How To Encourage Your Kids To Study While They’re Stuck At Home

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Some kids absolutely love school and adore learning. They cannot wait to fill their brains with all kinds of different skills and understanding. There are also some who cannot really concentrate too much or simply do not want to learn new things in terms of the school system. They’d rather stimulate their brains in other ways and pick up skills in plenty of other areas. 

Due to covid, most of us seem to be working from home – and the kids are a part of this group. Since the breakout, they have been sent home and sent back to school a fair few times in order to cooperate with the lockdown/quarantine rules.

As a parent, you’re going to be in charge of how they have a lot more during the working week. You’re also going to be in charge of the learning they’ll have to do while they’re away from the school premises. While it might seem like a difficult task, it’s actually not too much effort! Here are some ways you can encourage your kids to study while they’re stuck at home:

Positive Reinforcement

Too much positivity can taint the value of it, but kids do need to be reinforced positively. There’s often a comparison between being stern and being nice with regard to grown-ups, but kids will need to be encouraged with a smile. If you can make them feel good about themselves and about the work they have ahead, then they’re going to be more inclined to get it done. 

Work With Them

If you make them do everything alone like that of an early 1900s teacher, then that strictness isn’t going to make them feel comfortable with what they have on their worksheets. They’ll look up to you and if they think you’re enjoying the work, then they will, too. Take, for instance, some of the worksheets (learn more about the kinds here) they’ll be given – some might be entirely away from their interest. If you work along with them, then it’ll keep their minds stimulated as they probably wouldn’t have expected it. You’ll probably make it fun for them, too, as they’ll see a side of you they’ve never seen. 

Get Them Into The Routine

Life is all about habits. If they’re out of a learning and working routine, then their minds will hate the idea of working from home and studying when they have to. If you keep them in a school mindset, then they’re going to be happier with learning. They’ll feel as though they have to. Once we get into a scheduled way of living, operating out of that cycle can feel pretty negative. 

Provide Rewards

While this might seem like an easy idea, it’s actually great for getting your kids excited. At first, they might just be doing what they must in order to get what they want at the end of it, but, as we said before, life is all about habits. They’ll get used to working in a particular way. Consciously and subconsciously, they’ll be learning things. They’ll become more interested in the things they’re studying.

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3 Musical Instruments Ideal for Learning to Play On

Learning a new musical instrument requires time, patience, and lots of practise. This process can be made easier by first choosing an instrument that is easy to learn on. This article will consider 3 musical instruments that fit the criteria of being ideal musical instruments for beginners. Then, when you have become reasonably proficient at playing one of them, you might consider taking up a second instrument, or even learning more about musical production. Many people, for instance, start with the piano for a good grounding in music and then progress to either a woodwind or stringed instrument. Or, they go to a site where they can get dj finance and dip into the world of electronic music creation, using their skills learned as a foundation. It can, of course, happen the other way around, when someone is highly proficient at playing say a clarinet and then turns to a piano to expand their knowledge of harmonies and composition to help with entering music college.

Piano

The piano is a good instrument to learn music on because it can be played at different levels but can still produce music that is pleasant to listen to. Each note will instantly produce a sound from a low register to a higher one.

It is a myth that you need long fingers to play a piano. Elton John will admit himself that he has short stubby fingers yet has achieved great success by singing whilst being accompanied by his own piano playing. It is true that he might have followed a more classical path had his fingers been longer, but they certainly have not held him back. Russ Conway, from a slightly earlier period in music, lost the tip of his third finger in a bread slicer but still managed to play the most wonderful piano and achieve success with hits such as ‘Side Saddle’, ‘Snow Coach’, ‘Royal Event’, and ‘Toy Balloons’.

The key to good piano playing, excusing the pun, is to adopt good habits from the start. That is, in learning the correct posture and the positions that the hands should be in. It is far easier to play piano when incorporating correct finger positioning with hand movements.

