Posted 29 Jun 2011
I am thinking everyone has probably finished exams by now so it is time to celebrate. And celebrate is what I have been doing, and doing it hard. It seems like my diary is booked solid for the next few months with parties and events. Now that uni is over I have nothing else to take up my time. This isn't exactly keeping my bank balance to a healthy figure. With a deposit to pay on a new place and three months' rent till my next loan instalment, this isn't exactly the most sensible way to spend my summer. I should really be working hard to make my rent. I can see how some students quickly spiral in to an awful financial situation and I'm going to have to rein in my spending if I'm hoping to survive the summer scar free.
Oh I sound dull but looking after your pennies is one of the most important lessons to learn at uni and for some people it is so difficult. I thought it would be the main topic of this blog because I wasn't very aware of how important penny counting is before I started university and I've always been good with money and now I'm in a little bit of trouble. So here is my plan to get back on track and hopefully you can use it as a plan to keep afloat.
Budget budget budget budget, such an over used and ill advised word to all new students. OK maybe not, but it is a dreaded word which maybe is the god of words, our law which we should abide every day of our lives. It is easy for people to tell us to budget and I'm sure the majority of us try to set one up. I've had many which I have used these past two years and one I have particularly liked but that still has its flaws. I'm very thankful of mine – maybe with out it I would be in a lot of trouble and not just a little!
My point is I didn't design my budget a financial advisor did. My budgets were worthless in comparison. So it is all good and well me telling you to budget, teachers telling you to budget, every web page for students telling you to budget – but if you have no idea how to create a good budget it will be no good. They always give us an example of how to budget and I'm sure it probably works for some but I found it was no good because it was just assuming your spending pattern will be constant throughout the whole year, when this just isn't realistic. I said mine has flaws and that is because it works on my outgoings and incomings on a monthy basis. I recommend sticking to weekly and that is how I plan to help myself this summer. Also if you go off budget one week it makes it easier to bring yourself back on track the next.
Now I've got the boring stuff out the way, the best tricks for a party loving student with no cash to fuel the fun is prioritise – don't say yes to everything if you can't afford it. Pick the most important events to you and miss out on the others. Nah, that doesn't sound like fun to me at all, who wants to spend all this time off sitting at home doing nothing? The trick I have become a fan of is saying yes to everything. The only compromise I make is sometimes I don't drink, alcohol isn't necessary for a good night out, it should be about your company. I've had brilliant cost free nights out by just drinking water all night. I didn't feel the need to drink, I spent the night dancing and having a laugh with friends. I spent less than five pounds that night and it was one of the best nights.
As this is most possibly the most dullest and preachiest (if that is even a word, probably not but I'm a scientist and that's my defence) blog I've ever written to you, I sincerely apologise but money is all I have on my brain at the moment as I'm snowed under with bills. To try and liven myself up and to hopefully show you my life is not as dull as it seems, please enjoy my photograph of me working hard for the war effort.
Course: Forensic Chemistry
Level: Third year
Other information: I came to Kingston University after taking a gap year during which I was employed. I am on the Compact scheme. I am a member of the Wine society. I am a Kingston University student ambassador. I chose Kingston because... of the course. I couldn't find Forensic Chemistry anywhere else at the time. I loved that Kingston wasn't too far from home and if I wanted could commute. I love the size of Kingston, it has everything you need but isn't too big. It's so close...