An update on my goals for 2018

With it now being the middle of the year, I thought it’d be a good time to give you an update on my goals for 2018. If you haven’t read the initial post, you can read it here, if not, I’ll get started; enjoy!

The Frugal Frenchie

In terms of the socialising aspect, I feel (for me) I’ve done pretty well! I’ve gone on two outings with my colleagues, I’ve met up with friends a few times – one of which I hadn’t seen in two years- and I met new people when I went for a photoshoot a few days ago. That’s compared to last year where the most socialising I did, was going downstairs and hanging out with my housemates for a few hours.

An update on my goals for 2018

This is a mid goal I’m going to give to myself though, take more pictures! Of all those outings, I only have one picture and I even went to a wedding yesterday and only took one of my boyfriend and I. I always think about pictures and want to take them, but I always feel awkward for asking… any tips for getting over that? I have barely any memories and regret it every time!

Concerning the blog, I feel like I have been making more of an effort. I still need to work on consistency, but I feel like my following has grown a decent amount. I’ve hosted two giveaways, written and received guest posts and I’m still working towards my first ever sponsored post.

I think the biggest difference towards blogging is my “mindset.” Instead of something massive happening and then thinking oh this could be a good blogpost, I’ll try brainstorm how I could make more mundane things into a blogpost or while looking at social media, what people are talking about etc. My photography still needs a lot of improvement, but without a “photoshoot buddy,” or good quality camera, I feel it can be discouraging so I have no shame in using copyright free images sometimes.

An update on my goals for 2018

With my business, I haven’t reached my promotion yet, in fact, I’ve put it on the back shelf for a while, but I still think it’d be a nice goal. Instead, I got another job opportunity at Primark, so job wise, there have been developments there. Hopefully, that new job opportunity will offer me new skills sets that’ll be useful in future and look impressive on my CV.

I have now finished university, and am still awaiting my score for this year; hopefully, I’ll get my 2:1! If not, I know I will be disappointed, but it’s important to remind myself that this is only 30% of my degree, and that next year I’ll just have to work twice as hard to compensate.

Are you still on track with your new year goals? How are they going? Let me know in the comments below!

Top 5 money lessons to know before graduating

We don’t learn about money in university, or in younger education at that. It’s sad but it’s true – no one teaches us how to pay taxes, how to budget and what a mortgage is. And yet, money is essential! No matter what career you get into, you’ll be earning a salary and using money to buy food, transport, etc.

So if the schools won’t teach us, we need to teach ourselves. Based on the several months I’ve been working and researching with Financially Mint, here are the top 5 money lessons you need to know before graduating.

Top 5 money lessons to know before graduating

1. Money is just a tool

My life changed when I realised I didn’t have to spend my entire life working for money at a job I didn’t like just to pay the bills and have a roof over my head.

Money is your tool to live how you want. You are the one who chooses what to do with it. If you want to use it to travel the world, that’s on you. If you want to use it on going out every weekend, that’s also on you. It’s about making priorities and deciding what you really want. Once you understand that, you realise that money is just a tool to achieve your goals and dreams; what you really need is willpower and a desire to do better.

And the key to making sure you use your money correctly is financial education – what we’re not taught in schools. Learning how to invest, how to start a side-hustle, how to save money. These are things we need to learn by ourselves, and the more we study them the better we get at it. So get started in college!

2. Invest, invest, invest

The key to growing your wealth: investing.

Investing is stowing away your money somewhere safe and watching it grow. It’s starting off with £500 and seeing it grow to £100,000 over 20 years. It’s what lets people retire early and always have cash for emergencies.

If you don’t want to start investing in college (check my how to get started in uni post), I recommend at least learning the basics and preparing for investing once you graduate. Invest into low fee index funds and put away some money every month. Watch your money grow into something useable for the future: a car, a house, retirement, etc.

Investing is one of the pillars of financial education, so I recommend every student to get started as soon as possible.

Top 5 money lessons to know before graduating

3. Control is key

Control means knowing where your money is and what it’s doing at all times. It means not having a heart attack every time you open your bank account (it happens) and it means knowing where to put your money once you get your paycheck.

This starts with a nice and simple budget. In my 6 day course, that The Frugal Frenchie has reviewed, we go back to the basics of budgeting: allocating your money to the right expenses and making sure you reach your ambitions/goals.

Being in control of your money outflows and inflows before graduating will make your entry into the workforce so much easier. You won’t have a pressure to get a job immediately (Emergency fund to the rescue!), you’ll know what kind of salary you’re looking for and you’ll know exactly where to put your money every month.

