to help you understand if you need to pay click here.
          Take advantage of student discounts. Both NUS and UniDays offer great student discount systems well worth subscribing to. After all why pay full price when you don’t have. It is also always worth asking if a store/restaurant offers a student discount as it is not always clearly advertised (especially for smaller non-chain companies). Don't forget you can use conjunction with some student deals (Quidco give you cashback when buying a 16-25 railcard)
          Ask a member of staff what time their supermarket marks down food items and schedule your shops for that time. Typically supermarkets will do their biggest reductions at about 7/8pm. Most supermarkets have a designated reduced section for different departments (chilled, fresh, dry goods) so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself where these are in your local store. 

          Get the best student bank account for you. Whilst the biggest selling point for most student bank accounts is their overdraft (not something we advocate dipping into) they will offer additional freebies including NUS cards, train or coach discount cards. Look at which of these freebies will be of most benefit and value to you when deciding who to bank with.

          Most students will work part-time during their studies in order to bring in some extra income. Working as a Student Nanny offers a great opportunity for flexible work schedules, avoids zero hours contracts and provides the chance for you to  network with local professionals and gain valuable work experience. StudentNannies.com is a great place to look for nannying work suited to fit around a student’s busy schedule. If you are looking for something even more flexible consider getting an online job that allows you to work from home. 

          Being on a tight budget doesn’t have to mean no fun. From free festivals, museums and galleries wherever you live there is sure to be plenty of free (or low cost events to go to). Don’t forget events on campus are also often low cost or free as they know students are on a small budget. You can also get 2for1 movies for the whole year for less than £2 (learn how ) making it a great budget outing as you can combine it with student price tickets for an extra discount.

          When the next student loan comes pays out in January there are couple of things you can do to make your money go even further next term :
          Pay your rent first. Most landlords if you ask are happy for you to pay several months upfront, just be sure to ask first so they know that is what you are doing. When you get your termly student finance in, pay that term’s rent. 

          Pop the remaining money into a separate account. Pay yourself an income. Odds are you get student finance three times a year, you might also get some sporadic scholarships or grants. When money comes in so irregularly it can feel tricky to establish a budget. Open up a separate account and set up a standing order for your ‘salary’. Depending on how easy you find it to manage your money you may wish to ‘pay yourself’ weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Just do what best suits you and your spending habits. 
          With some creative ideas you can make living on a student budget a liberating not limiting experience.

          How to juggle working and studying

          Getting a degree is an expensive process. Whilst it can be a valuable investment it can also be daunting financially. Between student finance, grants and scholarships you may still not have enough money to cover the costs of university. That is where part-time work falls into the equation. 

          59% of students will work part time during their studies. Whilst most universities recommend working no more than 15 hours for undergraduate students and 20 hours a week for postgraduate students 13% will work full time during their degree.



          balance work and study


          Chris and I have both worked during our studies. I chose to focus on working as much as possible during the holidays. In my first year I work as a waitress, in the second year as a researcher for the law school and in my final year at an investment firm. I chose to do this because I was involved in a lot of voluntary work at university society (plus law school being an intense workload). Though now during my masters I work mostly online through blogging and matched betting. Whilst Chris has chosen to work during term-term in retail averaging about 12 hours a week whilst class is on. 


          We both agree that it can be tricky to balance work and studies. Especially when you are just starting out at university adding work into the mix can feel totally overwhelming. I know Chris thrives of being busy, and working whilst studying can actually make you a more productive and effective student and its a great addition to the C.V.


          Schedule your time


          If you are able to find a job that provides a degree of flexibility in hours that can be great as it allows you to pick up more or less hours depending on how busy your studies are. However, there are downsides to such flexible work as it can often mean you don't know your schedule far in advance. 


          Adding work into the schedule makes it more important than ever to schedule time specifically to complete university work. You may find that the best option is to schedule your work for the weekend  allowing you to focus on uni during the week. 


          When you are combining work and studies it very important to keep an copy of your schedule. I love to use planners (this one) whilst Chris prefers to use google calendars on his phone. Just as long you have a way of keeping track of everything you have going on allowing you to remain in control of your workload. 


          Prioritise.


          Your studies need to remain the priority in the situation. This may mean that sometimes you have to turn down shifts. You may need to tone down the extra-curricular or delegate some work. 


          Don't feel bad about this, remember in the long run making your degree as worthwhile as possible will have greater financial benefits. 


          In prioritising your univeristy work you may find that your current part-time work is not such a great option for your schedule. Online jobs can be a great way to find flexible work to fit around your schedule.


