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Money Management and Debt

apandavapandav Posts: 2,072 Boards Champion
So I wanted to discuss a few things related to money etc.

1) I have a student loan and I'm very lucky that my parents pay for the essentials etc. I have money there, but technically it isn't mine (as will eventually have to pay back in future). One of my fears about getting a student loan initially was debt, and now I'm after my first year at uni all my old wages/savings have almost ran out. Hence I will be starting to use my student loan from first year (although don't plan to take one out this year as don't need to). Obviously I don't want to be wreckless with this money as one days I will have to pay back. However I would be interested in getting some general (beginners) tips on managing finances, and budgeting. Not looking for anything too specifc, just as I need to learn these things (have only started dealing with larger amounts of money in past couple of years, and want to start taking managing my money more seriously).

2) Looks like I'm not the only one with secrets, as I think I may have figured out that my parents have one of their own. Both my parents work full time, my family is neither poor nor well off (comfortable living in the sense they can afford essentials etc. but do have a few well earned luxuries etc. The reason I'm saying this is it will be relevant to what I'm about to say..... So that's generally what my family money situation is like. Anyways one night I was listening into my parents argument (usually I don't do that, but I was worried they were talking about me). I didn't hear the full conversation but what I did hear was my mum said to my dad "so you expect me to help you out (with money) when I earn all mine, we've never shared money so why start" (something like that). I didn't take much notice of it. But after tonight I heard my parents argue and I heard the word "debt". It all makes sense, no way would my mum get into debt (she's very maticulous and obsessed with budgeting and money management etc.) so my dad must have got into debt, hid it from mum and now they are both trying to sort it out (this is the link between what I've heard on two seperate occasions). Also I realised there have been a few things that would suggest now that my parents have been having finicancial issues:

-Mum told me to make sure I'm not using the lights during the day. She said as a family we need to aim to use less electricity. I said "why, has the bill went up" , mum said "no it's the same as before, but let's try....". If it was an issue before why else would my mum have not said it a while back (if the cost is the same).

- my mums been more cautious when buying food shopping

- although she is buying all we need for food shopping, when we have been running out of the daily food things (like butter etc.), mums just been leaving it and not even making an attempt to pick it up from a local shop or ask me to. It's not just the odd thing, all of a sudden we were running out a lot of these main things. Normally mum will pick the stuff up at shop but now she is saying oh we will just have to wait until the shopping. It's a change I've noticed.

- my mum owed me money, normally she pays me straight back but she said she needs to wait until pay day.

- mum had an appointment about her mortgage the other day. She told me she needs to change due to the rates etc. but I heard her say whilst talking to my dad, now the mortgage is longer, it should have been paid soon. This implies to me, my mums changing it to a cheaper rate to save money.

I'm not complaining about any of these changes at all. But it all implies to me my parents have got into debt and this is a thing I've never experienced in my family (that I'm aware of) and I'm actually feeling worried now about it and it's really playing on my mind. It's making me feel should I do something to help or anything in any way. Although they haven't told me.

But I'm very confused, as how come my parents are going away for a few days this weekend and my parents want to take me out on day trips etc. It seems very weird especially for my mum if she knows their in debt.

And then I'm starting to feel a bit annoyed with my dad, as he went to the isle of Mann TT this year (which obviously would be quiet expensive) so I'm starting to think maybe that's how my dad got into debt (now I'm just speculating).

I'm just making this post as I'm worried about it now and don't know if I should be doing something :/


  • plugitinplugitin Posts: 2,197 Boards Champion
    In general my tip for budgeting would be planning; I would create a spreadsheet with the amount of money you have in your budget overall for the year (however much your loan is) and then deduct any big one off expenses (e.g. bus tickets, accommodation, idk - big things that you may need to take into account) and then work out how much you will have to spend each week. From your post it sounds like you don't need to worry about food shopping so you don't need to take into account that (but if you do, I find writing a list helps and then going to shop wherever is cheapest).

    At uni I had a budget of £50-60 a week all in - food, nights out, entertainment, clothes shopping if I fancied it or anything else and it seemed to work quite well - I withdrew the amount at the start of every week and then could only use the cash I had, so maybe this would work for you.

    On a wider note - student loans are probably the best type of loan you will ever take out - low interest rates and low deductions from your salary if/when you start to pay it back. I wouldn't worry about having one, as so many people do have them these days.
  • apandavapandav Posts: 2,072 Boards Champion
    Thanks for you tips, think it would be good for myself to set a budget for the week. I have no idea how much and how to calculate how much, any tips for that?

    I don't need to pay for food shopping (except if I was to buy lunch when out or additional stuff etc.), or any bills. I also don't pay any dig money etc. as my parents say because they didn't have to.

    More or less all I need to pay for is clothes, additional stuff, and any extras. I don't need to pay for travel anymore as have an bus concession (based on mh difficulties) so don't pay for bus anymore. I don't tend to go out that much either, and don't like clubbing/drinking alcohol, but very occassionally go to cinema or have lunch with friends etc. The one weekly expense I have at the moment is £10 for private therapy (which is already a subsidised rate). I was also considering joining the gym at uni as it is £150 for a full year, which is really cheap considering my local gym is £30 a month (so would cost the same for 5 months vs 12 months at uni gym). I am enjoying it and it has helped me a lot- its good for my fitness and mental health. Hence I'm considering it but not really sure as feel guilty spending all that money, but it is very cheap in the long run. (I had a free trial of the gym facilities and it did help). So not sure what to do. Mum would say it's okay if your working, but I'm not. I'm not against getting a job, would actually like one but it depends whether I can get one and whether it would be too stressful for me with my issues right now. So don't know about that either. Really not sure
  • plugitinplugitin Posts: 2,197 Boards Champion
    I think regarding the gym - if it helps you, it's worth it more than anything. Personally I'd be inclined to get the membership and then you can explore what works best for you. You are old enough to make your own decisions so it's up to you, not your mum :)

    It sounds like you're pretty good with money already, but you could divide up the money remaining after the gym membership has gone out by week of the academic or full year - so like 30 weeks or 52. You could also then trial it for the first few weeks and make some tweaks once you've tracked your expenses etc. I know for me once I totted up how much I'd spent on take out food and coffee I was shocked and then cut back my spending there.... Not to say treats aren't allowed but for me I simply was being lazy!!

    If you were to want a job starting to look now is probably a good idea as before Christmas a lot of temporary work is available. However it can distract from your studies and place you under more pressure - see how it works for you. Work experience is always good but make it work for you!
  • apandavapandav Posts: 2,072 Boards Champion
    I've decided I'm going to join the gym- it would work out to be just over £12 a month in the long run (can't complain about that). Compared to the pay as you go, going 3 times a month would make up the cost and my local gym is actually £35 (slightly more than I thought). And think I'd be more inclined to use the uni gym as will be constantly on campus with uni etc.

    I'm not going to stress about a job but if any opportunities come up I might give it a try. I know I don't really need to worry financially but I just want to prevent that from happening in the future. I really like your idea of taking a set amount of cash out a week- I plan to start this (after I've decided how much it will be and will probably start once back at uni in a couple of weeks. (I know my expenditure will probably be less whilst at uni, and plus I need to pick up a few things before university starts).
  • apandavapandav Posts: 2,072 Boards Champion
    Also considering I don't tend to go shopping that often and that I don't go out too much I think it would be okay to join the gym (especially at that price - it's so cheap compared to anywhere else).

    The thing I waste my money on most is actually food- buying sandwiches etc when out - I shall bring my own lunch to uni and say I can buy lunch maybe once every 2 weeks or something as something different. I know it isn't costly things but it does add up in long run
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