Ukulele

The hardest part of learning to play a ukulele is spelling it. In comparison to the guitar or mandolin, it is an easier instrument to learn. This is because, for a child for example, its soft nylon strings prove gentler to the fingertips. This explains why many guitarists will use a plectrum to strum and play the

strings. In addition, the smaller size of the ukulele reduces the tension the wrists feels because the notes are more easily reachable without the need for stretching, like on a guitar. Another benefit of a ukulele, to mention it again and help me to spell it, is that it is not as weighty as some other stringed instruments, so more manageable when holding it standing up. Straps are useful, too.

Recorder

Another musical instrument that is one of the easier ones to play and learn on is the recorder, although the ukulele does seem to have overtaken it in popularity more recently in schools. Traditionally, the recorder has been a popular instrument in schools because it is cheap, light to hold, and not easy to break. In musical situations, they allow for ensemble and choir music to be played without anyone having to teach a new instrument. It is straightforward to pick-up and play after learning a few hole positions.

Recorders are an easy musical instrument to play because they do not require a specialized embouchure like other wind instruments. That is, the shape that the mouth is held in. To suit a variety of players, recorders come in varying sizes.

So, 3 musical instruments to think about. From the piano we might feel that we should begin on, if we have the opportunity, to the ukulele that I can now spell, or the recorder that is the most portable out of them all. A recorder can just slip into a bag and be transported back and forth from the music department. With permission, of course. Or a parent might buy the instrument to save that being necessary and allow for it to be practised more often still.

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College Is Expensive: Here’s How To Talk To Your Teenager About It

Every single teenager with aspirations to do great things have college in their plan. Most of the time, conversations about college don’t happen until the end of the junior year, but when it comes to college, teenagers need to know about the cost involved. Your teenager has to be well versed in what it costs to go to college before they start filling out those applications, so that they can apply for the appropriate schools in your budget.

There is a lot that goes into going to college. Parents and teenagers need to have open conversations about college prep high school online, the costs of the applications, how many schools are on the radar and more. Open conversation will encourage good communication about costs, what you can afford and whether they want to get a job to pay for their own expenses. If your teenager knows the kind of education you can afford for them, you’re going to have a much better time of it when it comes to their college prep. They will be able to apply for colleges that they are aware that you can afford, and you’ll be able to breathe easy knowing that they are happy with what you can manage.

Two Men Studying Together

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If you have an ambitious and excited teenager talking to you about college, then you need to think about broaching the conversation of college funds as early as possible. If they want Ivy League or international schools, you need to be able to talk them through their current college fund and what assistance can be open to them to make up the funds. IF you cannot afford a high-fee school, don’t over promise them what they can do. 

You can broach the subject of savings goals even before high school, as you can get it into their minds as early as possible what their options could be. Encourage your teenager to take a summer job to add to their expenses fund. Talking about costs and savings will show them that you want to work with them to save and prepare for their fees and their general living costs. It’s a commitment to work together on their education!

Savings, spending and debt should be a regular and ongoing conversation. There doesn’t need to eb a face to face meeting and it doesnt need to be formal every single time. This should be a discussion not a dictator and you should think about colleges together. If your teenager has some preferences, work on how you can achieve those preferences.

You can open plenty of different college fund accounts to get your child to college. You can look at potential scholarships, but don’t rely on them if you can help it! Every dollar you save together is less than you have to borrow to pay your way through education. Save in your name not your teenager, as that can be taxed at a high rate.

It can cause stress to save up for college, especially if your teenager has high hopes. However, the more you work together, the better you’ll be at getting there!

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5 Suggestions to Help Teens Succeed in High School

One of the most stressful times of a young person’s life is high school. The social pressures, new academic concepts and extracurricular activities they face can be overwhelming.

If you want to help your teen overcome these challenges, you could take steps to lend your support and guidance. Even though some teenagers want independence, adequate parental involvement is instrumental to their academic success.

Here are five suggestions to help your teen become successful in today’s world:

  1. Offer Assistance with Studying

Planning is essential to help your teenager study while completing assignments in various subjects. Given that grades matter a lot in high school, taking time to plan for studying is vital for success, especially when your child is busy with extracurricular activities.

