This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

Creating a super savings plan

If as Dave Ramsey says "personal finance is 80% behaviour" then changing that behaviour is central to your success. Creating a super savings plan will provide you with the tools you need to achieve your financial goals. 



First of what is a savings/plan goal?
While your budget takes care of your monthly expenses a savings plan take a more long term view, whilst it is connected to how you budget it is essentially deicing how much you are going to set aside, to save for a specific purpose. 



How to create a successful savings plan?


Budget Mastery
Central to saving success is having control on your budget. If you are not already doing so, taking the time each and every month to go over the previous months spending, looking at where change can be made, and praising yourself for your successes, before moving on to making a plan for the coming month. Once you have managed to wrestle your budget under control you will be in a better position to see how much money you actually have available each and every month to contribute to your savings plan. 

You might find that you are budgeting, but yet there is not money spare to contribute to savings. There are two ways to tackle this, either by reducing expenditure or increasing your income (or a combination of both). By having a solid grasp of your budget you will be able to easily identify where you are spending your money, and in turn where you can make cutbacks. 

Earn More, Spend Less
There will be expenses, essentials which it will not be possible to cut down spending. It is worthwhile separating expenses into two categories, essential and non-essential. Then rank those non-essentials in order of importance. Know you know which of your non-essential expenses is least important to you, this is where you will start making cutbacks, progressively working up the list of importance until you are able to cut back the amount you want to contribute to your savings goal. 

The alternative is to increase you income, there are lots of ways to add additional income beyond simply picking up as second job , we have plenty of them on our site that work around busy schedules so be sure to check out all your options. 

Goal Setting 
Setting goals is very important but setting goals in the right manner is the key to achieving them. You might remember as a child SMART goals, a principle of goal setting that increases you success rate. 

This means that these goals must be:
- Specific
- Measurable
- Attainable
- Relevant
- Time 

An example could be "I am going to save £50 a month, towards my car maintenance sinking fund, for 12 months". 

Lets break down this goal
- It is specific, it is for the purpose of a sinking fund. We know where the money is going and what it will be used for. 
- It is measurable by the set amount each month, rather than "I'll just save a bit each month".
- It is attainable because it is not a huge amount to contribute each month, though of course, this should assessed in light of your budget. 
- It is relevant to the needs of car ownership.
- It is time specific, only for the duration of 12 months. 

Accountability 
Now you've determined your SMART savings goal, it is important to write out your plan for success. Maybe even consider filling out a chart where you colour in as you make progress such as these ones.  Share your goals with others for added accountability. 


What are your savings goals at the moment? 

Hiring a car with a debit card

Here at Saving Scotts were big advocates of living a debt free lifestyle. When we paid of the credit card for good almost two years ago, we also decided to cut up the card and enjoy life without that temptation.

Whilst using a credit card wisely, paying it off every month, is great for building a credit score for a mortgage. We knew as Chris was only just starting university at this point that would be a while away. We instead decided we would get a card after I finish my masters (and start full-time employment or a funded PhD). So until then we live debit only (or cash). 


car hire debit card


Up until a couple of months ago, we have had no issues living debit only. We have been travelling, hired cars abroad, even paid £1000s in tuition for my masters. However, hiring a car in the UK saw us run into a bit of challenge, credit card requirements, in the name of the driver. As far as we understand the desire for hire companies to have a credit (rather than debit) stems from the fact that if you cause damage or steal the car they can charge it to the credit card (also it is easier to put money on hold for the deposit). 

It took some time but we finally found some car hire companies that allow you to pay on the debit card only. Many will require a refundable deposit (similar to the holding fee on a credit card) so be prepared to put some money aside, and contact the hire company if you are not sure how much you need to put aside.


Whilst they may not be the cheapest companies out there, it is worth shopping around between those who allow debit cards to find the best option for your needs. None of them accept pre-paid debit cards or international debit cards, so you will have to look for an alternative solution if that affects you.

Sixt
Allow hire on a UK debit card (in the driver's name) with a £250 deposit + the cost of the hire. This means if you pay for the cost of the hire upfront (which is always the cheapest option), you only need to set aside £250 for the deposit. See link to further info

Enterprise
Allow debit card only hire but it is a bit more of a tricky process.
They too require a deposit between £200 and £400 and this must be made on a card in the drivers name. 
They also require additional security checks when you pay by debit card. This is what enterprise had to say about the checks when we enquired. 

If the driver choses to use a Debit card in their name then we do perform an additional security check as we deem this payment method a less secure method than a Credit card. This check that is performed to every Debit card paying customer across the UK checks the person, their personal details against their address. It is checking if they have 3 connections to that address. By connections it checks electoral register, mortgage payments, utility bill payments & other payments in their name at that address. To qualify to rent with ourselves that renter must have at least 3 connections as described above to that address. If this is not the case and they cannot pay on a Credit card then unfortunately we are unable to rent to that individual. This is done as an insurance underwriting tool to securely protect our asset.


