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Student Money Week 2017
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Vivi from Blackbullion will be on hand to offer advice on how to budget your money and debt.

Vivi is the founder of Blackbullion, the online financial education company. She’s a public speaker, media commentator and flat-white fanatic.
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l1lvink
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Will it be possible to watch this session at a later date/time?
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LauraKyasarin
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I'm really struggling keeping my money when I have so much to buy for my course. What else can I do? Who can I turn to for extra help? Uni are being very vague.
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SamuelC96
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Hi there, I wanna study at Uni in London!

SOAS hopefully! ^^

Does anyone know roughly how much it'll cost me to live and study in London.

My parents have a business so I don't have an annual figure, not sure roughly how much I'd get as student loan either.

I'd also have a job with Primark on weekends, as I'll be able to transfer from my current store.

Is it affordable?

I'm really clueless. Many thanks!
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maggiedavies
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I'm in sixth form and just calculating some student finance stuff.

The government maintenance loan for 'living costs' is £8,024 per year.
Accommodation for the Uni of Bradford is £3,906 for 42 weeks (an academic year).

£8,024 - £3,906 = £4,118 (p/yr excluding accommodation costs)

£4,118 divided by 42 (weeks) = £98.04 (per week).

Is that enough? What other costs come with studying away from home at university? Is it worth getting a small part time job? During university or prior to university?

I already have a functioning laptop by the way; I'm not a big alcohol drinker; and I try to control how much clothing I buy.

Thanks!
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brinsley windle
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help im in loads of debt with unplanned overdraft keeps charging me about 30 pound a day dont know what to do , im working every time i get a wage they take it out i owe money have nothing to live on cant get a loan ! messed up mylife
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rock_climber86
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Hi guys!

So i've finally saved up enough to clear my student loans. Question is, should I pay it all off now (and avoid the 1.5% interest i'm incurring every year), or should I just hang on to the cash and work towards trying to get on the property ladder, or take a much needed holiday? :eek:

the interest rates in the flexible savings etc seem rubbish at the moment so i've got half a mind to clear my debts because the interest rates are so crap i'd be accruing more interest on the debt than i'll be earning on interest. Yes i'm making the most of these regular savings accounts and will keep enough money aside to fund them for the whole year, but with the rest of the money I feel I should put towards the debt as it sitting around making 0.5% or whatever is just pointless! :/

What are your thoughts?
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Pretty Flacko
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Hello TSR.

I have been offered an unconditional offer from Lincoln for Law (LLB), if I accept them as my firm choice. I'm only 17 and I'm worried.

I really want to go to university, however, I'm just wondering whether it's worth it.

3 years of the highest maintenance loan = £24600
3 years of tuition funding = £27000
Leaving me with a debt of £51600

This is without the Legal Practice Course which will cost even more money, before I reap any benefits of the degree. (I do remind you, going to university is very dear to me, though)

I would plan on getting a part-time job, but at 17, everything just seems a bit much.

The question I put to you, is; is this money manageable? Is it doable? Will I ever pay this back?

All information is very much appreciated, and sought after. I'm just looking for assurance I'm making the correct decision I suppose. My background is a poor one, and my parental financial backing is second to almost everyone.

Many thanks.
Pretty Flacko.
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Becciilouisex
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Hi everyone!I've decided during my Christmas break on my second year of uni, to drop out. It's a long story as to why but basically, myself & my flat mates from my previous year accumulated a lot of debt and I was forced to have to pay it all (£1000) and had to borrow £500 from family therefore I couldnt travel to uni, missed all of my first term and next month I have to pay my family back leaving me with no travel money again.I am due to start my second term tomorrow (and receive my loan) and I am going in to make an appointment with student services to discuss dropping out. My question is, once I receive my maintenance loan & grant, will student finance take that money straight back or will it just be added to the money I owe when I start my repayments? As obviously the money is for students and I will not be studying but I private let and still have rent and bills to pay and need food! I've been applying for jobs but no luck as yet and obviously I'm worried that the loan will be taken out and I'll be left homeless. Thanks in advance
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accno1
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I basically hate spending. I'm the sort that buys stuff but returns it lol, especially clothing unless I really need something - I don't dress like a tramp but I don't buy for no reason.

