What You Need To Know About Regular Saving Accounts

A regular saving account is a savings account that offers you a high interest rate in return for keeping your savings with them under a set of terms and conditions.

Even though the high interest that used to be associated with saving accounts is long gone, there are still some gems out there.

Here’s what you need to know about regular saving accounts before you start your saving journey.

1. Most regular saving accounts require you to put money in every month, and they offer higher interest rates compared to traditional fixed savings account.

Find more money management tips in Time is Money here

2. The reason why these accounts can pay these higher interest rates are because:

– These accounts usually only last a year.

– They limit the amount you can save.

– Some accounts require you to deposit your savings in one lump sum.

– Accounts paying the highest interest often require you to leave your savings untouched.

– Banks often use high interest savings accounts as a marketing tool to attract new customers. You would need to have the bank’s current account for these.

3. All interest from regular saving accounts is paid tax free due to personal saving allowance.

– Basic-rate taxpayers can earn £1000 tax free

– Higher-rate taxpayers can earn £500 tax free

– Additional-rate taxpayers get no allowance

4. There are different types of regular saving accounts available. Choose the one that is most suitable for you.

– Linked accounts: these require you to have a current account with the bank.

– Open-to-all accounts: these are available to all savers, but often have a lower interest rate.

– Easy access accounts: these allow you to withdraw money from your savings, however the number of withdrawals are usually limited.

Find more money management tips in Time is Money here

Recommended Linked Accounts

1. M&S Bank Monthly Saver

The M&S Bank Monthly Saver offers a 2.75% interest rate for 12 months with a minimum deposit of £25 a month and a maximum deposit of £250.

2. HSBC Regular Saver

The HSBC Regular Saver offers a 2.75 interest rate for 12 months with a minimum deposit of £25 a month and a maximum deposit of £250.

3. Santander Regular eSaver

The Santander Regular eSaver offers a 2.5% interest rate for 12 months with a minimum deposit of £1 a month and a maximum deposit of £200.

Open-To-All Accounts

1. Virgin Money Regular Saver

The Virgin Money Regular Saver account offers a 2% interest rate until 20 December 2020. You can pay in between £1-£250 each month.

The best features of this regular savings account is that there is no penalty if you miss a monthly payment, and you’re able to make unlimited withdrawals penalty free.

2. Principality Building Society

The Principality Building Society offers a 2.7% interest rate, and you can only deposit up to £125 each month. You can’t withdraw any funds unless you close the account.

Find more money management tips in Time is Money here

Top Tips

– Keep moving your money to get the most value out of it. When one offer ends, move your money to an account with another good offer.

– Always compare accounts to see what works best for you. There are so many offers on the market. Do your research!

– Be realistic! If you think you would need to access your funds over time, then go for an easy-access account. If you know you can’t afford to pay the minimum on one account, then go for an account that allows you to pay in what you can afford.

I’m all about people making the most of their money, because it’s ours. We’ve earned it and we should get the most value possible out of it.

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T K Williams-Nelson

Feeling Flustered? Here’s 5 Easy Ways To Calm The Mind

Whether you’re running a business, working full-time or going through the many difficulties that life can bring, these techniques can work for anyone. Here’s five little ways to align your senses that make a big difference.

1. Sleep

Sounds super simple, but I’m not referring to heading to bed for the night. I’m talking about when the mind is so overwhelmed that your thoughts hardly make sense to you. You’re working on so many different things but aren’t really focusing on any. When everything is falling apart and you’re on the verge of a meltdown, just stop everything. Find a comfortable place where you can close your eyes and take a short nap to refresh the senses.

You’re giving the mind time to slow down, and figure out the best way to move forward after times of mental distress.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils give off deep aromas that can soothe the mind. You can incorporate these into your bath, take them to the steam room with you, or burn them in the space that you regularly work in. Add some breathing techniques and this method has the ability to calm the mind and allow you to think more clearly.

Some of my favourites that I would recommend is Lavender, Lemon Grass, and Tangerine.