          Take care of yourself 


          Don't allow your schedule to become too busy that you become overworked and tired. Taking care of yourself is important to ensuring that you are able to succeed in your studies. 


          Ensure that you get enough sleep and good food. Making time for seeing friends and just watching Netflix and relaxing is very important for your wellbeing. 



          Did you work during your studies? How did you juggle working and studying?




          ______________________________________________________


            If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
            • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
            • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
            • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
            • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
            • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!

            Frugal Christmas Gift Guide | For Her

            November is already here (where has 2016 gone!!) and now is time to start thinking about christmas gift buying. 

            ASDA recently conducted a study where they found last year parents spent an average of £294.00 on their children !! Whilst as a university student most don't have children of your own, you may still have an extensive network of family and friends to buy for and cost of Christmas can quickly creep up. 

            What was more shocking about the research showed that 25% feel of those buying gifts say they feel pressure to buy presents that stretch their budget or that they can’t afford.  

            This is so sad that the focus is being shifted to the value of the gift rather than just giving. However, you don't have to let christmas take a toll on your finances this year by making a budget of what you really can afford and sticking to it (even if that means cutting back in certain areas of buying inexpensive presents).

            Lets make Christmas 2016 a debt free one!! 


            Stuck on what to get for christmas? Well good news SavingScotts has put together a list of the perfect gifts to give this season and best of all they are budget friendly with all gifts being under £15. In today's post we will be sharing the gift guide for her, but we also have a gifts for him and children coming out in the near future so stay tuned.





            8. Apron
            11. Hand cream set (not shown but these are completely lush) 


            When do you start buying your christmas presents?

            This post contains affiliate links. See disclosure below.

            Earn Money At University Nannying

            With the cost of childcare skyrocketing and students with an ever increasing need to have a income capable of sustaining them whilst studying (aka not national minimum wage). Students have for years turned to babysitting and au paring as a great way to gain supplemental income whilst still being flexible to allow your studies.


            earn money nannying


            But it can sometimes be tricky to find nannying jobs as a student with no formal childcare qualifications. Whilst local listed advertisements can be great, especially if you university has a site, and online sites such as childcare.co.uk can help with the search of finding nannying jobs neither are specifically aimed at students.

            We recently came across a site called student nannies. It aims to put parents in need of flexible child care in contact with univeristy students looking for work around their studies. They aim to help students find regular work and intern a regular income rather than struggling with zero-hours contracts and the uncertainty they bring.

            However, the perks to students extend beyond the new paycheque but also the opportunity to intern and gain CV enhancing opportunities. One user described how she was able to obtain and internship through her networking with her nannying family opening up opportunities that would by have other wise been afforded to her.

            The amount you can earn depends on the family and location (London jobs pay more, and there are more London listings on the site), but remember you are entitled to the national minimum wage (if your employer counts you as a worker). The only downside to the site is that it is not shown initially on a listing how much the family are willing to pay. 

            Student Nannies advises parents to pay a rate that reflects babysitting in their areas. Outside of London this is about £8/£10 an hour and inside of London £10/£12 an hour. If there is additional tutoring involved in the role then the hourly wage can quickly increase to £25/£30 per hour. This can be a great way to tap into the earning potential of a talent be it playing the piano or maths.

            What are you experiences of nannying / babysitting as an income stream. 

            Looking for more student friendly jobs check out this list of online jobs 


            ______________________________________________________



              If you are new to our blog, we are all about finding new ways for students and millennials to make and save money. Here are some of our favourite sites and products to help you out:
              • Start a blog. Blogging is our side-hustle just over a year ago we didn't think I would bring us any income . You can create your own blog here with my easy-to-use tutorial. You can start your blog for as low as $3.49 per month plus you get a free domain if you sign-up through my tutorial.
              • Save money with gift cards Whether its for buying clothes, your weekly shop or dining out use Zeek to buy discounted gift cards to get more bang for your buck. 
              • Use Swagbucks for your online searches. Swagbucks is a passive way to earn gift cards. Over the course of a year you could earn $500.  Swagbucks is just like using Google to do your online searches, except you get rewarded “points called SB” for the things you do through their website. Then, when you have enough Swagbucks, you can redeem them for cash, gift cards, and more. Receive $5 for signing up today.
              • Try matched betting. Matched betting is a great way to may easy money online. Despite the name it is not gambling and could see you earn £500-£1000 a month for only a couple of hours work a day see here and here. For your free trial head to profit accumulator or join the Facebook 'getting started' group.  
              • Sign up for a cashback site like Quidco. where you can earn CASH BACK for just spending like how you normally would online. The service is free too! Plus, when you sign up through my link, you also receive a free £10 bonus!