I therefore save of most of what I earn, it's basically free money. I live at home and contribute some rent to cover bills and food but I don't really have time to go out for the next couple of years - only for a few months in the summer. I'm going to get more involved in sport/gym which should keep me further occupied.

It basically means I have around £1k to save every month and was wondering if I could make money work better for me. I've started gambling I have money lying around lol - not silly gambling but strategically on National Hunt Racing and profitably at that.

My background is Economics and I now work more in the finance and accounts side of things but would like to do more than drip feed money in 3 regular savers every month.


Thanks
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by SamuelC96)
Hi there, I wanna study at Uni in London!

SOAS hopefully! ^^

Does anyone know roughly how much it'll cost me to live and study in London.

My parents have a business so I don't have an annual figure, not sure roughly how much I'd get as student loan either.

I'd also have a job with Primark on weekends, as I'll be able to transfer from my current store.

Is it affordable?

I'm really clueless. Many thanks!
Hi There
Firstly yay for having a clear idea of what you want to do and where.
if you can work without impacting on your studies then fantastic, it's a great way to develop your employability skills too.

In terms of money in, remember maintenance grants are being replaced with loans and check out the government calculator to get an idea of how much you can get

In terms of spending, below is a table - which was correct as at the start of this academic year - which tells averages of student spending while living in halls in London. Averages means of course that there are as many people spending way more and many spending way less but these should give you a starting point.

Rent (including bills) for uni housing£580.00Food£186.91Books and materials£43.86Social£86.00Per sonal (clothes, mobile)£45.00Household (laundry and toiletries)£8.47Travel£36.00TV licence£12.12Total average spend per month£998.35I hope that helps, good luck and keep getting money smarter - it's one of the most critical skills you need in life
Viv
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by maggiedavies)
I'm in sixth form and just calculating some student finance stuff.

The government maintenance loan for 'living costs' is £8,024 per year.
Accommodation for the Uni of Bradford is £3,906 for 42 weeks (an academic year).

£8,024 - £3,906 = £4,118 (p/yr excluding accommodation costs)

£4,118 divided by 42 (weeks) = £98.04 (per week).

Is that enough? What other costs come with studying away from home at university? Is it worth getting a small part time job? During university or prior to university?

I already have a functioning laptop by the way; I'm not a big alcohol drinker; and I try to control how much clothing I buy.

Thanks!
Hi There
Well done for getting the maths down to get an idea of where you stand going forward. Firstly it's important to remember that what is enough money for one person won't be enough for another. But a starting point is always helpful and below I have pasted a table of average spending by students on the major spending categories. This is for England, not specifically Bradford (and if you are doing certain subjects you may need more for books and materials etc - if you aren't a drinker you will spend less socially etc) but hopefully that's a start.

Should you get a job? earning extra money is of course a great idea (and enhances your employability skills which is awesome) but ONLY if it doesn't impact on your studies. If you can work over the holidays and come to uni with some cash saved up that's great too. The most important thing is to not arrive on campus in debt if at all possible.

Since you are so organised might I suggest this. Learn how to cook. Spending on takeaways and microwave meals are a drain on your pocket, learn to cook and for a fiver you can cook 2-3 meals instead of paying for a single pizza

Food£161.75Books and materials£26.83Social£86.07Per sonal (clothes, mobile)£45.00Household (laundry and toiletries)£9.18Travel£39.08TV licence£12.12Hope that helps. Be sure you keep learnning and continue to get money smarter - it's one of the most important life skills you can develop and best to get on the road as soon as possible..
Lots of luck
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by brinsley windle)
help im in loads of debt with unplanned overdraft keeps charging me about 30 pound a day dont know what to do , im working every time i get a wage they take it out i owe money have nothing to live on cant get a loan ! messed up mylife

Hi Brinsley
Firstly, you have not messed up your life. There are people in far worse financial problems so don't think this is an irreversible catastrophe. It is not. You are not alone and you are not the first (nor the last) to find yourself in this situation.

So, now let's work the problem.