EasiRent
Easement require a return ticket and a priced deposit (may vary at location but around the £200 mark, worth checking with them before booking). They do require you to take the full-comp coverage if you are paying on debit only so you won't be able to get the cheapest prices available on their site. But they are still pretty competitive, but their customer service can be less than satisfactory. 

Have you hired a car using a debit card only? Who did you hire with? 


*Part of Financially Savvy Saturdays on brokeGIRLrich.*

Earn money teaching English online

Students from all over the world are keen to learn English from native speakers. Over recent years the face of teaching English as a foreign language has changed and increasingly students are being taught online. In China there is a huge boom in this market as it provides a way for middle-income families to provide an education that was previously only available to the very wealthiest. Today we'll be talking about two companies that offer online english teaching jobs, VIPKid and DaDaABC. You might just find its the perfect job to fit around your schedule as a student. 




Teaching English online has so many perks.

  •  You can work from the comfort of your own home (or wherever you may be in the world). This is awesome if you want to travel or your need to move house. 
  • Both of these companies don't require you to lesson plan saving you vital time - so you are paid for the time you teach. 
  • You have can have a set schedule which means a relatively regular paycheque - though some companies aren't super flexible about booking time off. 
  • Continually hiring companies (there is a huge demand) so no need to wait to start. 
  • Decent pay, both of the companies mentioned above pay pretty well around the $24 / £17 mark  - much higher than minimum wage that many students find themselves working for. 
  • You can even pick up some mandarin for free through the lessons. 



There are some cons to teaching online. 

  • The first is that for both of these companies most of the work is 6-10pm Beijing time, so depending on where in the world you could find yourself working some nice hours (in the UK thats in the morning) but in other places that could be dead in the middle of the night. But you might find this works for you allowing you to fit the work easily around a 9-5 job. 
  • You are responsible for your own taxes (so don't forget to register for self-assessment if your in the UK) as you are not an employee but an independent contractor. 
  • You do not get any benefits that you may have as a teaching employee due to being a contractor. 

Both VIPKid and DaDaABC require a bachelors degree and native english speakers. Though DaDa is much more flexible about these requirements and people have been hired who do not have either of these requirements if their English is sufficiently strong. VIPKid are much more interested in American accents. 

Have you tried working for either of these companies?

I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

10 Common expenses to stop spending money on.

It's all to easy to find lots of little expenses slipping their way into your life. But when money is tight, and you want to make your budget go as far as possible it is worthwhile reassessing all your expenses. So many costs (that very quickly add up) can find their way into your budget and they are not really that essential - though sometimes we might see them more as 'needs' rather than 'wants'. These are 10 common expense that you should stop spending money on - and trust us your budget will thank you for it.  This list is especially aimed at you, millennials and students, who are finding things tight. You might just find eliminating these expenses help you bring that little extra leeway in the your budget you've been needing to achieve your financial goals.




  1. Cable TV / Sky - It has become so commonplace to have to get crazy expensive TV packages (we're talking £50+ per month). By cutting out the cable you will find you have more time - it seriously does great things for friendships and relationships because as a society we have become far too addicted to spending time around a TV. You could see yourself saving £600+ a month with one simple change. If your not quite ready to give up all TV have a look at Freesat TVs or Amazon Prime (remember you can get 6 months free as a student) as some great budget friendly alternatives (we have a whole post on watching TV for free). 
  2. Tumble Dryers - They're expensive to buy, and even more expensive to run (and lets not forget the cost it has on the environment). You will find your electricity bill significantly reduced when you stop using your tumble dryer. Over the past three years I have not used a tumble dryer once. Instead I make great use of drying racks (and if the weather is good our washing line). 
  3. Haircuts - Going to the hairdressers is expensive. Whilst using discounts such as students discount can help mitigate the cost, they can eradicate it completely. You can pick up a hairdressing scissors kit found around the same price as a man's haircut, meaning you have made your money in on go. Though we must admit the task is quite a bit easier if you have someone else to help you cut your hair. Whilst we figure this tip is probably easier for guys, some girls may also find trimming their own hair a great alternative (and at home hair dying kits cost a fraction of a salon colouring treatment). 
  4. Bottled water-  While there clearly are some countries in the world where bottled water is an essential, in most developed countries this simply is not the case. If you are buying bottled water for the convenience, then consider getting some reusable bottles, filling them up and storing them in the fridge is for you. If you are concerned about water quality then getting a water filter system will work out cheating in the long run rather than using bottled water and it reduces the use of unnecessary plastics (though you might want to asses whether you really need it). 
  5. Gym membership - Whilst you might find the gym on campus is slightly cheaper than others, it is still an unnecessarily expensive way of getting fit. Outdoor gyms are popping up all over the place, they are free and have much of the traditional equipment, but instead of the fancy electronic versions in the gym they are outdoor friendly ones instead. These gyms are free to use, and you might even find some fun, free activities/classes being run there too. Another great option for working out for free it to grab yourself one of the hundreds of free fitness apps available - from walking to yoga you are sure to find something to suit your interests and abilities. 
  6. Pharmaceuticals - I'm not saying don't my the medication you need, but next time you buy paracetamol do you really need to spend 10x as much on some fancy brand name version compared to the ultra cheap generic version (which are for all intents and purposes the same product). Sexual health products are also often available for free on university campuses and at sexual health clinics (because condoms can be expensive - though definitely cheaper than a kid). 
  7. Tampons/Sanitary towels - In a woman lifetime she can spend a small fortune of feminine products (and make a significant contribution to a landfill). Menstrual cups are eco-friendly, reusable and for only £20 super economical. Some universities even offer free sanitary products, the uni Chris goes to offers free moon cups, towels and tampons every Wednesday so you need not ever go without. 
  8. Stationery - I cannot count how much free stationary we have collected over the years. At careers fairs, at the library, at random stalls in town we are always sure to collect some freebies stationery to add to our stash. From pens, to highlighters to post-it notes we've collected it all. When your a full time student it really does add up. 
  9. Printing - As a student printing can cost a small fortune, whilst getting refillable ink cartridges can really help save, there is an alternative that can be free. Many universities are starting to have printers with Aiwip which allows you to print for free and in return you have a small banner of adverts at the bottom of your work. 
  10. Household utensils - At the end of the academic year you might wonder what your school does with all the stuff that is left behind. Often the items that are in good condition are given away for free at the students union. This is an awesome way to pick up a kitchens worth of goods for nothing. 