When your teen has a lot of subjects to cover, help them break down the studying tasks to manageable chunks. Also, get them to adhere to a calendar schedule. This way, they won’t be cramming for multiple tests in a single night. Remind them to take notes during lectures (or get a copy of the lesson hand-outs) and review them at home.

Another way to help your teenager with studying is to quiz them on ideas, facts or lessons that they find hard to understand. If the material you’re going to cover is beyond your abilities, suggest seeking help from a teacher or a classmate. You could also look for a private online tutoring services provider for academic assistance.

Once your child has finished studying, let them get a good night’s study. This way, they can recall information more easily during exam time.

  1. Create a Distraction-Free Environment at Home

Students struggle to study when they’re distracted. If your teen is having trouble studying at home, give them a distraction-free, well-lit and quiet place to study for their exams and complete their assignments. This area in your house may be an isolated table in the living room or a TV-free room.

Also, check in with your teen from time to time make sure they’re studying. Distractions, such as text messaging and social media, can prevent them from getting any work done. If they’re unable to study due to technological distractions, you may need to confiscate you child’s mobile phone and other gadgets. Then, give these electronics back once they finish with their studying or homework.

Alternatively, you could install an app or a computer program that blocks certain sites during specific times. An example is restricting social media access from 6 PM to 9 PM.

  1. Encourage Your Teenager to Read Books

Some teens aren’t open to the idea of reading books. Rather than read textbooks and other educational materials, they would prefer hitting up their friends on social media or watching new shows or movies on Netflix.

Reading, however, offers a multitude of benefits. According to an article from Psychology Today, this activity makes people sharper and more socially aware.

Apart from getting them to read the lessons on their textbook, encourage them to read other books. Don’t be picky about the materials they choose. Whether they prefer a light romance book or a graphic novel, the important thing is that they’re reading something that engages their minds.

  1. Help Them Stay Organized

Getting organized and maintaining focus will help your teenager succeed in nearly everything they do. Schools, however, may not tackle or cover these topics explicitly. You, however, can provide parental guidance by providing organizational and time-management tips.

One effective way of instilling organizational skills is to help your child keep class details, assignments and other school information in folders or binders organized by subject or class. You can also come up with a calendar to help your teen plan their time accordingly.

  1. Allot Time to Talk About School

Given that teenagers spend most of their time outside the house — in the classroom, on the field or with their friends in the mall — staying connected and engaged with them can be challenging. Although expanding social circles and doing school activities are important to high school students, parents should still serve as anchors for support, guidance, and love.

As much as possible, make an effort to speak with your child every day. This way, they’ll know that what goes on in your school matters a lot to you. When teenagers see their parents interested in their school lives, these teens are likely to take school seriously, as well.

When talking about school, listen carefully to what your teen is saying. Don’t forget to ask questions, as well. Apart from the usual “Hi, how’s your day?”, ask open-ended questions concerning their class loads. Then, offer to help them if necessary.

These strategies will help your teenager become successful in his high school life. Your involvement and support can go a long way in helping your child cope with the challenges of high school.

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Learning Math Exam Techniques

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Maths exam questions are as much about technique as they are about knowledge and understanding. Knowing how to answer the question, what elements provide the most marks, and how those marks are broken down are all key elements to doing well in an exam. Also important is knowing what subjects are most likely to be included and the form that the different questions may take. Having this information supports revision and reduces stress and fear of the unknown. These are both areas that maths past papers, including those with completed answers, can be of enormous help.

Using Maths Past Papers To Understand Subjects

One of the main areas of concern for children approaching their exams is knowing what will be included in the papers that they sit. If the first maths exam questions the child sees are when they are faced with their mock exam, then this can become a huge barrier to success. The first thing that children and their parents need to remember is that only subjects that have been covered in the school syllabus will appear on the exam paper. While schools do not teach to the test, the test cannot include aspects that are not covered by the school curriculum. While it may not narrow the field down much, it does give you a starting point – the school curriculum. Using this you can focus more on areas and subjects where the additional practice is needed. 

