Tag Archives: experian blog

10 key finance tips for freshers

Sometimes I wonder if I got lucky when I was a student back in the olden days, with cheap accommodation, council grants and no tuition fees.

£23,187 was the estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year* -so budgeting is one of the key skills freshers need to pick up.  So we’ve put together ten tips for this year’s crop of new students.

  1. To start with, it’s worth dividing your outgoings into what you need and what you like doing, while working out what you actually don’t need and can probably live without.
  2. What you need:  basic living costs like share of rent, utilities, TV licence, council tax & food plus unavoidable university costs like tuition fees, books, and a bit of spare cash for emergencies.
  3. What you like: things like gigs, clubbing, bars, clothes, general entertainment and going out. Try to set a budget for the week or month, and stick to it if you can…
  4. Also work out how much money you’ve going to have at your disposal before allocating a budget – besides any loan or grant you might have got, there might be earnings from part-time or temporary holiday jobs to consider. Once you’ve factored that in, it can be easier to plan how much you’ll have left.
  5. Got a long reading list? Share books with your classmates, borrow long-term from the library, or plunder second-hand book shops where past students will have deposited their old copies.
  6. Used items can be a very financially savvy way of buying the things you like too – things like laptops. DVDs, new or vintage clothes will be in good supply in any well-travelled university town.
  7. Students can be eligible for large discounts on all manner of products and services. NUS Extra is one of some websites worth signing up for.  Then there are gyms, cinemas and more that offer cheaper prices with NUS membership. Young person’s railcards and coachcards can also provide big discounts if you’re travelling around the country.
  8. Student bank accounts will invariably offer interest-free overdrafts, usually over £1000, and can also offer other useful services like free or discounted contents insurance.
  9. If you watch TV you’re going to need a licence, but remember you don’t have to pay the whole year up front – you can pay it quarterly or monthly, which can help with regular budgeting.
  10. Finally, food shopping needn’t be last-minute visits to big-name supermarkets – buying in bulk and freezing food, as well as sharing food and meals with your housemates, is a fun and sociable way to save money!

Experian also has a Credit Guide for Students and Young People, aimed at helping students & graduates understand how to use credit wisely to get the things they want in life.

*NUS estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year

How Matt turned his credit rating around

Matt managed to turn his credit rating around a short space of time and now owns his own home – here he tells us how he took control of his credit history to achieve what he wanted.

After running up huge balances on credit cards, mobile phone bills and being hit charges through missing payments, Matt found that it seriously affected his chances of getting a first mortgage.

Checking his Experian Credit Report and Score allowed him to see how he could sort out his finances and ultimately help him get that first home.

Now much more money-savvy, he works for TopCashback and is dedicated to helping people get deals that could help them save money.

You can also check out Becci’s story of how she is using the Experian Credit Report and Score to help her save towards a mortgage here.

Helping children better understand the value of money

Although financial education became a compulsory part of the secondary-school curriculum in England in 2014, some pupils are still missing out, particularly in primary schools.

Research commissioned by Money Advice Service shows that by the age of seven children have developed their attitudes and values towards money, which are likely to stay with them for life.

Watch our new Credit Café video below, where we discuss financial education in primary schools

Indeed, children are likely to get their first mobile phone by the age of eight and begin online shopping by the age of 10.  So we can see it’s increasingly important to help children better understand the value of money at the earliest opportunity.

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9 tips for buying a home with a partner

Buying a home with your partner or friends can be a much needed boost to get on the property ladder – helping to raise a bigger deposit and making your dream that extra bit more affordable.

Checking your Experian Credit Report can also help you see if and how you are financially linked. It can also help you understand if you need a little work to tidy up your credit history before a joint mortgage application is made. Here are some key tips we’ve put together to help you, if that’s what you’re about to do.

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The cost of home improvements

It’s been said that we’re a nation of DIY-ers. Before the credit crunch, the property boom saw many people buying new places, doing them up and selling them on for a profit.

But in the years following the crash many were unable to sell, instead choosing to do up their homes and make them nicer places to live.

These days, we seem to occupy the middle ground. According to a 2014 survey by Lloyds Bank, 40 per cent of people undertake renovations to improve the look of their home, while 33 per cent do it to add value.

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The real cost of a year at university

997-cost-going-out-300Sometimes I wonder if I got lucky when I was a student back in the olden days.  No tuition fees, cheap halls of residences, council grants – and no tablets or smartphones around to spend it on.

Today’s students appear to have it a lot harder, if research from the NUS* is anything to go by.

£23,187 was the estimated average student expenditure for the 2013/14 academic year, making it something for which parents (and students) might want to start budgeting for well in advance. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog winner: Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies

Gina Caro (Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog)

Gina Caro (Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog)

Gina Caro has moved house ‘approximately 25 times’ in her life and says she’s ‘born to roam’.

Her marvellous Cold Tea and Smelly Nappies blog is all about motherhood and living a more frugal, sustainable life – and Gina’s blog won the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

We asked Gina to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions – so here’s a lovely piece in which she tells us all about a dream of hers that shows how our priorities can change! Continue reading

The joys (and pains) of emigrating

man-on-the-undergroundIt’s a dream that many people have – leaving Blighty and setting up home abroad. It could be a happy retirement in Spain or a complete relocation of life and work to Australia, but it’s on many people’s wish lists.

According to a recent survey from Experian, 23.4 per cent of people said that they would emigrate if there were no restrictions.

Of course, deciding to pack up your life and move to another country isn’t easy – there are dozens of things to think about, not least where you’re going to live when you get there. And if you have children, their schooling will be paramount. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Awesome Austerity – My Dream

Morna Macneill’s super blog Awesome Austerity certainly is, as she calls it, “a blog about money-saving, parenting, crafting, baking and anything else I can think of.”  It’s one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

morna's family-300We asked Mum of two Morna, a pathologist in her day job. to tell us what her greatest ambition would be if there were no restrictions. She writes for us here about a long-time dream she managed to realise.

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When I was a young thing, I’m sure I could have reeled off a long list of fairly shallow dreams……I’d buy a horse, no, a whole stable, I’d travel the world, I’d engage a personal trainer so I could be really skinny and wear designer clothes. Continue reading

Best Thrifty Blog finalist: Baby Budgeting – My dream

Becky Mads 2013-250Becky Goddard-Hill is a parenting author and blogger, whose main focus is writing about how to have a creative and happy family life on a budget. She writes the popular thrifty parenting blogs Baby Budgeting, Family Budgeting and she writes about interiors at Thrifty Home.

Becky has been blogging since 2008, and lives in Nottingham with her husband Jonny and 2 children Frankie (11) and Annalise (8). She says blogging gives her a great work/life balance.

Baby-Budgeting-logo-300Baby Budgeting is one of the finalists in the Best Thrifty Blog category at the 2015 MAD (Mum and Dad) Blog Awards, to be held in September.

Experian is delighted to sponsor the Best Thrifty Blog award, which recognises the mum and dad bloggers helping people make savvy financial decisions every day.

We asked Becky to tell us what her greatest ambition would be, if there were no restrictions, and how she’d make it a reality.  Here Becky shares her dream with us of making a difference to the world.

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