Let's Talk About Money

Let’s Talk Money

I don’t know about you, but I’ve found that here in the UK we aren’t great about talking about money. It’s kind of viewed as a yucky topic. If you do talk about money you’re either showing off or complaining, well that’s what I’ve found.

As always, it started with a book (big surprise to my regular readers). I was recommended You Are A Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero and I thought why not have a listen? I loved it and I’m not against saying that it completely changed my perception of money.

Money Anxiety

Money for me has changed a LOT in the past few years. Mainly because I am now directly responsible for making sure I have enough. If I don’t work for whatever reason, I don’t get any. Self-employed life for the win! Before that even being in full-time employment I was always anxious about money. No, scratch that I was scared about money.

What if I didn’t have enough? Was I making enough? Should I be making more? Would I be stuck earning this amount for the rest of my life? Yep, definite money anxiety. And I know I’m not the only one.

Changing Your Mindset

There’s the idea that money is hard to find and therefore it’s unlikely you’ll have enough. This is what I had to change personally, Sincero says that money is all around us, we just need to find how to access it.

Hold fire, I understand that this seems out there, I scoffed at it at first BUT think about it. There are opportunities everywhere, yes some of us have more privilege to access it than others but it’s still there. It’s all about what we’ll do to access it and the mindset we have about how we’ll get it.

A mere few days after finishing this book, I was told a client of mine was no longer continuing. Normally this would have given me a panic attack and a lot of teams. I was anxious, no doubt, but I took a few breaths and spent my entire train journey noting down ideas of how I could possibly gain back that income.

I had a positive mindset that I could and would replace that money. That I just had to find it. It wasn’t instant but there are more things in the pipeline.

Calling Out Bullshit

Rich people aren’t evil, poor people aren’t stupid. These are some bullshit ideas that float around. How you view money and what you want is a big part of the book. Similarly, if you enjoy money and want to make a large amount you’re not a soulless demon.

We have some really weird ideas as a society about money. One of this biggest is that it has to be a secret. I know for a fact people have been paid more than me to do the same job, in the same place.

I’ve always been pretty open about my earnings to those who are close to me. It is what it is and I won’t be ashamed or embarrassed.

I’m fully aware that circumstance can hugely impact how much a person earns! It’s not all positive thinking and fingers crossed. BUT unless we talk about it how are we going to know if people are being exploited or mistreated?

How are we going to fix problems with pay gaps due to gender and ethnicity if we refuse to talk about them? Additionally, we need to make sure we are supporting those who are minorities or those from low-income backgrounds because we’re only going to become a better society.

How do you feel about money and the way we talk about it? Let me know in the comments below!

Is Uni Right For You? Pros and Cons of Going To Uni

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Going to university is a big decision. With tuition costs as high as they are a lot of people are wondering if university is right for them. I was the first person in my family to go to university and, for a long time, I wasn’t going to apply. I thought university was for rich kids, I didn’t think I’d fit. I thought that all universities were like Oxford and Cambridge (the only universities I knew) but I was wrong. Through the persistence of a great teacher and my boyfriend I realised I could go to uni. That said I know uni isn’t for everyone! So, I thought I’d put together the pros and cons of going to university.

Living

Pro: You have the opportunity to move if you wish – I was terrified to move to a place I didn’t know but it was the right thing to do looking back on it. It made me be independent, it made me know that I can look after myself and gave me space to work out who I was on my own.

Con: Moving back after uni is tough. I see a lot of people who didn’t go to uni who are starting to get on the housing ladder because they’ve been working and earning while I’d been studying.

Pro: Being able to run your own schedule and your own life. You can eat when you want, sleep when you want and come and go as you please.

Con: Remembering to look after yourself. I really struggled in my first year with loneliness, I wasn’t close with my flatmates. I’d lock myself away for days on end sometimes, which was really tough.

Work

Pro: Some degrees are needed to get into careers, that’s a fact. Likewise, there are some jobs where graduates are preferred.

Con: It can be difficult to work and study. Everyone knows that student loans are difficult to live on and so if you live in a city it can mean long hours.

Pro: Student jobs can pay a good wage.

Con: Student jobs can have very crappy hours.

Friendships

Pro: Making friends from all over the world is a great perk of going to university. I learnt a lot about other cultures

Con: When friendships go wrong it can be hard. When you’re away from home and friendships go wrong it can knock your confidence and make you feel lonely.

Pro: Meeting new people. Meeting new people was great for me, I needed a change and I needed to rebuild myself, which was a huge positive for me.

Con: Moving back after graduation. When all of your friends are all over the country or world it can be really hard to adjust and you do miss the.

Money

Pro: Getting a Student Loan to help while you study was great (although depending on what your parents earn and your circumstances will depend on how much help you get).

Con: Going to uni means you’re not on a full time wage. This really depends on how much you want to study because I know a lot of brilliant people who didn’t go to uni, went straight to work and have built up a good career for themselves.

Pro: Over their lifetime, on average, a graduate will earn more.

Con: If you’re not studying full time you can get a lot of knowledge and experience in your industry, all of my family did it this way!

Learning  

Pro: If you love studying then of course uni makes sense! I loved reading and learning theory and debating, it was the best part of my degree!

Con: Uni can be really tiring and taxing. In third year I didn’t really sleep much, I was very stressed towards the end and got sick because of it.

Pro: You can create your own education. There’s so much choice in terms of courses and modules.

Con: If you’re not interested in studying, writing and sitting in lecture halls uni might not be you and that’s not a bad thing! There are so many ways to progress, further your career and learn!