4. Don’t be in debt

Debt can good and can be bad. But when it’s bad, it’s pretty bad. The bad debt: credit card debt and payday loans. As a student, you hopefully will have very little debt (student loans are a separate case), and you really want to keep it that way. Credit card debt accumulates and will get more expensive every time – pay off all your debt and make sure you know what you’re doing if you take on any more debt.

Student loans are another story altogether. In fact, they’re so different that some people prefer calling your student loan debt a contribution, simply because the situation is so particular. Before graduating, take a look at your student loans and decide whether you want to pay them off. This post on Should I pay off my student loans? will give you an idea of how to make a decision and plan appropriately. And as always, do your research.  

Top 5 money lessons to know before graduating

5. Pay yourself first

The best part of the budget: yourself.

This means allocating a certain percentage of your income to yourself, to your goals. And you can start this in college: the minute you get your paycheck/loan/money each month, allocate 15% to your goals, to your emergency fund, to your debts. That 15% is what will get you out of the rat race, out of living from paycheck to paycheck.

If you start paying yourself first in college you will actually be prepared for adult life (shock horror). You’ll be way more flexible and really be able to pick the job you want – because you’ll have an emergency fund, you’ll be debt free and will have the motivation to keep working on your goals.

Again, this starts with the mighty budget. At the time of calculating your budget from your income, the first thing you do is allocate that 15% to ‘Savings’. And then the rest is for your expenses! No need to worry about saving up more.

Understanding these 5 lessons on money will get you prepared for the world after graduation. Heck, it’ll even get you excited – you understand that you don’t have to be stuck at a job you just tolerate, you can achieve that flexibility to help you find the job that works best for. It all starts with being in control and financially educated.

Review: Free finance course for students

Through my old money blog, I have made friends with other money bloggers and learnt so much through them. Recently, my friend Araminta from “Financially Mint,” has put her financial knowledge into a super helpful, FREE, 6-day course. As it has an emphasis on helping and teaching students, I thought it would be a great idea (for my benefit too) to try it out and give you a review!

The Frugal Frenchie

Day One: Planning

In day one of this email course, you’re encouraged to create a plan and set goals for yourself. Emails across the next few days will guide you and give you ideas on how you can reach those goals!Review: Free finance course for students

Day Two: Lower Spending and Budgeting

To get you started, one of the most commonly used words in finance – budgeting- is covered. Why is it important? What can it tell you? Araminta also shows you, through pictures and instructions, how you can keep track of your expenses, savings, debt, income and how to set a budget.

A big emphasis is placed on cutting down your unnecessary spending, and if not possible, Araminta has you covered with a guide to student discounts as well as a long list of available ones out there!

Day Three: Increasing your Income

I love how this course is catered to students. It’s always annoying when people assume you can just get a full-time job or something of a higher wage, we’re students! It’s not always possible!

Catering to this, day three of the course gives you several options for side hustles that you can manage alongside your studies, as well as a clear guide to helping you get started on each one. They’re super easy and really well explained- so don’t worry if it’s all new to you.Review: Free finance course for students

Day Four: Pay Off Debt

As I personally have no debt, bar student fees (I didn’t take out a maintenance loan), day four was really interesting for me. I learnt about interest and how potential payments could be made in future, and how to get your head around it. There were also some helpful tools attached to the email such you can try calculating a future payment plan for yourself.

Day Five: The Savings

You’ll see that throughout the first few days, there will be a continuous mention of “15% in your savings account.” This is explained in more detailed at the beginning of the budgeting email, so make sure you go back to it and understand that before day five!

In this email, there are heaps of good ideas on what to do with your savings. This includes investing ideas (with case study examples), with some relevant articles and resources and then explaining what a “FU Fund” is and why it’s beneficial to have one.Review: Free finance course for students

Day Six: Financial Education and Resources

The last day of the course is helping you to continue to grow your financial education. There is a free resource pack available through “Financially Mint,” as well as a list of other places you might grow your knowledge from.  Once you start budgeting more seriously than just on pen and paper, this email has you covered with some great recommendations for budgeting apps that you can try and have a whizz at.

Overall, as you can imagine, I found this course extremely interesting and above all, very helpful. If you’ve never really thought about your finances or don’t know where to start, it’s ever so helpful having tonnes of information in 6 clear, consecutive emails.

If you’d like to join the course, simply click here and let me know what you thought afterwards!

My future plans

Several conversations with my younger colleagues at Primark, who felt stuck and unsure about their futures, made me realise how fortunate I am to know what career I’d like to pursue. I can appreciate this isn’t the case for everyone, so I thought I would share my future plans with you. Who knows, they might give you some ideas!