If time has been missed from school, and areas of knowledge are missing then there are other ways of finding out what you need, and getting the supporting materials required. The best way to do this is by accessing past maths exam questions by topic. Using past papers, particularly gaining access to several from different years provides an excellent basis for determining the subjects that are likely to be covered and how those questions may be presented. Recognising exam questions for what they are, is just as important as understanding the basics. After all, if the child doesn’t recognize how to solve the question then the key skills they have will not be properly utilized.

Mark Scheme Understanding 

Exams are like many other aspects of life; it is not enough to have the information and skills, you must know how to use them effectively. In terms of exams, this is about knowing how the questions are marked, how the answers are weighted, and what additional workings out should be shown for added marks. Of course, if you can answer the questions you will pass, but to pass well you need this extra level of understanding. 

You can access past papers and sample papers, which you can carry out in test conditions at your school desk. These papers can be used as a revision tool, beginning at any time in the school year. And when it comes to learning exam techniques, sooner is always better. While blank papers are helpful, unless you have access to the answers, or are confident in your maths, ensuring your child is going in the right direction is tricky. 

Having access to such materials means that your child can attempt even the hardest questions, and then check their answers. Where these provide working out details and a breakdown of the marking scheme, children can see where the marks and the extra marks can be found.

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Different Types Of Math Questions

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In today’s blog post, we will assess different types of math questions, as well as providing advice on answering them.

Multi-Step Mental Math Problems

Mental math questions can be a source of confusion and difficulty, especially when it comes to multi-step mental math problems. This is something that was definitely reinforced by the statistics that were drawn from the exam bodies in regard to math results. Read on for more information about this. 

While questions change from year to year, the same type of questions feature in school math papers. This is why it is important to look at areas where children have struggled so that you can get your child to focus on these areas when practicing math questions. 

A good example of this is in a 2016 paper, where a lot of children struggled with Question 4 on Paper 3 for their Math KS2 test. This was a mental math question, which required four steps. Viewed individually, the steps were very simple. However, the question perplexed many students last year, with a lot of children getting it incorrect. 

The likely reason why so many failed to get the question right is that they did not take all of the four steps that were stated. The best way to ensure your child is prepared for questions like this is to present math questions in innovative and new ways so that they have experience in dealing with questions that may be presented in a daunting or different way. 

Of course, you can’t show your child every single type of question, but by exposing them to a greater variety of question types, you encourage them to apply diverse strategies and skills. Puzzles can be a fun way to help with this, such as https://www.pennydellpuzzles.com/sudoku/subscriptions/ and other types of math puzzles.

What Sort Of Questions Can You Expect From An Arithmetic Test?

We are going to take a look at taking an arithmetic paper in further detail so that you know what to expect. 

An arithmetic paper is designed to test your number and calculation skills. Some of the maths questions will test your use of calculation methods, others will require you to know some number facts, for example, multiplication tables. It is a good idea to practice with past math papers so that you can get familiar with the sort of questions you will be asked. 

The questions will get more difficult as you turn the pages. Start questions include the likes of 869 + 200 and 56 divided by 8. More challenging questions may be something along the lines of 2/4 + 6/8 or 1971 divided by 27. You will notice that there are two marks available for multiplication and division questions. It is important to show your working out when doing these questions. If the final answer is incorrect, but you have followed the correct method, you will still get a point.

To conclude, math papers test a range of skills, so preparation is key.

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Where To Look When You’re Falling Behind As A Student

Noticing, recognizing, and acknowledging that you’re starting to fall behind in your education can be a pretty humbling and (admittedly) scary part of being a student. If you don’t catch up soon and start absorbing the material as you need to, then it can end in a knock-over effect that sees you behind for the rest of the year. But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Here are a few options you can take to make sure you catch up before too long.

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Talk to your professor/lecturer about it

It might seem like the scariest step to take, especially if you’re used to the rather authoritarian bent of high school. In college, however, most professors and lecturers are going to be much more approachable. If you need to talk to your professor, be honest about what problems you are having and they may be able to recommend materials that can help you or provide notes. This is especially true if you need to request a deadline extension or extra time to catch up on work. The worst that can happen will be that they can’t help you, and you’re just back to where you were before.