Given that I have no more information than what you have posted may I suggest the following

Go immediately to student finance and tell them where you are at and what is going on. Don't be embarrassed and don't think you can get out of this hole without help... this is why universities invest in student advice and student welfare. This is what they are there for, go and talk to them. Take your statements and tell them what's going on.

Student money advisors are trained to deal with this. They may be able to help you make a call to the bank (or make the call on your behalf) to arrange a plan for repayments and hopefully get a halt on the daily charges.

They may be able to provide emergency money to give you some breathing room - and if nothing else they will be there to help you work through this

Many students don't realise the terms of their overdraft and instead of using it as a last resort they use it without thought for the consequence and then the spiral of debt can begin.

Please go now - speak to someone. The cliche is true - a problem shared is a problem halved. Go now :auto::auto:
Good luck
Vivi
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by rock_climber86)
Hi guys!
(Original post by rock_climber86)

So i've finally saved up enough to clear my student loans. Question is, should I pay it all off now (and avoid the 1.5% interest i'm incurring every year), or should I just hang on to the cash and work towards trying to get on the property ladder, or take a much needed holiday? :eek:

the interest rates in the flexible savings etc seem rubbish at the moment so i've got half a mind to clear my debts because the interest rates are so crap i'd be accruing more interest on the debt than i'll be earning on interest. Yes i'm making the most of these regular savings accounts and will keep enough money aside to fund them for the whole year, but with the rest of the money I feel I should put towards the debt as it sitting around making 0.5% or whatever is just pointless! :/

What are your thoughts?


Rock, you rock!
Congrats on saving enough that this is an option for you
So firstly I can't give you advice as the UK government has very strict rules about who is authorised to give advice.
Instead I am going to present you with some points to help you consider your options
[1] as a general rule paying off debt is always a good idea. After all you can't plan for the future while paying off the past. Plus there is no penalty for early repayment.
[2] rates are not great for saving, that is true but ISAs can provide better rates and have an interest free wrapper so are a great way to start saving for your property deposit
[3] often the decisions we make are about opportunity cost. Opportunity cost refers to the thing we give up when we make a choice about what to do. If you turn left then turning right is the opportunity cost. In this case if you pay off the debt you dont have money for the holiday or to kick off the deposit.

An option you might consider if you aren't sure is to half half. Put 50% into paying off the debt and 50% into an ISA or to pay for a holiday. Or some other combination.

Whatever you decide make sure you keep saving. sounds like you are well on track for buying that property.The average first time buyer is now 31 and theaverage deposit needed, nationally, is £32,000 so saving is key

I hope that helps a bit, if you want to I would suggest seeking help from an IFA or similar - they usually offer the first hour for free

And keep learning and thinking about your finances.. keep up the great work. Well done! :p:p
Vivi
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by LauraKyasarin)
I'm really struggling keeping my money when I have so much to buy for my course. What else can I do? Who can I turn to for extra help? Uni are being very vague.
Hi Laura,
I'd love to help but there's not a lot of info here to go on.

I am going to assume you are doing a high-cost course like fashion and so a much larger proportion than you expected is going to pay for that stuff and so you are struggling to keep more money in your pocket.

There are only two options when money gets tight - you need more coming in or less going out

Money in: have you got all your allowances, loans, can you get a job, is your family helping... is it a short term gap in money or a month to money shortage.

Money out: can't you cut down on anything - the evil three are takeaway food and coffee, booze and cigarettes. Are you on the best packages for utilities etc.

I would suggest you speak with student services. They can sit with you and see how they can help. Too many students don't go to student services because they are anxious about getting in trouble or similar. You won't be. All the advisors we deal with are awesome and really want to help

It "sounds" to me like you need to sit with someone and tell them your story adn what you are battling with. They will, I am sure, be able to help if they only knew you were in need of some help.

Good luck - remember you aren't alone so go now and ask for help. Go....:bee2::bee2:

Vivi
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by Pretty Flacko)
Hello TSR.

I have been offered an unconditional offer from Lincoln for Law (LLB), if I accept them as my firm choice. I'm only 17 and I'm worried.