I thought I’d start with a little educational background. So for GCSEs, I was very much language orientated, taking Dutch and French early, and also completing Spanish and German GCSE at the normal time in year 11. I also had a big passion for history and apparently, was very good at religious studies!

At that point I believe, I was keen on pursuing a career in law. At the time, being in a grammar school, where the “norm” was wanting to be a doctor or lawyer, it was clear where that influence came from. Unfortunately, in my school, psychology was not an option at GCSE level, so I never gave it two thoughts, as I had no idea what it entailed etc.

My future plans

When A-level came around, I had restricted my choices to psychology, French and German, alongside an EPQ. I had dropped my lawyer idea, as I realised it didn’t suit my personality or passions, but psychology was what I wanted to pursue at university. The two languages were just something to fit my strengths I guess!

Fast forward two years, and I’m now only about 14 months away from graduating. I know what I want to do as a career now, but I’m unsure what to do after I graduate. The benefits of having a BSc in Psychology is that it opens a countless number of doors; some go into advertising, health, education, clinical… even work with the police force! Although I have a passion for many areas of psychology, I think my past work experiences and my personal qualities would suit working with children.

My future plans

Of course, the first thought then is educational psychology. However, I wanted to make more of an impact on children’s lives than an education psychologist role would allow me to do. I thus decided that a teacher would be the perfect role for me. Teach multiple children at once, always be kept busy, learn day by day and keep my days varies (plus, have you seen the length of the holidays???).

Here’s my debate, however. After graduation, I’m not sure whether to do a master’s degree, just in case I decide a teacher isn’t for me and want to keep my options open, or should I go straight away into a teacher conversion degree so I can start working a.s.a.p? I think a masters would be helpful to have, however, I don’t see myself disliking being a teacher or getting bored of it. Would it end up being a “waste” of money and not particularly beneficial to my future or employability chances or would it do the opposite?

My future plans

That’s what I’m currently debating, but I hope something will happen between that time that makes the decision easier for me. In the meantime, I better start deciding what to write my dissertation on!

What would you like to do in the future? Or is what you’re doing now in line with what you wanted to do when you were younger? Let me know in the comments!

The Frugal Frenchie

My goals for 2018

I’ve decided to refer to goals this year because resolutions are almost a predetermination that they’ll fail mid-year or earlier. This year though, I’m determined to be more focused. Being more organised etc. is very cliche, but I feel this year, I need to know what I want and what I want to achieve. So, here are my goals for 2018! Make sure you hold me accountable!

The Frugal Frenchie

Firstly, I’d like to go out more. Yup, not many teenagers can say that they don’t go out enough but I really want to socialise more. I feel like socialising spices up the mundane routine of work and uni as well as getting some juicy gossip. I think at least one meet up a week would be nice, any more and I won’t complain!

My goals for 2018

Secondly, I’d like to get more committed to my blog. What often happens is when I have a free moment, I’ll sit down and want to write a blog post but nothing comes to me. Even if I plan titles, I’m not able to just force words onto a page. As life goes, however, when I have to study or have exams coming up, I’m brimming with ideas and things to brainstorm, so this year I want to try and find a nice compromise between the two.

My goals for 2018

Thirdly, this is also a blog/money goal,  I would love to write my first sponsored post or #ad. For many people, this is a taboo subject, with questions arising over the blogger’s genuineness and authenticity, but I feel it’s important to work with brands and be a true “influencer.”

Another monthly goal, I’d like to achieve is getting a promotion in my job. As you all know from previous posts, I work at Primark, but I also own my own beauty and wellness business.

My goals for 2018

I want to work my hardest to achieve a promotion by sharing the opportunity and spreading the word about my amazing, vegan, cruelty-free products! In doing so, I’ll better my business skills (such as pitching and selling) as well as management and time management.

My last goal is to get a 2:1 or more in my second year of university. My second year, out of three, accounts for 30% of my overall degree, so ending on a good grade and on a high note, sets me up well for next year and achieving my best in my BSc Psychology Degree.

My goals for 2018

What are all your goals this year? Have you already beaten yourself and achieved them? Let me know! xx

Diary post: my first week of university

As it’s the first week of my university experience here in the UK, I thought I would make a little diary post about it. Hopefully, this will appeal not only to my old uni friends from abroad, who are wondering what it’s like but also for anyone who is just starting university this year.

