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?

Maintaining A Fashionable Lifestyle With Alamo Associates

We live in an age when consumerism is perhaps at its peak. Financial facilities that are now available have led to a general belief that it is now easy to buy whatever we wish, and then pay for them later in manageable bits and pieces. This has resulted in buyers becoming more aggressive. Buy now and pay later is the culture that has taken over the world. As a result, people are being more and more driven towards debt.

Easy money fuels buying

It is so easy to get into debt. Suppose you have a reputation for being fashionable, and you take pride in buying new items frequently. It is quite natural that in order to stay fashionable, you indulge in spending more on branded clothes and accessories. You feel a tinge of excitement every time you see a “sale” sign hanging outside of a store. In order to stay tuned with the trends, you become unmindful of the spending since money is now easily available through various financing schemes and credit cards. You pamper yourself with shopping sprees that soon become your habit.

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The debt trap

The habit of uncontrolled buying can keep growing. This can lead to a dreaded financial rut as debts mount on credit cards. The temptation to borrow from multiple sources to keep pace with your buying habits is always a danger. Debt can also get worse due to just paying the minimum amount off every month against the debts, which is quite common with other financial needs, but the burden of debt gradually acquires menacing proportion. Along with other bills that need paying each month, managing debt can become a big problem. Missing out on payments can make things worse for you as debts keep piling and you can also end up with late and missing payment fees.

confess

Borrow from a single source Like Alamo Associates

So what options are available to help manage your debt and repayments?  You need to look for support from a company like Alamo Associates who prioritise what clients need by offering a single monthly payment with low interest rates.  The idea being that it is easier to deal with a single lender who offers finance at lower interest levels, enabling you to pay off the total sum of all other outstanding debts.

What Will Happen?

A company like Alamo Associates will first evaluate your needs and financial situation, before they offer you a new loan/payment scheme that should be manageable for you.  The new loan is obtained at lower interest rates so that you pay less every month and can hopefully lead to your debt being repaid in a way that still leaves you able to live day to day.

You have thus found out a way to get out of the vicious trap of debts that has now becomes easy to manage. You don’t need to give up your love for fashion to live a life free of debt. All you need to do is manage your finances better!

Saving for Joe’s future

I sometimes find it hard to remember the days ‘BJ’, that is, before Joe. But one thing I do remember clearly is just how much disposable income we had, money to spend on frivolities like clothes and make-up, eating out, excessive amounts of shopping that we didn’t need, and holidays. These days it seems that every penny is accounted for and earmarked and most of it seems to be earmarked for Joe.

Earmarked for Joe? Yes, it has to be said, it costs a fortune being a mom to a football mad boy. Each month we spend around £100 on his football training and subs. He has a season ticket at West Bromwich Albion which is another £50 a year. His feet won’t stop growing, so it seems new boots are needed every couple of months, and they have to be Puma or Nike, and then there are the new football strips, wanted (new design of course) and needed (why won’t his legs stop growing – is my boy part giraffe?). Add into this the Fifa points that I seem to be buying every week, the school trips and residentials, and the fact I need to remortgage in order to do the food shop and it is clear, being a mom of a boy is very expensive, and it will only get more expensive, which is why I’m already thinking towards the future.

The dreaded Fifa

New Goals

Football with his team

We’re not wealthy by any means, so Joe can’t exactly have a trust fund, but there are ways to make sensible savings towards the future, even if it is only a small sum each month. One way where you can not only save money, but can also allow it to grow is by opening a Junior Isa Account. There are two kinds of Junior Isa’s, a Junior cash Isa and a Junior Stocks and Shares Isa. The main difference between a junior Isa and an adult Isa is that the junior Isa does belong to your child, money cannot be removed until your child reaches the age of 18, and this is what makes them perfect as a way of saving towards their first car or University costs.

The regular Junior Isa account earns interest like a savings account, and you can deposit up to £4,260 per year into the ISA, which could create a nice little nest egg by the time your child is 18. If you opt for the Junior Stocks and shares Isa, then your money is invested in financial markets with the aim of earning returns for investors that are greater than those you would get in a Junior Cash ISA. There is obviously some level of risk involved, but your returns could be much greater too, so it is definitely something to weigh up.

With university fees being so expensive, most establishments now charging the maximum amount of £9,000+, it would be good to have some money set aside to help with this, or with a deposit for a first home or a car if your child decides against university.

Do you have any savings put by for your child’s future? What are you saving for?