I really want to go to university, however, I'm just wondering whether it's worth it.

3 years of the highest maintenance loan = £24600
3 years of tuition funding = £27000
Leaving me with a debt of £51600

This is without the Legal Practice Course which will cost even more money, before I reap any benefits of the degree. (I do remind you, going to university is very dear to me, though)

I would plan on getting a part-time job, but at 17, everything just seems a bit much.

The question I put to you, is; is this money manageable? Is it doable? Will I ever pay this back?

All information is very much appreciated, and sought after. I'm just looking for assurance I'm making the correct decision I suppose. My background is a poor one, and my parental financial backing is second to almost everyone.

Many thanks.
Pretty Flacko.
Hey there Pretty

Massive congrats on your acceptance.

The debt you have calculated is about right. It's a scary amount and to ask whether uni is worthwhile is incredibly wise.

If you have always wanted to do law, are passionate about becoming a lawyer and going to uni is dear to you then I think you are answering your own question about whether to go.

So let's get down to the nitty gritty of your questions.

Firstly remember that you wouldn't need to pay back until after you graduate and only after you earn over £21k. So the money shouldn't be the thing to put you off, especially since law is a well paying degree

A quick google search gave this article {http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/11554820/How-much-are-lawyers-really-paid.html} and it should give you comfort that you are heading for a well paying profession.

The average graduate salary for a lawyer is £27k with predicted large increases for your entire career. So yes, likely you would pay the debt back as you will be earning good money.

Once you are earning £30k you pay back £98 each month which means you would be taking home about £1,860 each month after paying your tax, NI and student loans.

How do you feel about that?

If you can get a job while you are at uni (if you can get a paid internship at a law firm or similar and get the experience you will be brilliantly set up at graduation) then you can get that £51k down a bit

University is a wonderful experience - for the learning and degree but also for the additional life and employability skills you will develop not to mention the friends and contacts you make.

Education is an investment, only you know if it's one you want to make :adore:
Lots of luck - and keep learning
Viv
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by Becciilouisex)
Hi everyone!I've decided during my Christmas break on my second year of uni, to drop out. It's a long story as to why but basically, myself & my flat mates from my previous year accumulated a lot of debt and I was forced to have to pay it all (£1000) and had to borrow £500 from family therefore I couldnt travel to uni, missed all of my first term and next month I have to pay my family back leaving me with no travel money again.I am due to start my second term tomorrow (and receive my loan) and I am going in to make an appointment with student services to discuss dropping out. My question is, once I receive my maintenance loan & grant, will student finance take that money straight back or will it just be added to the money I owe when I start my repayments? As obviously the money is for students and I will not be studying but I private let and still have rent and bills to pay and need food! I've been applying for jobs but no luck as yet and obviously I'm worried that the loan will be taken out and I'll be left homeless. Thanks in advance
Hi Bec
First of all i am sorry to hear of your troubles. It's a sucky situation and it is not for me to try and talk you out of it (though I wish I could) - this is a sad reason to feel you have to leave and finding a job is unlikely to get easier.

If you don't continue with your education then they may well want the money back though student services are a good place to start answering these questions.
I know it must feel as though you are painted into a corner because of what happened with your flatmates and the debt. And it does suck, I'm not minimising that. But... In the grand scheme of your life £1,000 is not the kind of money you should throw your education for if there are any alternatives at all under any conditions. To paraphrase a tattoo reference.. don't make permanent decisions based on temporary setbacks

Student services may be able to help you manage the money situation to tide you over and help you cover your bills while you get your feet back on solid ground. They can't help you once you leave so make sure that it really is the right decisions. Mistakes on campus are cheaper, and easier to deal with, withing the framework of university.

I'm sorry I don't have any silver-bullet answers for you. Sit with student services, be honest with them about your situation, dont be embarrassed - you are not the first tough story and sadly you won't be the last - student advisors are awesome and they all want to help you succeed so let them try

Wishing you heaps of luck
Vivi
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by accno1)
I basically hate spending. I'm the sort that buys stuff but returns it lol, especially clothing unless I really need something - I don't dress like a tramp but I don't buy for no reason.

