Now this post takes me back a good 10 years+ (showing my age here) from when I started Uni. It wasn't until I started Uni I started to notice the real value of money and what it feels like to be skint! I remember being in my final year of college applying for my Uni and student loan. At the time I was only given around £2500 a year for my student loan so it was around £1250 at the start of term for the first installment then the 2nd one in the new year. Back then we had to queue up for our student loan cheques and take it to the bank for cashing in...old school right I am sure they must do bank transfers these days. Retail companies are so good at getting students to spend their money on things they don't really need, they know when students get their loans. Last week our local shopping centre were holding a student evening where pretty much all the stores were offering great discounts for everyone to spend spend spend if you are a retailer and you were not offering anything then you are losing out....lets be honest it's all things you probably cannot afford or need but obviously at the time you don't think that you just think...wow I have a load of cash in the bank now how am I going to spend all this money. In the back of your mind you know you will pay it back but you just think...it's ok when I start working I can pay it back easily but how wrong was I....
So for me I was lucky I was only eligible for a small amount and it probably came to around £5000+ in total since I lived at home in my first year and only moved out for 2nd/3rd year. When Uni finished and I landed my first job I had to start paying (% of my salary) some of it back each month. I remember at the time thinking I am not evening earning enough myself just about surviving each month after rent / bills etc and often going into my overdraft and in addition I also have my student loan money going out each month, it wasn't huge amount but it was enough to make a difference in that I could have spent that money for 2 weeks worth of food shop - not happy. For my type of loan the more you earn the more they deduct each month, since I am commission based some months were worse than others. Whilst a lot would say the interest rate is very low it doesn't matter to me it's another debt to be paying off.
Thinking back it does make me question our education system why we are learning square root / algebra etc and not the basics of growing up finances eg: mortgages / loans / over drafts / credit cards etc... educating us on the consequences of borrowing and if we really need to then to know how to work out which is the best deal etc... It's simple students are not receiving enough debt management education in schools, maybe this is why so much of us are in debt these days.
According to UCAS over 511,000 people entering the UK high education system this year, online discount codes site MyVoucherCodes also polled 2,864 students in the UK aged over 18 and found 65% say young adults do not receive the adequate education on debt management and that schools must offer more. It's rather scary to think Britain are seeing record numbers of people battle high levels of personal debt with amount owed by households topping a whooping £173bn!!!!
What are your thoughts on this, do you think schools are doing enough to prepare us all for adult hood? When you left school / uni did you really understood the value of money or were you someone who was always skint / into your overdraft?
If you are trying to cut down on spending I wrote a post a while back on "Simple Steps To Cutting Your Spending" which was very popular read.
*photo above taken from pinterest