How could making these simple changes help you achieve your financial goals?

How to save money on a road trip

Summer is not long off now, like many students Chris and I are off on a road-trip for a post exam treat. This year we are off to Scotland and are super excited to visit as much as possible.

Planning this trip got us thinking about how easy it is for road trip expenses to spiral out of control. It also got us thinking about what we learnt from our road trip to the USA in 2015.



Make a plan (and stick to it)
Having a rough outline of your journey will help you in finding great accommodation deals. Whilst spontaneous trips are awesome, last minute flights, hotels and car hire can get quite pricey. So it definitely pays to plan.

It is also a good idea to plan out your time and think about what attractions you want to visit, this allows you to fit more into your time and take advantage of any discounts or coupons you can find.

Compare fly/driving to direct driving 
Depending on where you are going, fly/drive might be the only feasible option. But if you have the option of either it is worth figuring out if it works out cheaper, fuel can be pretty expensive so if you car is a bit of a gas guzzler you may well find flying and hiring a cheap (efficient car) the better option. Catching the train or coach for part of the longest leg of the journey and hiring a car at the other end can big bucks. MegaBus  have journeys from as little as £1 and they offer journey across Europe, the USA and Canada. Or you might want to consider interrailing as an alternative especially if you are traveling around Europe as multi-journey passes can work out pretty cheap per journey.

If your in Europe don't rule out the use of Ferries or the channel tunnel as great ways to road trip without breaking the bank. The tunnel is from £49 per car as a return, so depending on your destination and how many people are travelling it can quite easily be a cheaper option.

When hiring a car its super important to not just pick the cheapest car, but look at its fuel consumption and whether it is suited to your driving needs (i.e the kind of terrain or number of passengers).

When we went to the USA I (although I can't drive) was in charge of hiring a car $200 fro 3 weeks was a steal and it had unlimited miles - I was sold. It was a tiny automatic Nissan Micra and it was not suited to drive 5,000 miles through some crazy altitudes (we drove through Colorado).

If you don't get the right car your likely to find yourselves not wanting to spend as much time in it (and probably spending more money in the long run).

Pack for the road
Service station food is overpriced and just not that good. It is always worth while heading to a supermarket, and grabbing some easy food for on the go. When we were road-tripping through the USA we found ourselves snacking on trail mix, and tortilla wraps with cheese and ham.

Fresh fruits such as apples and bananas make perfect road trip snacks and don't make much rubbish.

If you are driving your own car consider taking a cool box with snacks all ready for on the road.

What are your favourite snacks for road trips?

Consider hostels and campsites
Whilst its a bit cold to be camping in the spring in Scotland (at least for us southern softies), camping makes a really great affordable accommodation option with many camp sites being around £20 per night (when you divide that by a few friends it quickly becomes super cheap).

Hostels are also a great alternative, whilst the cheapest options will always be the dorms, you can often get private rooms at prices much lower than traditional hotels. YHA and SYHA are great options for those staying in the UK, and similar programmes exist worldwide.

I recently saw these brilliant air mattresses for cars, that could make sleeping in your car a viable option. Just make sure to not rack up any parking fines like Chris once did.


