Thursday 12 April 2012

There's more to Student Finance than the Debt.

As an antidote to my lack of hair blogs, I've taken up reading personal finance blogs instead (out of the frying pan...). I've found a plethora of good ones based in the UK, but there are quite a few based in North America too. One thing I noticed was that few - okay, none of the British blogs were written by students or for students.

Which is incredible, considering how much debt students are going to get themselves into, isn't it? The closest thing I found was this series by the Guardian,written by an anonymous student at Warwick University.

The comments make interesting reading - most people think that the student is actually a troll, used as a joke by the Guardian because he is talking about his financial issues and then talking about going out to restaurants for people's birthdays.

I think that the people making these comments obviously haven't been to university lately, because from my experience at university, the anon blogger's recounts are perfectly normal.

Not that I spend £50 on nights out (my gag reflex just went at the very thought), but I don't even drink, so it wouldn't make sense. And I have had many experiences talking to friends the day after the night before where something similar or an equally large amount of money has been dropped on alcohol.

One day, one of my friends told me she had lost £50 on a night out. She wasn't sure whether she had spent it on alcohol or just lost it somewhere.

In first year, when the anxiety about making friends is at it's highest and you're not sure which friends will last you, the pressure to go on every single night out can be enormous. Even if it's just you that creates that pressure internally. I mean, I thought Fresher's Week was socially compulsory, so went out even though I didn't enjoy it. (I totally regretted that at the end of the term when I had £3.76 to my name).

I guess that if your primary way of making friends is through getting inebriated and then drunkenly adding them on facebook then yes, the going out aspects of Fresher's Week are compulsory. If not, then you will find friends.

You'll probably find friends at events you do enjoy, because then you'll have something in common.

And first years usually have no clue about their university town or city - about the markets where the fruit and vegetables will be cheaper, or the specialist shops where food staples can be found for cheaper.
If you search for anything to do with student finance, all you'll find is where to borrow the money from, and the great amount of debt you'll be in. Where's the practical advice for day to day living? For creating a student suitable budget? How to use your overdraft?

Most students receive financial advice from their parents, because they've got the experience of having been there and done that.
But as a student, you're basically working it out by yourself. To be honest, if I hadn't been a student, I probably wouldn't be this interested by money (and would probably have a heck of a lot more stuff as well). General thrifty tips, such as those given my A Thrifty Mrs are good for everybody, whether saddling £25,000 worth of debt or not.

For many people, becoming a student is their first step to learning about money - whether it's enjoying how much they have of it at the beginning of term ("Yay! Loan Day!") or commiserating their complete and utter lack of it by the time the holidays roll by.

Ah well. There's always SavetheStudent...

1 comment:

  1. Learning about finance and how you use it is very important,now a days money is one click and they are gone and if they are gone "Loan day" very good topic.


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