3. Bath/Shower

The sensation of water can be calming when you’re feeling stressed. Standing under a warm shower or relaxing in a hot bath does wonders for the mind. The combination of steam and the water against the skin makes it one of the best ways to slow the mind down.

4. Meditation

I can’t stress enough how helpful meditation can be. The Headspace app is an good starting point for those unfamiliar with meditation. It provides sessions for almost any situation, including feeling flustered.

You don’t have to use an app to meditate. You can meditate in the bath while breathing in your essential oils, or say some positive affirmations aloud with your eyes. It’s all about finding a way that works for you. A way that you find most effective.

5. Reading

Part of being an author means doing a lot of reading. Not just for inspiration or research, but to get lost in a great story or content. Most booklovers are like this. If you ever feel like your mind is moving too fast, then take a time out and do some reading. Let your imagination calm you down.

These are simple ideas that have worked for me, and are easy to integrate into a busy lifestyle. It’s about being aware that you may be doing too much at once, and taking control of that.

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T K Williams-Nelson

Instagram: @timeismoneymedia

Twitter: @TKWN_World

Poem: Please Don’t Rush Me…

It’s been a while since I’ve shared my poetry on my blog. If you’ve been following me for a while, then you will know that this blog started with me writing poetry and has evolved over time. I plan to merge both my creative side and my business side on here more often, and I hope you enjoy.

This is a poem called Please Don’t Rush Me. It was inspired by the Windrush Generation, the recent Windrush Scandal, and the fact that we celebrated the first annual Windrush Day on the 22nd June 2019.

The Windrush Generation refers to the immigrants who were invited to the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and Barbados. They were invited by the British government to help re-build the country after World War 2 which came to an end in 1945.

Please Don’t Rush Me – T K Williams-Nelson

The Windrush Scandal emerged in 2018 where people were wrongly detained, denied legal rights and in some cases, were wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.

Ethnic minorities continue to be marginalised, and this will never change. That doesn’t mean we can’t express how we feel through our talents, our work, and our voices. We can never be silenced. Let that be known.

T K Williams-Nelson

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How To Improve Business By Making Your Clients Come To You

There’s different ways to engage with clients or customers when you offer a service or product. You can actively seek out your audience via engagement on social media or attending networking events.

You can also improve your business by making your clients come to you. In my latest book, How To Become A Freelancer, I dedicate a whole chapter to this topic, so here are a few tips that people have found most helpful.

1. Create A Website (A good one too!)

A website is the perfect way to showcase your products or services in a way that reflects what you have to offer in the right way. Having everything all in one place makes finding out what you do easier for clients.

Top Tip: It can be difficult to maintain your own website if you’re not familiar with things like coding or content creation. Be extra thorough when with your content, descriptions and images. Use the resources that come with website builders to learn more about how to make your website the best that it can be. After all, it is the face of your business.

2. Do Marketing That Suits You (Not what’s popular)

Marketing is a broad topic that I cover in depth in my book, How To Become A Freelancer available here.

In a nutshell, social media is one of the best ways to be seen organically and non-organically. However, not every social media platform works in the same way, and one platform may work for you better than another. It can be a challenge to navigate social media, so here are my top tips to help your clients come to you.

Top Tip: If you do different things that may not interlink, create a different social account to avoid confusing customers. For example, I’m an author, but I also own a fashion business. I have separate accounts for each.

Top Tip: Avoid using Google Ads if you’re a start-up. This marketing method takes a substantial amount of money to run continuously for a specific period of time. It’s important to make sure that you have a consistent amount of clients or customers first before using this method to build on that.

Top Tip: Schedule your content. This allows you to still reach people when you’re not actively posting yourself. Potential clients may be seeing what you have to offer while you’re asleep. Being consistently visible is how your clients and customers will start coming to you.

3. Freelancer Platforms Are Gold

If you’re a freelance, then you should know that freelancer platforms are a gold mine for potential clients and customers. They are a great way to make sure your clients come to you without having the hassle of creating a website. They are flexible, and allow you to directly engage with your clients so you know the best way to complete what’s required.