What is your favourite thing about road trips? Are you planning on going on one soon? How do you save money on road trips?


Win £1000 !!

We're back working with Smart Money People who are bringing you to chance to win £1,000 and help improve financial providers. 




What are the Consumer Credit Awards 2017
We run the Consumer Credit Awards to find who offers the best credit cards, personal loans, car finance, credit report providers and more! They’re voted for by the public, so you decide who wins, and also who is named “Worst Consumer Credit Provider”. We want to find the companies who are GREAT, those who are TERRIBLE, and those who are JUST OK.

What’s in it for you

  • Every review is entered into a draw to win £1000 
  • Your vote means that you get to decide the winners and help influence the financial services. Meaning better experiences for us all. 
  • And...anyone leaving two reviews gets 10x the chances to win !!!

So what are you waiting for, simply follow the link and get reviewing for your chance to win big. 

7 Day Student Meal Plan

Uhh its that time of the day again, when you've gotta cook. It can be tricky and boring to cook for one, and often as a student you want dishes that won't take long. We have put together seven dinners perfect for the busy student on the go, who wants a healthy, low cost meal plan. 



We are sharing some of our all time favourite recipes that are both healthy and great for on a budget. You might notice that some of quantities are quite small on the shopping list. We advise you buy loose vegetables (not pre-packaged) and for meat either buy loose from the counter or buy in a larger pack and freeze the rest. 



  • The dinners all take 30 minutes or less to cook so you don't have to worry about slaving away in the kitchen all day. 
  • The recipes are designed for one portions (great for busy students) but for families/couples multiply up the quantities depending on your needs.  
  • The meal plan has a self contained shopping list of everything you need for the week plus all the recipes. So you only need to print of one document to take with you to the store. 


Our favourite tools for meal planning
We love to keep all the meal plans we create in one easy to use binder. Plus, by keeping the meal plans in sheet protecters means we can re-use them time and time again and saving us printing out several copies. 

  

Click on the image of the meal plan below to be taken to the Google Drive where a PDF of the plan is available for you to download and print off. We hope you enjoy the meals as much as we do.


______________________________________________________


    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!
    *This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are our own*






      Earn money with academic writing

      Students are constantly looking for help with their studies, we've already talked about how you can earn money tutoring. In this post we will talk about how you can earn money through freelance academic writing.  




      How does academic writing work?
      I am a freelance writer with Academic Knowledge for their law students department. There is a mixture of different writing tasks that are available including essays, skeleton arguments, revision notes, and problem questions. They require you to have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in the subject you wish to write for, if you choose to undertake postgraduate studies, you will be able to take on higher level briefs (which are paid more).  There are other academic writing companies, however, what drew me to apply to academic knowledge was that they are a large, well established company. This means that there is a good steady supply of briefs which is essential to the flexibility of freelance work. 

      Is it not plagiarism?
      It might feel at first that you are simply doing other people's work for them (and therefore allowing cheating). However, that is not what the work you produce is for. The work you submit is intended to be used as guidance by the client to help them to produce their own work whilst being able to achieve the grade they are aiming for. Ultimately the license of the work remains with you, the writer and as such the client should not hand it in as their own work. 

      How much could I earn?
      How much you earn per brief depends on both the word length and the duration you have to complete the brief. As an example a 1000 word essay with 10 days to complete would pay approx £50. The plus with academic writing is that it pays well, provided you are able to turn out work quickly (i.e you get paid the same no matter how long you spend on it). The downside is, due to the work being freelance, there is limited consistency in income. However, academic knowledge do have a guide on their site to help you guesstimate how much you could earn depending on how much work you do. 
      As a freelance writer you are responsible for declaring your own income for tax purposes. Though remember the government have now introduced a £1000 allowance for online earnings that you don't have to declare, but if you plan on earning more than that per tax year (and you easily could) it is important to declare you earnings even if you don't have to pay any tax.

      How do I start academic writing?
      I choose to work through academic knowledge, and would highly recommend them. Their application process is super simple, you just need to fill out some basic details and upload copies of your transcript/degree certificate. They will then, if you are successful phone you to have a brief chat with you and explain how the practice brief works. You are then given a list of questions to choose from for which you complete a short brief (approximately 1750 words) which you will be paid for (about £75). To see if they are currently hiring for your subject click here


      This article is not sponsored or endorsed by academic knowledge. 


      I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

      Should I get a Lifetime ISA?

      The new tax year is now upon us and so too is the launch of yet another ISA - the lifetime ISA.  First things to remember is that this tax year the ISA limit (cumulatively for what you contribute to all kinds of ISA in 17/18) is now £20,000.



      If you are new here, or not quite sure what an ISA is, essentially it is a tax-free savings account. ISA stands for Individual Savings Account and are available to both children (in the form of junior ISAs) and adults.  The amount you are able to save each year is called the ISA limit. It is important to understand that it is how much you contribute per year and that withdrawals are not taken into consideration. For example if you contributed £20,000, withdrew £4000 before the year was up, you could not re-contribute the £4000 in the same tax year as you are seen to have contributed £20,000 (the current ISA limit).