There’s so much more I could come up with so by no means is this exhaustive. Whether you go to uni or not doesn’t determine if you’re successful. What are your plans? I’d love to know in the comments below!

Northern Adventures & Shopping

I’ve been let loose in the North for a few days now after travelling up on Saturday but today was the first day we really got out of the house and did some exploring. Ali’s Dad drove us around today to see some of the sights of County Durham and Newcastle. It was my first time  in Newcastle, so I was pretty excited as some of my Dad’s side of the family came from up here. IMG_2337

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First stop The Angel of the North. I’d seen the angel from a distance the last time I came up to Durham about 4/5 years ago, but we never actually went up to see it. So Philip (Ali’s Dad) took us up and it was incredible. I’ve always thought the angel was slightly creepy but the way it’s been built is amazing. Reading the signs around it’s also a great way to remember how strong the North once was, how the country would not have been the same without the work done here. It is also in memory of the miners that worked below years ago, there are flowers laid to remember them. The views were also stunning and made a great place for a family picture (above) of Ali, his sister Claire and their Dad, Philip.

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Newcastle center 

It was a little brighter than yesterday but still damn cold, what can I say I’m a southern girl! We took a drive into Newcastle which is where mainly I went shopping! This is my haul for today.

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Positive Vibes Only T-Shirt Tee and Cake @ Topshop 

£20, but they do Student discount 🙂 

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OPI ‘ I think in Pink’ nail varnish £11.95 John Lewis

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My Heart and Other Black Holes , Jasmine Warga – £6.99

How I live now, Meg Rosoff – £7.99 

Playlist for the Dead, Michelle Falkoff – £7.99

All available from Waterstones YA section, also bought with a Waterstones Student Card  

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Bras, between £9 – 24 (I think) Ann Summers, also with Student Discount 

5 Top Money Tips for new students

1. Know what money you have from the start 

If you know what you have, you know what you can spend. I saw loads of charts and things saying how much will you spend on food and things and I had no idea. First things first have a plan for each semester and take your rent out before you plan ANYTHING, that way you have somewhere to live…that always helps.

2. Make a budget 

This is vital. From the money you have divide it into either a monthly or weekly budget. It’s still the same key thing, knowing what you have to work with. I had two bank accounts and transferred my budget each week, that way I couldn’t overspend without making a transfer and thinking about it. Anything I didn’t spend that week went into a savings account.

3. Stick to it! 

It will make your life so much easier, but if you have to go slightly over that’s ok. It helps if you have some emergency money stashed…it’s up to you if beer means emergency or not. 

4. Make sure you have food above all else 

This is vital. After rent, food is a must! I know some people who lived on stupid food just so they had enough for 3 nights out a week…I wouldn’t advise it! 

5. Treat yourself every now and again! 

I hate horrible visions of having no money and living on plain rice and being miserable but you can treat yourself! You are allowed! You’re a human being after all! 

6 years and new steps

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Dinner and cocktails! 

I’m allowed to get a little sentimental today, well I think so. 6 years ago today I first fell for Ali we were both so young and got together for the first time after I told him ‘well I’ll love you anyway’ he blushed and ran away. The shy boy with the guitar now means more to me than life itself. Mushy stuff aside today was another step together which is more nervous and terrifying than the times that I’ve said I’ll go out with him (twice if you want to know) we went to a flat viewing and actually liked it.

Now as with all flat viewings I’ve been to lately I panicked and cried after, it feels like so much pressure to decide all this and sometimes it just gets too much. Luckily we have a weekend to think it over and talk about things. I’ve come back tonight and made a list of pros and cons and hopefully by Monday we will have made a decision and could have found our first home together! How weird is that!

By the grand scheme of things we’re taking our time, but that’s really the only option you have when you met someone at 13 and decide to go to uni. After dinner with Ali’s mum and her boyfriend we managed a quick cuddle before I had to go back again. Although we’ll really celebrate in August I can’t wait for the next 6 years or even the next 60 if we’re lucky enough.

Surprise Payday and finally earning my own money again!

Today was my first Student Ambassador payday, and I had absolutely no clue about it. I’d emailed a few weeks ago and been told that we were going to be put on the new payroll at the end of the month so training turned to excitement that I was finally earning again! I’ve been working since I was 16 and it’s incredibly important to me to earn my own money. Although I’ve taken the student loan it feels really odd to have money given to me and not have to earn it. I didn’t mind it but it’s always been in my head that I don’t want to live off my loan if I can help it. I love earning money and the feeling it gives. If I won the lottery I’d still do something, maybe not to earn but I’d probably travel, support charities and study many different things because to me a large amount of money would mean opportunities. 

So I’m not a millionaire from this job but I love the feeling of earning again, being able to save money. I get stupidly excited and pleased that I’m finally doing a job that I’m really passionate about. I get to blog and earn, it’s something of a dream to me which I never thought I would get to do after uni let alone during. So today has enabled me to put more of my student loan towards a nice flat to rent. We’re looking through estate agents now so fingers crossed. 

I was working again today 2-7, sacrificing seeing one of my oldest friends Grace but she understands that this was training I had to do for work. I’ll buy her a cider when I get home, after 10 years of being friends I get very emotional now she’s finally 18! We’ve been waiting for well over a year to go to the pub together and it can finally happen! 

So I’ll go to bed tonight with a smile on my face, I’m finally earning again and that masters doesn’t seem as impossible as it did before!