Diary post: my first week of university

Monday 25th September

Today was my first day of uni. Surprisingly, my timetable seems quite empty with actually Mondays’ being one of the “longest” days of the week. Always bright and cheerful, I started the year with a statistics (or what they refer to as EMSA) workshop and a recap test.

Although I wasn’t happy with the surprise at the time, I’m kind of glad they did one as it made me realise just how much I’ve forgotten! It’s definitely time to get those stats notes out from last year! Compared to my last university, Maastricht, I found statistics much more understandable. Don’t get me wrong, they were fab over there and so intelligent, but here, they simplify everything, gave us a workbook with exercises and a step to step guide.

I really hope they don’t teach the whole degree like this as it may get slightly patronising, but for maths-related topics, which to say the least, were never my forte, this was definitely helpful!

In my introduction lecture, I met with another girl who had transferred from the University of Winchester, so it helped that we were in the same boat. During the summer, I manage to get in contact with a girl that’s already on the course so I hope to finally meet her at some point, despite not having the same schedules.

Tuesday 26th September

Not going to lie, although my lecture today was interesting, I think it’s very irritating being at uni for only an hour. An hour?! Plus, the lecturer ended 10 minutes early so it kind of feels a little pointless.

My motivation is definitely still high and it was about personality, a topic that greatly interests me, but I can imagine in 6 months time, coming in for just 50 minutes will seem a lot more of a chore.

Nevertheless, I finally put a name to my personal tutor too which was useful. I believe I have a meeting with him in a couple of days time so hopefully, he can answer my many questions about essays and the like.

Today he covered the humanistic approach to personality which talks a lot about free will, what our desires are (self-fulfilment, worth etc.) and different theories. Really very interesting! I found one theory in particular rather curious and this was the “hierarchy of needs” (Maslow, 1943), if you’d like more information or a post about it do let me know.

Oh also, I finally met that girl I’ve been chatting on facebook with! I met with her a little earlier before the lecture and she showed me around a little. From an outside glance, the library seems a little disappointing but the new building, called the fusion building, is absolutely gorgeous!

Diary post: my first week of university

Wednesday 27th September

Well, I’ll definitely remember Wednesday’s as “science day!” From 9am until 11am every week, I will be bombarded by two hours of neuroanatomy/biopsychology. This is essentially the scientific study of the biology of behaviour.

In this lecture, seeing as it was the first one of year 2, it covered mostly a recap of everything we should already know. From the basics of “there are 4 lobes,” to a slightly more in-depth look at the components of the hindbrain, midbrain and forebrain.

It was a nice, slow start and easy to follow and understand (a relief)! I always find it difficult to take notes in a more biological lecture as there are always diagrams attached to the slides which obviously can’t be drawn out but always seem relevant and important! Still, I think it went well for a first shot.

Thursday 28th September

I spent the majority of last night doing some extra reading for today’s seminar. This will be my first ever seminar (as the concept wasn’t really used in Maastricht) and I have no idea what to expect!

It ended up being quite a short but sweet summary of Wednesday’s lecture. It did feel a little like being in primary school again, what with working in pairs etc. but I’m hoping that once the difficulty increases, I’ll appreciate that a lot more.

This afternoon, I have a long break and then have a personality seminar. It’s with the same lecturer as Tuesday and afterwards, I’ll have a meeting with my personal tutor. It’s a good time to get some focused studying done and socialise with my new friend!

The personality seminar didn’t add anything new, it mentioned a few assessment techniques with role play, but apart from that nothing of value was added. The meeting ended up being a generic one about how to behave and what not but it ended up being over an hour because of a “plagiarism checker” sheet we had to complete and a worksheet on how to practice shortening sentences. I personally hate things like that so so close to dinner, I wasn’t in the best of temperaments!

Diary post: my first week of university

Friday 29th September

Today’s another long day. To avoid walking an hour, I have to get a lift almost an hour early at the same time as the sibling’s school run. This meant a 7:15 am wake up call for a 9 am lecture. It’s difficult haha.

I had a 9-10 lecture on personality again (we have 2 hours a week per topic) and then later a lecture on statistics, from 2-3pm.

The statistics lecture was one I was dreading in all honesty. Back in Maastricht, they would go step by step but only showing us the formulas as they went. Trust me, once you reach an equation that has 5 or more steps before even reaching the point you want, it gets so confusing!

The guy who ran this lecture spoke with no microphone. He was confident, passionate and it actually put a smile on his face. Through his waffling, I could really take in what he was saying, as well as keeping on track with the slides of the presentation.

I left that lecture hall and my first week on a high!

Do you remember your first week of uni? What was it like? If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

The Frugal Frenchie x