Find out more about freelancer platforms, the pros and cons, and the best ones to use in my book, How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms.

I’ve kept it short and sweet, but my book provides a load of information and useful links that can help you save money, save time and promote what you do in a consistent way.

T K Williams-Nelson

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How To Become A Successful Freelancer

Being a freelancer is like running a business, but with more flexibility. As a freelancer, you need to think of yourself as an actual business. You need to engage with others like a business would, and you need to have goals that you want to achieve.

In my book, How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms, I talk about what makes a successful freelancer in depth. I want to share my top tips from my book that helped me stay organised and make money as a freelancer for over five years.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

Money management is crucial. The flexibility you have as a freelancer means that if you’re not careful, you could end up spending endless amounts of money and getting nowhere. Set a limit for what you want to invest in yourself.

Your network is your net worth. The more people you get to know and connect with means that those people now know about what you do. You have a list of people you can market your services to instantly, and can potentially get bigger opportunities because of who you know.

There was once a time when I didn’t like networking at events. You spend most of the time talking about yourself which made me feel slightly boastful. In order to become a successful freelancer, that’s exactly what you need to do. Promote yourself relentlessly. Don’t ever feel guilty about networking with others, and letting them know what you have to offer.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

Work smarter not harder is easier said than done, but once mastered, being a freelancer is more rewarding. Don’t take on more than you can do just because the work is available. Not only could you burn out, but you start to compromise the quality of your work. The quality of your work is your selling point. Everything you do should have real meaning and shouldn’t be rushed.

Know your financial limits to avoid losing more than you make. It’s easy to get carried away with money as a freelancer. It’s important to be mindful, and realistic about your. Make sure you have work coming in coinsistently before heavily investing in what you do. For example, if you’re a freelance photographer, you would need to invest in a camera, but not necessarily a studio space.

Budgeting whilst freelancing is essential, especially if it’s your only source of income.

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

In my book, How To Become A Freelancer, I talk about my top tips in depth. I talk about the different ways you can avoid the challenges that come with freelancing, and provide useful links to help with websites, funding, and more. The book is on sale for £3.99 including shipping.

Available here:

How To Become A Freelancer & Start Making Money On Your Own Terms

T K Williams-Nelson

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What You Need To Know About Pay Day Loans – The Pros & Cons

When people are short on money, some will often turn to a payday loan to try and make up for it. In many cases, this is something that can help increase your credit score, and help you manage your money better in future if you’re good with repayments. However, at other times this approach can be more of a hindrance than a help.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is a small loan (commonly £100-£1500) that is lent at high interest rates with the agreement that it will be paid back on your next pay day.

Supporters of payday loans believe that they’re beneficial for those on a low-income or with bad credit. It allows people to have access to money that they wouldn’t be able to get through more traditional channels such as the bank.

In contrast, critics of payday loans believe that these loans are predatory, and target those with a low-income knowing that the high interest rates are likely to put them in long-term debt.

I’m a big critic of payday loans, and I believe that everyone should avoid them, but circumstances that are out of our control can lead you down that path.

I’ve put together the main pros and cons of payday loans so you can decide what you think for yourselves. And if you do decide to take out a payday loan, you know exactly what you need to.

Learn how to manage your money with the Time Is Money book

Pros

1. Timing

Most payday loan applications don’t take long to complete, and most lenders approve payday loans instantly once you’ve provided the information required.

Conventional loans mean lengthy applications, and a longer processing time. This is the same with credit cards. Most payday loan lenders aim to provide a quick service in order to stay competitive. Many lenders transfer the funds the same day, or the next working day.

2. Convenience

The process of applying for a payday loan can all be done online. In the new world of technology, this makes it much easier to get access to a loan.

A payday loan allows you to have the money in cash which allows you to do more with your money. Whereas with a credit card, you can only pay for goods and services, and you are charged for taking cash out of an ATM.