I therefore save of most of what I earn, it's basically free money. I live at home and contribute some rent to cover bills and food but I don't really have time to go out for the next couple of years - only for a few months in the summer. I'm going to get more involved in sport/gym which should keep me further occupied.

It basically means I have around £1k to save every month and was wondering if I could make money work better for me. I've started gambling I have money lying around lol - not silly gambling but strategically on National Hunt Racing and profitably at that.

My background is Economics and I now work more in the finance and accounts side of things but would like to do more than drip feed money in 3 regular savers every month.


Thanks
Hi There,
Sounds like you are doing all sorts of great things with your money - bravo.

Firstly I need to say that the FCA has pretty strict rules about giving advice so I am just going to point out some things to hopefully help you clarify your thinking

[1] there is no such thing as strategically gambling. I'm afraid all gambling is silly... the house always wins. Always. Our stats show that 10% of students gamble and it is one of the main reasons students find themselves in dangerous situations with long term consequences.
[2] Saving £1,000 each month in an ISA can generate decent returns and the money is protected by the FSCS so your money is protected if anything should go wrong.
[3] ask yourself what your goals are for your money - do you want to buy a property (at £12k a year you could have a deposit in 3 years!) - do you want to start a business? go travelling? Set a goal and work backwards
[4] Usually I would suggest investing - if you are comfortable with some risk, you are better off with risk in investing in the stock market, managed funds, crowdfunding, bonds etc.
[5] don't forget that in your life much of your success can be traced back to your contacts and to develop these contacts you need to be out in the world. Make sure you are meeting people - don't lock yourself away with busy'ness unless you have to.

Finally the best way to make money is to be a producer and not a consumer. You are definitely 50% of the way there by not spending a lot of money on tat you don't need or want and that's great.

Now you need to figure out if you want to be a producer, through starting a business or creating something on the side to make more money. This will always earn more than anything else.

I hope that's helpful - and whatever you decide be sure you are keeping on learning. It's the best investment you can make
Viv
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AmyTheerman
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I am starting a Graduate Diploma in Law in October - part-time, distance learning over two years. It is my intention to progress to the Masters in Law - again part-time distance learning over two years. I work full-time and take home about £15k. Will I be able to/am I better off taking the loan up front and trying to invest some of it towards paying off the MA later - splitting the costs between the loan and my pay? Or should I pay for as much of the Diploma as possible from pay and seek a loan elsewhere (from where?) - applying for the postgraduate loan only once I start the MA? I paid for my last MA out of pocket - am I excluded from post-grad loans because I already have a degree?
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Vivi Friedgut
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(Original post by AmyTheerman)
I am starting a Graduate Diploma in Law in October - part-time, distance learning over two years. It is my intention to progress to the Masters in Law - again part-time distance learning over two years. I work full-time and take home about £15k. Will I be able to/am I better off taking the loan up front and trying to invest some of it towards paying off the MA later - splitting the costs between the loan and my pay? Or should I pay for as much of the Diploma as possible from pay and seek a loan elsewhere (from where?) - applying for the postgraduate loan only once I start the MA? I paid for my last MA out of pocket - am I excluded from post-grad loans because I already have a degree?
Hi Amy
The SLC guys will advise whether you are eligible for the student loan so I am going to answer the other part of the question.

The first question you should ask yourself is "do I want to do this" and the second should be "can I afford to fund it if I am not eligible for a loan".

If you can't get a student loan you may need to get a standard-rate loan (I would look on some of the comparison sites to see what you could borrow and at what rate). A standard rate loan will begin attracting interest immediately and you will need to start paying it back immediately.

I would urge against borrowing in order to invest in the stock market, unless you are an investor.

The rates you will get if you deposit the money in a savings account will not be higher than the debt interest so there is no financial value in this

Your best bet (depending on the student loan situation) is to use your pay to cover your costs and borrow as little as possible.

If you are eligible for a student loan you can save it in anticipation of your MA and earn a bit of interest.

I would sit with a paper and pen and really crunch the numbers - what will it cost, how much do you need, what are borrowing interest rates, what are deposit interest rates...

Good luck
Viv
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