Here’s some priceless advice from a 2012 graduate seeing as how anyone who attends university these days will be in the same financial hole as me for the rest of their natural life. A tad dramatic maybe, but with the three-fold increase in university tuition fees, as shown in the Guardian, I feel excused in making a bit of a scene. If like me you are worried about paying back what you drank away in your merry three years, here’s a handy little guide to help you on your way to getting at least a little more organized with your post-university finances.
Let’s say you are thinking about living away from home after uni and starting your professional life out there in the world. You might be aware of this niggling little voice that whispers ‘taxman, taxman’ in your ear each night, and it is worth paying heed to this eerie warning. You are no longer a student, therefore you must pay tax. Many of you will already be familiar with this concept, but I wasn’t, and so I would like to point out one or two tips.
1. Keep your payslips and letters from the bank. File everything and keep it somewhere safe. At the end of the tax year, you can claim back some of what you paid as a ‘tax rebate’, which is well worth the effort.
2. Council tax. When you move into a new place, paying for community services comes in the form of council tax. It will be up to you to contact them to check what you will owe, so don’t leave it too late or you’ll land yourself a fine.
3. Open a savings account. Preferably an ISA or something that will gain you interest the longer you leave it. You’ll be thankful when you can afford a holiday of your own, or a safety net if things get a bit tight.
Don’t fret if you are new to this sort of thing, firms and businesses such as Scottish Debt Help are there specifically for these reasons, to help you organize your finances. The ‘doom and gloom’ introduction was just to keep you on your toes. As for when you start paying back these debts, here’s a soothing article on paying back your student loan to bring your blood pressure down. Now, go forth into the world and prosper my fellow graduates!
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