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3. Few Requirements

To get access to a payday loan, you don’t need to provide all the information needed for a conventional loan. The main requirement is that you have a stable source of income, which highlights your ability to pay the loan back.

For a traditional loan, you may require a guarantor that agrees to pay the loan in the likelihood that you’re unable to repay it yourself. Once you’ve proven that your income is consistent and this can be verified, you’re good to go for a payday loan.

Cons

1. High Interest Rates

With any loan comes interest, but with a payday loan, the interest rates are very high. This makes it very expensive to repay, and can often put people in further debt.

Interest rates for credit card can range from 50% to over 300%. Over a year, the average annual percentage interest rate of charge could be up to 1,500% compared to 22.8% for your average credit card (Money Advice Services 2019).

The good thing is that payday loans have been capped by law, under rules by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

2. Payday Loans Are Predatory

Payday loans target those with a low income or with bad credit. They make it easy for people to borrow money, because in many cases, they know that these people will struggle to repay the loan, and therefore have to pay back more than they borrowed.

Not only can this lower your credit score even further, but it can lead to mental and physical health issues due to the financial pressure. Health is the most precious wealth. Sometimes it may seem impossible to deal with all your financial commitments, but try to cut back on certain purchases to free up more funds. Pay off small debts in full when you can so from following month, you have that available to put towards other things. Develop a saving plan that makes use of your small change. Try various alternatives before turning to a payday loan.

Shop my money management book here – Time is Money

3. Recurring Payments

Before a lender agrees to accept your payday loan application, they will ask you to to set up a recurring payment. This is also known as a continuous payment authority (CPA).

This allows lenders to take the repayments directly from your bank account via debit card, whether you have the money or you don’t. This could lead to bank charges, or not enough money to cover your remaining bills.

You can cancel your CPA at anytime, but you will still have to pay back what you borrowed in another way.

Summary

The best way to avoid the disadvantages of a payday loan is to avoid them all together. They should be a last resort in the case of an emergency, and before applying, create a personal repayment plan that you can commit to.

New templates are coming soon to my website.

T K Williams-Nelson

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The Essential Do’s and Don’ts Of Travelling Solo

Travelling solo is one of the most thrilling experiences that you’ll have in a lifetime. From going to the airport, to landing in your destination, there’s something about travelling alone that fuels the feeling of independence.

I’ve travelled solo to Europe, and to America. Each time was a great journey of self-development and reflection, but I learnt a few things along the way.

1. DO – Always let someone know where you’re going

When you’re travelling alone, you may meet people on the plane or your accommodation that you can connect with. It’s important to always let someone know where you’re heading, even if it’s local. If something were to happen to you, someone has the location of where you were last.

When I travel alone, I always let my hotel reception know that I’m going out shopping or sightseeing. If they don’t see me return in the evening, then they have an emergency contact number they can use to get in touch with my family.

It may seem like something small, but you have to be mindful that you’re in another country where things aren’t familiar. The aim is to enjoy yourself, but to also be as safe as possible.

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2. DO – Stay in public places

Make yourself seen. The more people you’re around, the safer you are. Connect with the locals around you so you get to know more about the places surrounding your location so you know the best places to be and when.

3. DON’T – Don’t be anti-social

Not because you’re travelling alone does that mean you shouldn’t interact with others on your travels. Socialise with people from your hotel or while shopping. Make friends so that you can do things together, and really make the most of your trip.

4. DON’T – Avoid leaving drinks unattended

This is something you shouldn’t do at home or abroad. Leaving your drinks unattended can lead to so many problems. Systems are very much different and the help you might need may not be readily available. Always keep drinks and any personal belongings within eye sight.

5. DO – Make sure you have travel insurance

Accidents happen, and if one happens to you, it’s best to be prepared for it. Buying travel insurance may seem like something insignificant, but if you ever need medical help in your destination for whatever reason, it’s crucial. You may not be able to get the assistance you need without it.