      Chris and I have contributed to our Help to Buy ISAs ever since they launched in December 2015. We were lucky to have a great interest rate when we first open (4%), but sadly it has since been reduced. With a new product on the market we've been deciding whether it is worth switching from a Help to Buy to a Lifetime ISA.

      They are two similar, but distinct products so it is important to consider who you are as a saver and which better fits your needs and financial goals. To help you better make this assessment we have made a table comparing the two ISAs. 


      So which is the better account. Well that depends on a few things if you are looking to buy in the very near future and not go over the property value limits then Help to buy is your friend. The same goes if you are an older first-time buyer again Help to buy is for you. 

      However, if your a young millennial just starting to save for a house then the Lifetime ISA is for you, you can save more, gain more bonus and have the flexibility of lump sums rather than rigid monthly payments. You also have the option of stocks and shares which should only be considered if you are looking to invest for at least 5 years (in order to mitigate any fluctuations in the market impacting short-term value). 

      However, there is one key issue with the Lifetime ISA though is that so far very few providers are confirmed to be offering it. 
      The following are the list of confirmed providers: 

      - Hargreaves Landsdown.
      - Fidelity
      - Nutmeg
      - The share centre

      In addition all of those who have said they will are only offering it as a stocks and shares option. We were both initially pretty put off by this but after doing some further reading into the topic it seems that the reason why the big banks are slow on the band-wagon is because the Government was so late in giving them the final rules and details on the account (they only finalised the details in mid-March)

      *UPDATE* 
      Skipton Building Society now offer the very first cash lifetime ISA !! While this is certainly more appealing than the stocks and shares versions previously available. The interest rate is 0.5% so leaves a lot to be desired. We are still going to hold out for a bit, whilst many of the big banks have said they are not interested in offering the product there are a few including Barclays, HSBC, Virgin and, first direct are still considering it. We are waiting until they provide more information as if they do launch the product they are likely to provide better rates of return than Skipton's 0.5%. 
      Though if the money you plan on putting into the Lifetime ISA is currently in an account with a lower interest rate, then it may be worthwhile opening the account contributing your annual allowance, and then if another providers open with better rates transferring to the new provider (which incurs no penalties). 

      It is for that reason it may be worth waiting a little while, seeing what the big banks do (don't forget if you have it in cash you get the £75,000 FCSC backing that stocks and shares don't get). It is likely that banks and building societies will start offering the Lifetime ISA later in the summer. Plus as lifetime ISAs are not dependent on monthly contributions if you think that is the direction you want to go in you won't be limited in how much you can contribute this tax year (like you would with help to buy if you missed the monthly contributions). If you choose to make the switch from Help to Buy to lifetime you are able to transfer you Help to Buy balance without it counting towards your annual contribution limit. 

      For Chris and I our plan is to wait out with the thought that the big banks will be offering a Lifetime ISA in cash form later this year. We then intend to contribute the £4,000 limit in a lump sum. In the mean time we will not contribute anything to our Help to Buy ISA during this tax year. If it looks like the banks are not going to open lifetime ISAs this tax year, in order to not miss out on the bonus we would open it with one of the stocks and shares providers and opt for a cash fund for example fidelity have a cash park which allows you to hold money in a stocks and shares ISA in cash form (though presently it pays no interest, the bonus makes it still worth switching for us). 

      Are you planning on getting a LISA or are you going to stick to a H2B, or perhaps neither. Let us know you plans for saving for a house deposit. 

      20 ways to earn money online in 2017

      Looking to earn some extra money this year? Finding the time to pick up a part-time job doesn't alway work for the busy schedules of millennials and university students. But do not fear, that doesn't have to mean you hopes of increasing your income have to be put on the sideline. There are increasing number of legitimate ways to earn money online (often more easily than traditional earning methods). 




