Monday, September 24The Voice of London

What they talk about when they talk about money: the five fields of personal finance

Like it or not, money is a part of our lives. To some people, it is a sensitive matter, but that does not eliminate the fact that it needs to be talk about.

Reporter: Abigail Megan Widya | Sub-editor: Micaela Kolischer

Too many people with financial illiteracy and not enough applicable lessons to combat such problems. Surely everyone knows the importance of savings and living within one’s means, but what to do when you are a skint student with the weight of deadlines and loans laying on your shoulders?From personal experience, polls, and a phone call with the CEO of Blackbullion Vivi Friedgut, the Voice of London has compiled a list of five things you need to know in order to manage your personal finance.

1, Cut Back vs. Make More

The mother of all tricks. All the list below owes their existence to these two. There are only two ways you can be safe in your daily finances; either you cut back, or you make more. What can you cut back? How to make more? Which one is better than the other, or how to not do either and just live within your means?

2. BCCT: booze, caffeine, cigarettes and takeaways

Ah, the (epitome) of a student life. First you need booze for Monday Madness, Trippy Thursday, or whatever your students’ union throws at you. Then comes the morning after where you need to come to a class hangover, hence the necessity for caffeine. And can we be bothered to cook after those combinations? Nope, so of course we got the next best thing after Google – takeaways. The thing is, are you happy spending £8 for a takeaway?

Student calculator:

£8 per takeaway per week x (52 weeks – 16 weeks of summer & winter holiday) = £288

That’s equivalent to a return trip to Paris and some more.

3. A second account

We all know how overwhelming it can be when the student loans are in; suddenly you got £2000+ in your bank account. The trick for this is, as Vivi Friedgut tells the Voice of London, to set up a second bank account that does not allow overdraft. Schedule the transfer of your allowance, be it weekly or monthly. Stick to that budget, stop spending once you have no more. This leads us to our next tips, which is that,

4. Cash over card



It is easy to spend when all we do is swipe; it does not feel like real money when you do not have it in your hands. £100 seems like a lot and £20 is not so much, but when you have it in the form of five £20 bank notes, spending £14.99 on a jumper that you know will unravel after three washes seem like a waste of money. Nothing hits me harder in the head than watching those five £20 bank notes gone in a blink of an eye. And this way, you will minimise the chance of you scrolling through online shops and making impulsive purchases. Which by the way, the sales they offer are (sometimes) bogus.

5. Online shops student-saver

That 20 % off for students offers are a calculated move; they know when you get your student loans. It is marketing, and you need to re-think before you re-click that confirmation pay button once again. It is one thing to spend when you are in need of clothes, but it is another when you just spend because it is on sale.

Understanding the difference between cost and worth will also help you in purchasing retail, and ask yourself this: would you like to have a £60, neutral-colored sweater that will keep you warm now, and for the next two winters to come, or a £19.99 jumper that will be out of date and unravelled within a few washings? Which one can’t you let go of; coffee or takeaways? Do you have enough self-control to save your quids for something that actually worth your while? After all, managing money is just another process of reaching a new level of maturity.