6. DON’T – Don’t get swindled by travel reps

Solo travellers are the perfect target for people abroad that try to sell excursions, and other products or services. It’s important to always be firm and know when to say no. If you would like to do more exploring, then shop around before committing to anything. Different vendors have different prices. Be sure to get the best one!

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How To Turn Your Small Change Into Real Money

Saving is something that each and every one of us aspire to do, but circumstances can make it difficult. Over the years I’ve studied my money habits and have found a couple ways that allow me to save for the short-term. They have allowed me to travel, and to reach goals that I wouldn’t have achieved if I didn’t have the funds. Here’s how you can turn your small change into real money, and actually put it to some good use.

1. The Rule of 10

The Rule of 10 is a saving plan that I developed once I observed my behaviour with money. I found out that when I would break a note to buy something and I had loose change remaining, I was more likely to buy something else I didn’t really want or need, because I had that money on my person.

I was wasting money that I could have been saving, and that’s where the Rule of 10 came in. I decided that for a period of three months, I was going to save 30% of every physical £10 note that I used to buy something.

For example, if I spent £40 in a week, then I would put £12 in my saving box.

If I spent £80 in a week, then I would put £24 in my saving box.

This saving technique worked for me because it allowed me to still have money, but I was making sure that I was saving at the same time. Doing this over a period of three months meant that it was a very flexible approach to saving, but it took discipline.

For every £10 note that I spent, I would automatically take out my £3 before I had the chance to spend it. Whatever I was left with is what I had left to spend.

How much I spent would vary every week, but the rule stayed the same. After a period of three months, I had saved over £180 by saving £3 a few times a week. If I did this for 12 months, I would have saved £720. It may not seem like much, but it adds up.

It can be difficult to focus on saving when we all have other financial commitments that often take priority, however the flexibility of this technique allows you to save at your own pace. You can adapt the Rule of 10 to what best suits you.

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For example, someone may choose to set a time frame of 12 months, and save £1 for every £10 they spend. If they spend £30 a week, then that’s £3 over 52 weeks.

3 × 52 = £156

This person will have saved £156 in a year just by saving £1 three times a week.

Someone may choose to set a time frame of six months, and save £5 for every £10 they spend. If they spend £80 a week, then that’s £40 over 26 weeks.

40 × 26 = £1040

It’s important to be realistic about what you can afford to save, and still have money for your commitments. Many people pay their bills and other priorities via direct debit or card payment, so this technique is to manage the money that you’re physically spending. The more money that you’re earning, the more money you’re likely to spend physically.

Think about your money habits and draw up a plan that works for you.

2. The Every Day Save Plan

Another money management technique that I use to save is the Every Day Save Plan. This is a short-term saving plan that I developed when I was saving towards a particular trip. I had four months to save £250 after covering all my travel costs. I always like to have more money than less when travelling, so I had to save for it.

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I bought a money box, and every day I made it a priority to put money into that box. Sometimes it was £5, and other times it was as little as 50p, but every day I was saving some of my small change to reach my big goal. Each pay day I would put in what I like to call a bulk payment. This would be between £20-£30.

Once I came up to my four month deadline, I had saved £311. I didn’t save anything less than 50p per day, so that’s what I would recommend as a starting point, but again, this technique is adaptable.

For example, if someone saves 50p per day for a period of 12 months, they will have saved £182.50 without breaking a sweat.

If some saves £2.50 per day for a period of six months, they will have saved £450 in 180 days. £2.50 is the price of your average daily coffee. £450 can treat you to a well deserved city break.

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With the Rule of 10 and the Every Day Save Plan, I think it’s significant to physically save. As the weeks go by, you feel your money box getting heavier and heavier. This fuels the motivation for you to keep going until you reach your goal. Banks take bagged or rolled coins which makes it easy to change your money into notes.

Find out business and money managemit tips in my books below, and get in touch with any questions via my socials.

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Books: Time Is Money & How To Become A Freelancer

The Ultimate University Survival Guide That Tells You What They Don’t

The new academic year is here and many of us are either starting university or continuing existing studies. After three years of focusing on my fashion business and launching my creative platform, Time is Money Media, I’ll be back in the classroom studying my Masters in Criminology & Forensic Psychology in October.