Start (or find) a study group

For many of the more challenging subjects, you will likely find that some other students who could use a little help have already started a group specifically for catching up. If not, you can start a study group and even as your professor to announce it so that other like-minded people can join. When you’re going over a topic with people who are at the same learning level as you, it can help you engage more deeply with a topic in a way that might make it easier to get to grips with.

Find course notes online

The internet has broadly changed how we interact with our education. Not only can we engage with our lecturers remotely when we need to, now, but you will find that many past students will also have shared their experiences and notes that can help you. As such, if you need to learn something as specific as the lattice energy trend in chemistry, you can find a lecture that helps you address that specifically. In most subjects, you will find those who have effectively created and uploaded a lecture that you can sit with, so you can spend some of your spare time learning what you might have missed or struggled with in class.

Change how you learn

College-level learning is different from any kind of education you have had, so far. In fact, it’s designed to be a lot more independently driven. Your professor or lecturer won’t stop to make sure you’re always keeping up. As such, check out some tactics for learning at a college level, including using sketch notes, better interacting with the information you’re provided, and organizing your course notes as best as possible. Create a more efficient way to learn and it will be much easier to keep up.

The single biggest mistake you can make when falling behind is to think that you can catch up by simply redoubling your efforts and trying to do things the same way. You need a little help, now it’s just about knowing where to find it.

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Five-step Location Guide for the Katipunan Freshman

Just passed the UPCAT, ACET, or MCAT? Congratulations! You’re probably excited to begin your college journey but unsure of what comes next. While going through high school was challenging, university is a whole new story. Before you become a certified Atenean, Iskolar ng Bayan, or Knoller, read on to get an idea on where to go.

Accommodations

Even before you’ve been to Katipunan, you’ve likely heard of the traffic situation. The Ateneo de Manila University and the University of the Philippines (UP) are two of the only universities where cars move as slowly as a turtle inside and outside the campus. Your best bet is getting a condo near Ateneo, which is great for space and freedom. You could also opt to stay inside the campus if you’re fine with sharing spaces with others. Since a 10-minute walk can turn into a 30-minute drive in the avenue, it’s best to walk to your destination over taking a car.

Study Spaces

Katipunan boasts of endless options for your cramming needs. There are several coffee shops and rooms with available plugs and free Wi-Fi. Your school of choice also offers study halls and libraries that you could maximize. Ateneo has the Rizal Library and Matteo Ricci Study Hall, while Miriam College offers the Innovation Center. If you’ve chosen to live in a condominium, it’s likely to offer a room for studying as well. Make the most of the various location choices and try them all. A study has found that alternating study spaces can help with retaining information.

Restaurants

Like every college student, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed with academic and extracurricular demands. After a long day in class, you wouldn’t want to stress about choosing where to eat. While you’re familiar with the fast-food staples, you should try out hidden gems along Katipunan. For vegans, there’s Green Light in the FBR Building and Go! Salads near Ateneo. Craving ramen and teriyaki? Roku is the place for you. But if you’re trying out only one Katipunan restaurant, it should be Sweet Inspiration.

Groceries

If you’re trying to save money or sick of take-out food, be sure to have a stock of food and other essentials at home. There are three main options for your snacking requirements. Robinsons Easymart is good for basics such as chips and toiletries. The Marketplace by Rustan’s has the most diverse offerings, from imported nuts to organic eggs. For fruits and vegetables, Savemore at Berkeley Residences is the place to go. Beyond these shops, there’s a Korean mart behind Regis Center where you can get your fill of fish-shaped ice cream and tteokbokki.

Laundry Shops

You can resolve your dirty laundry with several options while living away from home. You can either wash them by hand yourself, which is time-consuming and tiring. You can take your clothes to a laundry shop, but you run the risk of losing your items in the wash. Another alternative is going to a self-service laundry shop. You’ll save time and ensure that your clothes are complete, though you have to fold them yourself.

