Archive for the 'money saving' Category
November 9th, 2011
The average medical student debt on graduation has risen from £23,909 to £24,092, the British Medical Association (BMA) reports.
Photo by upsuportsmouthPoorer medical students’ debts have also soared. Those from low-income backgrounds graduate over £13,000 more in debt than better off students – graduating with a projected debt of £37,588 (up from £26,324 in the past 12 months).
The survey from the BMA also reports that the number of medical students from the lowest income brackets is in decline over the past 12 months.
Co-chairwoman of the BMA Medical Student Committee Elly Pilavachi said:
“Medical students are now facing extremely high levels of graduation debt. Many are clearly heavily dependent on financial support from their families and friends to get through the intensive, five to six-year medical course. However, the picture for those from low-income backgrounds is particularly alarming with their debt levels a staggering £13,000 higher than those from higher income brackets.”
Clearly there is a lot to think about if you are planning on becoming a medical student, or already are one. What do you think about the current financial plight of med students?
February 21st, 2011
Broadband is a student essential. Course resources, from timetables to reading lists, are increasingly only available online and internet-only deals can help you save a lot. So, there’s no reason to overpay for home broadband. Here’s five ways to save.
1. Know your usage.
Even larger student households could use fairly few GBs (gigabytes) a month if everyone only goes online to browse. Almost all the cheapest deals have download limits so it’s worth checking.
More likely, however, is that you and your housemates will often need to download large files of research or course resources and then watch online videos and/or download music on top of that. If that sounds familiar, an unlimited deal is essential.
2. Don’t forget the phone.
Always remember to factor in the cost of line rental when comparing broadband deals. The only way of avoiding it at the moment is with Virgin Media.
If, like many student households, you’ve all got mobile contracts and won’t use the landline at all consider line rental from O2 or Be broadband without inclusive calls which is considerably cheaper.
Also note that if any of you have a mobile contract with O2, Orange or (soon) Vodafone you’re entitled to a £5-ish a month discount on your home broadband – so ask for it!
3. Don’t worry about contract length too much.
Students often worry about finding a deal that lasts for the length of the academic year but nine times out of ten it’s cheaper and easier to get a 12 month deal and pay the whole contract.
Short contract or no contract deals don’t come with free hardware and also attract a hefty sign up fee. Unless you’re moving every six months or more often, it’s not worth it.
4. Stay clear of mobile broadband (90% of the time).
Currently, most mobile broadband deals seem to be made for commuters. And no-one else. Download limits are small and seem to be shrinking by the day, speeds are less than speedy yet prices have barely moved and, in terms of pounds per GB, home broadband is far cheaper.
It’s tempting, granted, to get online on the go but a combination of free wi-fi and campus computers will achieve the same thing for hundreds of pounds less and only a little more effort.
5. Look for the best deals…
The best broadband deals are online, at least for the first contract. Of course, the best and, sometimes, the very cheapest student broadband is the deal you negotiate with your provider. But that’s another money saving story for another time…
November 26th, 2010
Source: Franceso Marino, Freedigitalphotos.net
Christmas is often a time to let loose a little… and with it comes the temptation to splash the cash – on going out, christmas parties, presents, cards and festive fun. But there are many ways to have fun AND keep an eye on those finances over the festive period, and we have pulled together some top tips for medical students.
Use those student discounts!
It may be easy to forget but there are loads of discounts and vouchers out there which mean you can get out and about for often half the price. A complete list of discounts can be found at the NUS site, and a great place for keeping up to date on latest offers is the lively money saving expert students forum.
Get handy with some home made gifts
Putting your own time and effort into making a present is a genuine way to show that you care for someone, and can often be cheaper. Also knowing that someone has made something for you is much more special than just getting something from a production line! Here are 50 home-made gift ideas to whet your appetite.
Get cashback on your gift purchases
Loads of retailers are offering cashback through sites like Quidco. These work by crediting your account with cash once you have made a purchase online. But be aware: you need to make sure you have clicked the link from the cashback site to make sure your purchase is registered. Take a look at current cashback offers from quidco here.
Set a budget, and stick to it
Be aware that December is often a month for excesses. Try and plan ahead – write out a list of who you plan to buy gifts for, how many times you think you may be going out, where you are travelling to, and try to budget for it. Guess how much you may be spending in each instance so that you are better prepared and know where your money will be going.
50 more ways to save…
If that hasn’t whetted your appetite take a look at these 50 quick everyday money saving tips. From lending textbooks, to booking train tickets early, these are realistic tips. There is something for everyone to fit into their daily lives.
May 24th, 2010
So you have finished uni, you’re fully qualified as a Junior Doctor and you’ve managed to land a job after an intensive application process. What next? Do you sit back on your laurels and enjoy that salary? Or do you take the plunge and jump onto the first rung of the property ladder?
Life is hard for a first-time buyer, now more than ever. There are fewer high loan-to-value mortgages than back in the glory days pre-2007 and after prompting from the Financial Services Agency, banks are reeling in on interest-only mortgages, which were a lifeline to first-time buyers.
It is going to be a while before you save for a deposit, what with paying back your student loan and saying goodbye to student discounts and benefits. However, once you have a few thousand in the bank you then need to find a mortgage you can actually afford.
Many potential borrowers get excited when they calculate how much they could actually borrow. The rate is usually four times your salary, so with an average doctor’s starting salary being around £33,000 or so, you could borrow £132,000. But, and there are some buts, what you can actually afford to pay back and what you can borrow quite often differ.
Say you want to borrow £120,000, if you can muster up a 10% deposit and opt for a three-year fixed rate deal over a 25-year term, you are looking at paying back £772.43 per month. And, seeing as the average UK house price is £205,598, this £120,000 figure is miles below this price.
Getting an affordable mortgage is therefore rather tricky. So what do you do? Well the best advice is to save as big a deposit as possible. Bigger deposits mean less risk for the bank and this results in a better rate for you, and opens you up to better mortgage deals.
You can also look at paying over a longer term as this will work to reduce your rate. But some banks are rather restrictive over this, so you need to fully investigate what each mortgage offers and thoroughly read the small print.
Before going to your bank, make use of online calculators such as the mortgage calculator from Santander. There are also repayments calculators so you can see how much you can borrow and how much you will have to pay back each month. Once you have found the right balance, only then can you approach your bank.
And if you do decide to get a mortgage, right now could be time to lock in a fixed-rate deal. OK – so for the past few months and for probably the next couple of months a tracker mortgage will come out as more cost effective, but the interest rate isn’t likely to get any lower, and with fixed-rate deals at their lowest levels right now, it makes sense to secure these rates for the next two to five years.
May 23rd, 2010
As a student its important to make those pennies stretch further, for more beer money or actually just to make sure your final overdraft is less that it could be.
So what better way than to start with saving a bit on food. The food waste mountain is huge now, and lots of retailers such as Jack Fulton and Poundland offer great bargains on best before date food.
Note that the ‘best before’ date isnt the ‘use by’ date – and in most cases food is still fine after the best before date.
A couple of ‘best before’ date sites to check out are Approved Food and Food Bargains. These sites can deliver to your door which means trawling round town with carrier bags is no longer a problem.
For example – a tin of tuna for 60p, pot noodle for 25p, or a packet of custard creams for 39p.
Go on, get saving! And let us know if you have some penny-saving tips of your own.