My undergraduate experience at university went pretty smoothly. I enjoyed what I was studying so it was easier to revise and get the work done. People don’t always know that university can be difficult in regards to studying, managing finances and balancing your lifestyle.

Here’s my guide to making the most of your university experience without burning out.

1. Learn How To Budget

When I was studying Criminology in 2016 I was entitled to a maintenance loan which had to be repaid, and a grant that didn’t need to be repaid. Since then, the grant has been replaced by a larger maintenance loan.

Learning how to budget your finances will help your loan stretch for the academic year. It’s important to make sure that you can cover your living costs, your social activities and the costs of what you will require for university.

For students living at home whilst studying, you have a better advantage when it comes to finances. With less commitments such as accommodation, you have more flexibility with funds. That doesn’t mean you should take advantage. You still have to make sure that your maintenance loan can support your needs, especially if you’re not working while studying.

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2. Learn How To Cook On A Budget

As a student, the struggle is real! You need to be able to cook, and to cook on a budget so you don’t break the bank. The best recommendations for shopping if you’re in student accommodation is Aldi and Lidl. Not only do these supermarkets sell great foods for affordable prices, but they also sell affordable resources such as study materials and cooking utensils.

Top Tip: Invest in a mini fridge for your room to avoid house mates taking your food.

3. Find FREE Study Resources

Most universities have free resources you can use to aid your studies. Whether it’s online e-textbooks or library resources, make use of all the free help you can get.

Top Tip: Never buy all the books on your course reading list. Only buy the books that are for essential reading. To save even more money, purchase second hand books, as long at they are the correct edition and in good condition.

If you do buy new books for your course, avoid making notes or highlighting text in them. You can sell these on when you no longer need them.

4. Manage Your Workload

If you thought your A-Levels was a lot of work, then prepare yourself for even more. Staying on top of your workload is crucial if you want to do well. With various modules to focus on, in addition to your life outside of university, it’s essential that you create a routine for yourself.

Have a diary or calendar to make note of important dates. Prioritise your workload before your social life. University is meant to be a great experience, but if you neglect your studies, what was all of it for?

5. Look Out For Friends

Doesn’t seem all that important when you initially think about it, but in university, many students are fighting personal battles that no one knows about. Mental health in students needs to be taken just as seriously as physical health.

A 2018 online survey covering 38,000 UK students found that more than half (50.3%) reported having thoughts of self-harm.

One in three students (33.9%) had experienced a serious psychological issue which they felt they needed professional help and more than four out of 10 (44.7%) admitted to using alcohol or drugs to cope with their problems.

Take a time out when you need to. Prioritise self-care alongside your studies, and if you do need help, don’t be afraid to ask.

Learn More About Mental Health And Pacing Yourself In My Book Time Is Money

6. Keep In Touch With Family & Friends

Yes you may be trying to get away from your old life once starting this new chapter, but keeping in contact with friends and family back home is always a good decision. University can get lonely, and sometimes it helps to talk to someone that you’re familiar with.

7. Back Up Your Work

One of the worst things that can happen at university is losing your work. You’ve put in all that effort into your essay and it’s just gone. Always back up your work. You can do this in various ways. Buy a USB stick and save a copy of your work on it. With Gmail, you have the option to save your work on Google Drive which saves your work on their cloud, or you can email copies of your work to yourself.

Choose a method that is suitable for you, but make sure you get it done to avoid any losses.

8. Take Advantage Of Student Discounts

Being a student has it’s perks. There are so many discounts out there that you should be taking advantage of. From fashion to events, there’s definitey something for you. Check out my recommendations:

– Pizza Express offer 30% off food and drink Monday-Friday and Saturday via Unidays.

– Pizza Hut offer 20% off in branch Sunday-Thursday with any valid photographic student ID card.

– Students save 50% on Spotify Premium (£4.99 per month).

– ASOS offer 10% off via Unidays.

