Savvy Student money tips With Cobalt Advisors

It has been quite a while since I was a student, but one thing I remembered clearly was having to pay off a hefty student loan at the end of my studying time. It took many years to finish paying off the student loans I accrued during that time. University is a time that should be one of the most fun experiences you will ever have, but, when it comes to money, you can end up building up debts that you will  be paying off for a long time, even as you are trying to sort your finances for life after study. So being a savvy student when it comes to your dosh is an option you should definitely be trying out.

In my student days.

In my student days.

Tips With Cobalt Advisors

Some debt is virtually unavoidable, but there are things that you can do that will help you manage your finances a little better. Here are my top five tips for being a money-savvy student.

  • Open a student bank account. A good student bank account will offer a good rate of interest on any savings, and an overdraft facility that is free. The TSB student account also offers a free £10 overdraft buffer, which means you won’t pay any overdraft fees or interest if you go overdrawn (either Planned or Unplanned) or exceed your Planned Overdraft limit by £10 or less.
  • Look at your credit cards and make sure you switch to a low interest card like those from Cobalt Advisors, then keep this in a special place for a rainy day. You never know when you might need instant cash for an issue – car trouble, an unexpected bill, so having a card that you could use without massive interest accruing is both useful and sensible.

Irish Students Marianne and Connell in Normal People

  • Look for a part time job. During my university days I worked part time in a shop to top up my income. Even a few hours a week can help to alleviate money worries. Student towns often have seasonal work, bar work etc. Look at things like stewarding at sports events and other jobs that can work at the weekend. Most students do not spends all day every day in lectures, so use some of that spare time wisely.
  • Budget. Writing a plan that shows what money you have, and what you need to spend it on is essential for avoiding excessive debt. Having this information down on paper shows you what is left once your bills and books are paid for.
  • Being a savvy shopper – budget supermarkets, charity shops and jumble sales, you can still shop on a budget. I lived in Birmingham’s Rag Market as a student, and totally loved my look. These days Charity shops have everything from Vintage to designer so you are sure to be able to create your own look at a budget that suits.
  • If you do need to get a loan, get a student version with low interest, that doesn’t have to be paid back until your earnings reach a certain level.
Some of my fave students - Fresh Meat.

Some of my fave students – Fresh Meat.

These are my tips, ones which I used when I was a student. You can find more useful tips in this savvy students guide.

Do you have a tip you could share?

A few holiday Essentials

As we reach the end of February, our thoughts are finally turning to Summer days. Many of us have already booked our Summer holidays and are starting to list what we need. Holiday season is just around the corner, and with half term this week, people have already started jetting off to enjoy some much needed sunshine. But it is no secret that holidays, as well as being a time for fun, relaxation and excitement, are also a time that can prove to be very expensive. Travel money, holiday wardrobes, travel insurance, new luggage, all of these things can add up and make even the most budget of holidays rather more expensive than you may have budgeted for.

So this post is about planning ahead, not leaving all that shopping for holiday essentials until the last minute. A few bargain buys will update your holiday wardrobe without breaking the bank. Don’t forget to check out your local supermarket brands for bargains, Morrisons have an adult range as part of the Nutmeg range, whilst some branches of Poundland are stocking the budget brand Pep and Co in their stores. There are also a couple of ideas for must have items, investment pieces that you will be able to use year upon year.

Swimming Watches

If your holiday is one of water adventures, then it could be worth investing in a swimming watch. Swimming watches for women are stylish and durable, and are great if you want to indulge in scuba diving, swimming, water skiing, or any other kind of watery activity. These days a waterproof watch doesn’t have to be bulky or manly, it can actually have a sleek and stylish design.

A Maxi Dress

A maxi dress is perfect for evening drinks or daytime sightseeing. it can also double up as a pool coverup, or you could add a denim jacket and it will be great to travel home in. Choose a pretty pattern for extra style points.

Sandals

A cool pair of espadrilles will work for holidays and festivals alike. Add in a metallic touch, and you have a shoe that is stylish and versatile. Try to choose a pair that will work with most of your outfits so you can cut down on the packing.

Beach Cover Up

A beach cover up can look so much  chicer than a sarong, and this black dress has an interesting back detail. This means that it would also work for drinks after dark, just add a pair of statement earrings for an evening look.

A Hat

Protect your head with the coolest cover up around – it has to be a Fedora. You could travel in this to help it keep its shape, or pack your undies into it to avoid it being flattened in the suitcase.

 

A versatile Bag

Boho prints are another holiday fave. I love the pink accents in this tote bag, it looks like it has come straight from Talitha Getty’s 1960s Marrakesh wardrobe. This sort of bag would work for the beach, or for sightseeing.

Crafty fashion: 5 top tips for designing your own clothes

We all want to express ourselves with our individual look but these days this is not as easy as it once seemed. Fast Fashion means that many stores on the High Street sell exactly the same designs, making original style more difficult to achieve. For creative people though, with an eye for fashion, this can mean that the idea of designing and making your own clothing, and, even selling on your designs through eBay and Etsy, is becoming more popular.

If you are thinking of designing and making your own clothing, then there are some items you should invest in. These will help you to create your own pieces, and also to help you to label and market your items so you can sell them on.

1) Colour dyes – Using colour dyes can be a little bit daunting at first as it can be messy if you’re not prepared but it’s a great way to give a new lease of life to your clothing. When dyeing clothes, it is easier to start with an item that is currently one solid colour and one made of natural materials as this most easy to dye. Choosing your dye needs to be based on the types of material you are using and the method used.

Dyeing in a washing machine is much easier when it comes to cleaning up. Make sure you put plastic down to help with the clean up as well. Don’t be afraid of dyeing your clothes with a blend of colour dyes to really give your clothes a unique colour.

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2) Care and Laundry Labels – These are very important if you intend to sell on your items through an online store or market store. You can add wash labels to your item, it will make it look more professional, are useful to the customer, and can also be a marketing tool as you can add the name of your brand to it.

Wash care labels can be brought in bulk, and can also reflect your brand in that they can also be recycled, a good feature if your brand is all about sustainable fashion.

3) Cut out sections – A very trendy look right now is to have gaps made of slits in your trousers and tops. It is a fashion that can be easily achieved by carefully making slits in your trousers on the knees or across the back of a T-shirt. Start off slowly when making cuts and always check that where the gaps appear does not expose parts of your body that you wish to keep covered!

4) Fabric brooches – If you are looking to add a subtle touch of personality to your look then try creating a fabric brooch. To make a brooch you will need fabric, a needle, thread and a brooch back. Brooches can come in all shapes and sizes and these can be completely unique to your own style.

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5) Draw and paint design Ideas – For those of you who love to draw and paint then why not use that skill directly on a garment? Whether you want to add a small logo to the sleeve of a top or you want to create a full top design then using fabric paints and pens are the easiest way to change the look of a piece of clothing instantly. Keep old magazines and interesting prints that you can use as inspiration.

Remember when designing to not always design clothes with just yourself in mind,  as your designs could help you to create your very own business.