      • Enter sweepstakes / competitions. In the past couple of years we have won close to £6,000 in prizes so it really can be a great way to earn online. We normally just enter competitions whist we are watching T.V in the evening. Our favourites search site to use is competition database because there are no spammy competitions on there allowing you to make better use of your time. Best of all the prizes are tax free. 
      • Share your university experience with prospective students with UniBuddy and earn approximately £35 per applicant you help, plus be entered into their regular prizes for writing posts and articles. 
      • Teaching English to Chinese children is a super flexible way to utilities your language skills. Got a bachelors?  try this company instead for better pay.
      • Write mock essays, exam notes or mark papers.  [requires a bachelors degree] Academic knowledge hire graduates to work as freelance writers. The pay depends on the length of the project and the time to be completed in and you are paid either by BACS or Paypal. 
      • Start a blog and earn through affiliate marketing, sponsored posts and advertisements. Whilst blogging is not a get rich quick scheme there are plenty of bloggers our there who earn impressive salaries online. 
      • Use Swagbucks to earn £100s in gift cards by doing simple surveys, browsing the internet and shopping online. The easiest way to earn is to install their search engine browser and earn Swagbucks simply by searching the internet like normal. 
      • Play the bookies at their own game and take advantage of betting offers with matched betting (and not its not gambling) to earn up to £1000 a month !!! Check out of post on how you can make your first matched betting earning of £45 in 60 minutes. Plus matched betting is entirely tax free !! 
      • Get paid to read your emails with Inbox Pounds. They send you emails. you click that you've read the email at the bottom of the email text and earn money. It really is that simple. You can cash out every time your earnings total £20. 
      • Create an Etsy store.  Selling digital downloads is probably the most passive way of earning an income through Etsy, but it can also be used to sell physical items too. We sell a single item on our etsy store (cash envelope printables) and we get a nice little side-income that is almost entirely passive. 
      • Get cashback on your shopping with Quidco (use this link to get £10 free with Quidco), TopCashback or Swagbucks. Over the year you'll see the savings add up for next to no effort. 
      • Sell your photos to photo stock companies. Blogs and websites are in high demand of stock photos. If you have high quality photos you can sell them through companies such as Crewstock Don't have a fancy camera? You can sell photos taken on your smart phone through Clashot
      • Publish an e-book on amazon and keep 70% of the profits from the book. If your not sure where to start Disease called Debt have an brilliant guide to publishing an E-Book  perfect for the first time e-book publisher. 
      • Become an Audio Typist. If you've got access to good speed internet, can type at 65 wpm accurately and have at least a C grade in GCSE English (though its probably helpful to be a bit more proficient) then working as a transcriptionist for TakeNote could be a great option. 
      • 20 Cogs is an tasks and offers rewards site. Whilst you won't get rich from completing 20 Cogs offers you could also easily earn a couple of hundred pounds as you can see from their earnings leaderboard. 
      • Write online reviews with Dooyoo. They are probably the best known review site in the U.K. The site is easy to use, you can write reviews on tons of products and you can be paid in cash or amazon vouchers. 
      • Fiverr is somewhat similar to Etsy. It is an online marketplace where you offer freelance services such as graphic design or translations work for $5. If you have a creative freelance skill this can be a great platform to find work online. 
      • Sell your used toilet roll holders as craft supplies on online auction sites such as eBay. Whilst you won't earn thousands this way, its a simple way to earn a little extra cash for something you are going to buy and use up. For more information check out SkintDad's post on selling used toilet roll holders.
      • Reselling on gumtree or eBay. Picking up bargains and reselling them for a higher price. Often the safest option when starting is to pick up free items (or super low price) from gumtree or charity shops, this means your unlikely to make a loss. You might also find using sites such as LatestDeals or Extreme Coupling and Deals UK useful to pick up bargains and then sell them on for a profit online. 
      • Create a course. Have you got a skill or knowledge you could share with others? Then why not create a course to teach that skill. Maybe your awesome at coding or an ace at exams. Through Udemy you can create and sell your very own course. 
      • Earn money losing weight with DietBet. DietBet is a social dieting site which runs challenges where you receive rewards for losing weight. There is a 30 day challenge to lose 4% of your body weight or  a 6 month challenge to lose 10% of your body weight. Those in your group who achieve the goal, the pot of money is divided up and equally distributed to the winners. 

      With so many ways to earn extra money online your sure to be able to find something to meet your talents, needs and schedule.  
      *This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are our own*

      I’m taking part in the Money Making Madness Linky hosted by Charlotte Burns from Lotty Earns, Emma Bradley from Mum’s Savvy Savings, Emma Drew from EmmaDrew.Info and Lynn from Mrs Mummy Penny.

      Valentines Day on a Student Budget

      Valentines day can be expensive... too expensive for a student. It can really feel like its a corporate gimmick to suck your wallet dry. It can be easy to lose sight of the day's real objective to show your unyielding love to another when you are inundated with financial expectations associated with the day. 
      But valentine's day does not have to cost the earth, today we will share some great ideas we have found to enjoy valentines's day on a student budget. 




      Have a treat dinner at home. 
      Not going out for dinner doesn't have to make the evening any less special. Get dressed up like you would for going out, set your dining space up for the meal, light a few candles. It can be a fun opportunity to cook together. We like to use Great British Chef's recipes for treat dinners, they have high quality restaurant recipes that almost anyone could cook and even have a section on valentine's day recipes

      If your not feeling overly ambitious about cooking then the big supermarkets are back with their at-home valentines dinner sets that usually fall around the £15-£20 mark. Waitrose offer a dinner for 2 for £20 which includes three courses, sides and drink (and the food looks delicious). While Marks and Spencer offer a "2 dine in for £10" including drinks. 