– Topshop & Topman offer 20% off via Unidays.

– Miss Selfridges offer 20% off via Unidays.

– National Express offer 20% off with a valid NUS Extra card.

– Missguided offer 10% off with a valid NUS Extra card.

– Boohoo offer 10% off with a valid NUS Extra card.

– Adobe offer 65% off with proof of being a student.

– Ministry of Sound offer £5 off for students via their website.

– Boots offer 10% off with a valid student ID.

– Superdrug offer 10% off with an NUS card in store only.

– The Body Shop offer 20% off via Unidays.

– Thorpe Park offer £35 off a 1-day ticket with a valid student ID card or via Unidays.

– The Co-op offer 10% off with an NUS Extra card.

– Ryman offer 12.5% off with an NUS Extra card.

– Waterstones offer 10% off via Unidays.

– Hobbycraft offer 10% off via Unidays.

– Byron Burger offer 30% off via Unidays.

– Chiquito offer 25% off with an NUS card.

The fact that you have taken the step to go to university is already an achievement in itself, and with this guide, your journey will be a much smoother one.

Get in touch if you have any questions about my experience at university or if you want to share your own experiences with me.

My books, Time is Money & How To Become A Freelancer are available to purchase here on my website.

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Twitter: TKWN_World

Top 4 Autumn/Winter City Break Destinations That Won’t Break The Bank

The Autumn/Winter seasons are approaching and I’ll be sad to see the UK sun leave. The fun doesn’t need to stop there. Here’s a list of 4 great city break destinations where you can relax, explore and so much more.

Reykjavik

The beautiful city of Reykjavik has everything you need to make the most of year after summer has passed. If you visit between September and April, then you have a chance of catching sight of the mesmerising Northern Lights. If that’s not enough then you can experience the relaxing mud pools, beautiful glaciers and stunning waterfalls.

The Northern Lights – Credit: Whatson.is

For those that are interested in the outdoors, you can go on a hiking trail or test your limits with some mountain biking. There’s so much to see and so much to do that will make the colder seasons memorable. Take a dip in the fabulous blue lagoon before relaxing in one of the many beautiful accommodation options in the heart of Iceland.

Blue Lagoon – Credit: aviewoutside.com

Budapest

Sightseeing in the Hungarian capital of Budapest is a sensational experience for winter travellers. You can take a relaxing river cruise on the Danube, or if you want to explore more architecture, then the Hungarian Parliament Building and the beautiful Hungarian State Opera House are brilliant choices.

The Hungarian Parliament Building – Credit: visitbudapest.travel

Are you ready to soak all your winter worries away? The tranquil thermal baths in Budapest range from 26° for a cooling bath to 40° for a hot bath. You can cleanse yourself from head to toe in the luxurious steam rooms and on-site massage services.

Thermal Baths – Credit: holidaytravel.cc

Amsterdam

If you’re seeking an adventure filled with culture then Amsterdam should definitely be on you autumn/winter bucket list. Take in the scenes as you stroll along the infamous canals or take the weight off your feet in one of their many welcoming coffee houses. Amsterdam is filled with so much to do and so much to see that you won’t be disappointed.

Coffee Shop – Credit: Wikipedia

As temperatures fall in the autumn/winter months, Amsterdam focus on indoor events such as Da Bounce Urban Film Festival and Amsterdam Art Weekend. There’s an array of museums and galleries to feed your minds with all the substance you seek, and exploring the dazzling flower markets will be a great experience for any winter traveller.

Flower Market – Credit: amsterdam-travel-guide.net

Vienna

The festive season is always a great time to travel. Vienna offers some of the most spectacular Christmas markets which open from mid November to give travellers enough time to shop. The stunning architecture is a sight to see, with the Vienna State Opera House and the Gothic St Stephens Cathedral being among favourite places to visit.

Christmas Markets – Credit: gq-magazine.co.uk

So where will you end up this year? I’ll be heading out to Amsterdam and will be writing up a full blog of things to do and places to see.

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