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.


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    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!






      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. 


      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)

      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.