      You can get a free takeaway (up to the value of £15) with lots of big brand takeaway companies including Just Eat and Pizza Hut through Quidco. Or order through Deliveroo and get £10 off your first spend. 

      Dine out for Less
      Whilst lots of chains are offering discount vouchers at the moment many of them are not valid on valentines day. These will only work to your advantage if you plan on celebrating on a different day. 
      We've found a hack to get you 48% off pizza express (without any discount vouchers).  
      Other ideas for eating out on a budget include using Lastminute.com who have a great feature called 'cheap eats' where you can set your price point i.e. eat of for £20. Or why not consider going out for brunch for the better deals earlier in the day or just for dessert in the evening. 

      Entertainment 
      Going to the Cinema for a couple could cost £20+ in tickets plus any snacks you buy. This year valentine's day falls on a Tuesday so if you are thinking about going out to the cinema its the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the trick we have found to save 65% off Cineworld. To learn more click here

      Perhaps you want to have a movie night from the comfort of your own home. Local libraries and often university libraries allow you to rent DVDs for free. Plus Amazon Prime have tons of movies available free for 6 months for students. 

      Gifts
      Flowers are crazy expensive (and die so quickly) you can easily be looking close at £40-£50 for roses. Luckily a number of florists at the moment are running special offers. Prestige flowers are offering 30% off 12 red roses. Bunches have 10% off with the promo code BUN10  and a free box of chocolates if you order online. Bouqs have 20% off with the code VDAY20.

      O2 priority are currently giving away a free valentines day card with Choosy. Which you can order online. While new customers with TopCashback can get a free moonpig card after cashback or a free box of Thontons chocolates




      More ideas? 
      It is often the small more sentimental touches that make the big difference. The Dating Divas is a great site for help organising date nights that are big on sentimentality and not on budget. They have over 100 ideas for valentines dates (many you can do from your own home). Most of their ideas are inexpensive or entirely free making them perfect for any budget. 



      ______________________________________________________
      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 and get £5 free when you make your first purchase through our link. 
      • 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!


      *This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are our own*



      Save Money Using Discounted Gift Cards

      Chris and I have been using Zeek for a couple of months now. Zeek is a gift card market place that allows you to buy and sell gift cards. We're going to share why we love Zeek so much and how you can get a PizzaExpress gift card 48% off with no work or hassle or 65% off at Cineworld. Plus we'll share how you can get £5 credit for free. 


      save money gift cards

      We've mentioned before that we enter a lot of competitions (and have won over £5,000 in prizes in the past few years) often prizes will be gift cards. Zeek provides an easy way to sell unwanted gift cards that you've collected perhaps as a gift or as a prize. If your an avid Swagbucks user you may also find Zeek useful to trade in any unwanted gift cards and it allows you to set the discount.

      Zeek sell


      Zeek also provides an easy way to get more bang for your buck as you are able to buy gift cards at less than their cash value. That means that simply by changing your payment method to gift cards vs cash/debit card you make instant savings. Plus they can be used in conjunction with other coupons and discount cards to you can get lots of savings. 

      They have a mixture of e-gift vouchers and physical gift cards which they post out in 7 days (though we have found they have shipped quicker). You have a wallet that allows you to keep track of your gift cards allowing you to mark when they are used and there is an app that allows you to take your e-vouchers on the go and save on printing. The only real downside to this interface is that you have to manually log when they are used it would be cool if that data was automatically imported (though perhaps I'm being unrealistic and a little lazy). 
      Zeek buy


      Some of our favourite uses of Zeek purchased gift cards include:
      - Food Shopping. 
      Its an essential expense so why not save a little extra. Over the course of a year you could save £100s of pounds. Looking for other ways to save on your food shopping? 
      - Dining out. 
      We mentioned one of our new years goals it to not pay full price dining out and using gift cards is part of our tactic. We'll share with you today how you can save almost 50% at Pizza Express with Zeek. 
      - Cinema tickets 
      We used it in conjunction with student discount and Meerkat Movies (learn how to get 2for1 movies for a year for £2 or less). It should cost 2 adults £21.20 to see a 2D movie. But using a gift card (with an 10% discount), 2for1 and student discount it is £7.29 over 65% saving.  
      - Giving gift cards as gifts. 
      Perhaps your not quite sure what to get someone or a wedding registry has specifically asked for gift cards. Gift cards are an easy and convenient gift and now even more affordable. 

      Save Big on Pizza. 

      Right now you can buy a £15 Pizza Express Gift Card for £12.70 giving you 15% off and remember you can use the gift card in conjunctions with any other coupons you have (Pizza Express regular run 2for1 offers). Plus if you sign up through our link you'll get an extra £5 in credit FREE bringing the cost down to £7.70 saving you 48%. Thats almost half price !!




