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general tips and a little reassurance

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
edited March 27 in Work & Study
hi there,

i am 16 and live in cambridgeshire. come september, i will have moved to London where I am due to begin my A-Levels. i am moving alone, into a hostel/support kind of place. i only know one person, he is slightly unpredictable so i cannot really rely on him for support and friendship, and at the moment, i am in total limbo when it comes to what benefits i will be given and transport fee help. this is hardly an ideal situation, but problems have meant that this is really the only option for me.

i guess this thread is just asking if anybody else has been in a similar situation? im assuming that lots of you have, considering this is the student forum, but i am without any financial help from family etc. and really, i am facing this 100% alone.

to be honest, i am completely clueless about how to cook, how to budget, what groceries to buy, how to clean. i will be without a computer, which means a disadvantage when it comes to research and essays i know. i am considering getting a phoneline- what companies are the cheapest as i will be on such a low income.

does anybody have any tips for me to help me go about my general, cash-strapped, restricted life? thank you, take care

naomi-louise :D
Post edited by JustV on

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Having never been in this situation i don't think I can give you much in the way of valuable help but I just wanted to say Hi and move your question back up the boards incase someone can help.

    You sound very mature and able to cope by the way so i hope it works out for you.

    If you are in a hostel there will be other people in similar situations and you shouldn't be afraid to ask questions.

    As far as cooking goes, you can never go wrong with a good basic recipie book, particularly those aimed at students.

    Also - try going to your local Citisens advice beureau, they will be able to help with benefits and the advice won't cost you a thing.

    good luck :)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So your moving out at 16? heading for London......

    I hope you really did have to move out, as a last resort, as living in London is going to be v.difficult. Its the most expensive place to live, cudnt you go to anouther city?

    Bopz
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Originally posted by Bopperz
    So your moving out at 16? heading for London......

    I hope you really did have to move out, as a last resort, as living in London is going to be v.difficult. Its the most expensive place to live, cudnt you go to anouther city?

    Bopz


    yes, i did have to move out, yes it was a last resort and i could live in another city, but this is what they offered me so i accepted. the college i am going to offers all the a-levels i want and my accomodation is only £10 a week. and it is still 50mins away from my hometown so im within reach of old friends.

    i am also extremely fimilar with london, know my way around.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    okok, if its what you want to do, then do it. But prices are often tripled in London, and i'm sorry you didnt have a choice about moving out etc.

    Good luck

    Bopz
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    id really like to help more but ive never been in a similar situation. All i can say is u can never go wrong with jacket potato, beans and cheese :D

    i hope ure situation is much better soon, and ill post if i have any proper ideas
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Right. Well, first off, before you leave, you need to go down to your local Citizen's Advice Bureau to find out how much you're entitled to.

    Budgeting is... not easy, but not the most difficult thing in the whole world. Sit down and write out what you *need*. Not want, need. So that'll include rent (which you say is £10), shopping (food and toiletries, essentials...), laundry money - does the place you'll be living have a washing machine? If so, how much is it? Or if not, how far away is the closest laundrette? Travel to college - how can you get there? Will it be cheaper to get the bus or train? Can you afford a weekly/monthly bus pass/travelcard upfront? You get money off buspasses in london for being 16-17 and in full time education, so that's worth looking at. Also, try shopping at places like Lidl or Aldi - i know it's a bit manky, but the stuff there *really* isn't that bad, it's just imported from europe and that's why it's cheaper. Also, if you've got access to a freezer, Iceland do some *really* good deals on food. Once you've worked out how much your weekly fixed outgoings are, work out how much you'll have left and if you want to save any of it - for clothes, birthday presents, unanticipated costs (which do happen!). The rest is yours to play with.

    As far as net access goes, your college will have computers that you can use for it, and if you don't want to use them there, for minimal amounts of money you can get access to computers and the internet at the library.

    I would also say don't get a phoneline. The disadvantage of having a pay as you go mobile phone is that they are generally the most expensive way to make calls. The advantage of them is that you will *only* spend the money that you can afford to put on them then. When i was growing up, my best friend's house phone kept on getting cut off because they couldn't afford to pay the bills for it, and it was really difficult to get hold of her because everytime they reconnect you, they give you a new number. Not worth it, and the last thing you need is to get a bill every three months that you have a lot of problem paying. Also, i'm not sure that a phone company will install a phone for you - you have to be 18 to enter into a contract with them, and you're not.

    Cooking wise, pick up a student cookbook from any cheapy bookshop, they're about £1.99 and have recipes on all the easy things to cook :)

    Good luck :D
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I don't really know how i can help but im looking to move out soon so this thread would be good to keep an eye on.

    Benifits wise, there not much i can add as Sa-ra-ra-ra can but just find out what you can recive, try and make some friends around that area when you move down there,

    taking a guess are you just leaving high school this year or have you already left?


    Good luck with it all
    G:)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Rude_boyz...will you be carrying on with your education when you move out? sometimes that can make things a lot more difficult
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i am in my final year at secondary school, currently working towards my GCSE's
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So your 15/16? Most people find it very hard to move out at 17/18/19. Ive known it to be done, but life aint cushty for them. Please think this thru! (could spell it the right way! :p)

    Bopz
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ok, thanks for all of your advice. just lately i have been teaching myself how to budget, cook, wash my clothes, iron, clean and do the shopping. suprisingly, it was a lot more time consuming than i ever could have imagined. but i am really starting to get the hang of it now. and things are seeming a lot more daunting. on the money i get, i can survive. i wont be able to have it as good (financially) as i do now, but as long as im fit and healthy..... i will be ok. i have got a sensible head on me so i will be ok i just know it :) thanks again
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