      We enjoy using Zeek and find it really easy to use and make purchases. Whilst the discounts could tempt you into purchasing more than necessary we try to limit our purchases to gift cards for stores we know we will use. For example, we have recently been buying a Tesco gift card at the start of the month for our grocery money and using only that. It saves money two-fold because it works much like the 'cash-envelope' system; once the money is gone its gone. Secondly, we save money because we are not paying full price for the gift card. 


      This  is a sponsored post that contains affiliate link. To learn more about why we use affiliate links please see our disclaimer at the bottom of our page. All opinions are our own and we have used Zeek for a while before being approach for this post. 

      _________________________________________________________________________________
      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 and get £5 free when you make your first purchase through our link. 
      • 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!

      *This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are our own*

      Save money food shopping

      Food shopping is one of those essentials we just can get out of. Being a university student it is often the first time you have to food shop. For us we find we all to easily pop to the shops for a pint of milk and come bag with a bag full of stuff. Whilst we are working on tackling this by limiting the number of times we go to the shops (doing online shopping also helps with this), it is inevitable that we will go shopping. That doesn't have to mean there aren't other ways to save money.


      save on groceries


      Today we are sharing some of the best ways we have found to save money on your food shopping whilst requiring minimal effort. 

      1. Use discount cards
      If you can use a discount card either staff, student or NHS etc. then go for it. Though for staff discount please read the terms and conditions carefully (as using a family members card is not always allowed). Typically such discount cards save you 10%, so a couple spending £35 a week could save £182 over the course of a year. 

      2. By reduced and freeze
      Become familiar with where your local shop keeps reduced items and at what time of the date they do final reductions can see you pick up food for pennies. Granted its going to be close to its use-by date so be prepared to have to freeze these items but this makes a great way to stock up you freezer. After seasonal events (christmas and easter) a lot of seasonal food will be reduced too; so long you aren't fussed about having christmas food in the spring this is also a great option. 

      3. Using gift cards
      Using gift cards either bought through an employee discount scheme or an online site such as Zeek (get £5 free through this link) allows you to purchase them at a discount from their usual price. This means you are saving money even if you buy the same stuff you would normally. Plus you can use other forms of discount in conjunction with gift cards (i.e staff or student discount) as the gift card is just another form of payment method (like card or cash). Buying a fixed amount on a gift card is kind of like using cash envelopes as you have a sent amount allocated to each expense which can really help with controlling spending and impulse purchases as once its gone its gone. 

      4. Meal plan.

      Meal planning is an great way to got shopping with a plan and buy only what you need. Pinterest is full of awesome meal plans and we even have a great budget friendly meal plan for two here. Try to plan meals that will share several ingredients so that there is less waste and you are able to buy greater quantities and take advantage of cheaper per unit prices. 

      5. Use cash-back 
      If your choose to use debit cards don't forget you can get cashback on your shopping at supermarkets (aka free money for spending money you would have spent anyway). Our favourite cashback site is Quidco and if you sign up through this link you get £10 FREE (who doesn't love freebies). Even just a 3% cashback over a year would save you over £50 (for no real effort).

      What nifty tricks do you use to save money on your food shopping. 



      Earn money sharing your uni experience

      What if we told you that your could earn money simply by sharing your university experience with prospective students. At UniBuddy it is as simple as that.


      earn money sharing uni experience

      UniBuddy is a website that pays current university students to talk to prospective students about their university experience. This could involve any aspect of your experience from applying, housing, academics or student life.

      Start by competing your profile about who you are and your eduction (where you study and what you are studying)
      Then add posts to your profile (these could be on any topic about your university experience). These help penitential students get an idea of who you are and whether they are interested in talking to you.

      When students start messaging you this is when you get paid. Currently UniBuddy pays up to £35 per applicant you help. Plus for the posts you add to your profile there is a regular competition to win £40 for the best post. Whilst Beckie managed to win at the end of December (so the giveaway is completely legitimate).

      Pros
      Flexible, easy work for home, or on the go making it a great option for the busy student. 
      Requires very little skill.  Essentially by sharing your experience of univeristy and applications you can help mentor potential applicants. The better quality your writing is the more likely your posts will drive traffic but you don't need to be an a literary genius, just good at conveying your experience in a friendly tone. 

      Cons
      Sporadic and definitely not a consistent income source. Rather it is a good way of earning some supplemental cash.
      It is entirely reliant on applicants choosing to talk to you so there is no guarantee of ever earning anything. We also wonder if your odds are better at getting people to talk to you if you are studying a popular subject (law, medicine, engineering etc.) at a popular university (i.e. Russel group or oxbridge). Though we have no evidence of this other than observation of users of UniBuddy.


      Have you had any success earning with UniBuddy? 

      Disclaimer- SavingScotts has no affiliation with UniBuddy and all opinions are our own. 


      ______________________________________________________



        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 (and get £5 free with this link). 
        • 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!
        *This post contains affiliate links, all opinions are our own*