College is not a journey to be taken lightly. Expect to step outside of your comfort zone, especially if it will be your first time living alone. While you’re traveling the unknown, it’s best to find the places that work best for you and make a home away from home.

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Four Tech Skills Everyone Should Learn

There’s no escaping it – we live in a digital, technological, computerized, online world. Going “off the grid” may appeal to some, but most of us are fully assimilated into a lifestyle that allows us to order food delivery from a tiny smartphone, hop online to have a meeting via Skype, or read a book on a handheld device. 

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However, when your life is digitized in every way, you become reliant on technology. Not enough people know how basic technology works or how to fix these “smart” items when something goes wrong. Many are able to utilize their technology without any true understanding of it, and that’s a shame. 

We’ve detailed four tech skills that everyone should learn, to better equip themselves in our digital world. 

How the Internet Works

Practically everyone on earth uses the internet, and yet you’d be surprised if you knew how many people have zero clue how it works. 

Having a basic knowledge of the internet, what it is, how it functions and how to do basic troubleshooting is a good rule of thumb for literally everybody. We all use the internet; we should all know the basics. If nothing else so you can reset your own IP address or figure out how to fix an issue with your modem. 

How to Fix your Computer

Now, of course, we’re not talking about major issues here, but it’s a good idea to have a basic working knowledge of how to fix your computer if something small goes wrong. Knowing how to troubleshoot basic software issues, how to clear out the memory a defrag, and even how to replace basic parts (and where to find IT parts, such as on Interbyte), are things you should know if you use a computer often. 

Basic HTML

These days, with sites like wordpress and even apps that do the work for you, nobody really feels the need to use HTML anymore for their blog or website. But you should take the time to learn it. HTML is a valuable language and it’ll serve you well if you know how to write basic tweaks and small bits of code. Those “build your website” platforms are cool, but they’re also slow, clunky and not very intuitive. If you learn HTML, you can whiz through website design in a snap and avoid those overused templates. 

How to Type

Another thing that seems like a no-brainer. But in the day of the smartphone, less and less people are actually learning how to type properly, and instead chicken-peck keys in the rare instances they use a computer. Proper typing has become a bit of a lost art. Failing to type properly, though, slows you down and can hurt your accuracy. 

The ability to type properly (and quickly, not to mention accurately) is an incredibly useful skill and one that will carry you very far in the world of tech. 

These are just four tech skills that the average person should definitely know. If you take the time to learn these, you’ll find the technology as a whole is so much easier for you. You might even open up whole new avenues for yourself in technology.

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Feeling The Pinch As A Student – Here’s What To Think About

January can be a great month for setting goals and making plans for the year ahead. You may have a whole host of resolutions you want to embark on, and you might be filled with the inspiration and motivation to get things done. But there is the other side of January that many of us know all too well. It is often referred to as the January blues, and more often than not, this is because people start to feel the pinch of the festive spending, and really struggle to make ends meet or pay off debts. So how as a student can you combat that? With that in mind, here are some of the ideas you could implement right now that could help you to see some improvement to your financial situation, and therefore, enabling you top put all of your efforts back into those new year’s resolutions and study. 

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Take a look at your outgoings and make some changes

One of the first things to do is look at your outgoings and what is coming in and see if any changes could be made. Perhaps looking at your bills might highlight some direct debits you didn’t realise were leaving your account. You could also look at rejigging your finances, perhaps researching things like student loan refinancing or balance transfers for things like credit card debt. You can also think about things like reducing the costs of travel, while still getting the experiences that you want. There are websites like NST that could be a great way to expand your horizons as a student, but keeping the costs down. There are often things you can action to help ease your financial strain, and sometimes our current situation identifies areas of improvements. Doing this could also highlight where you might be overspending, which leads me nicely on to my next idea for helping you improve your financial situation. 

Could you be saving on the food bill without sacrificing?

Your food spend could often be one of the biggest outgoings you have after rental payments or debt repayments, so you may want to look at some of the ways you can make a difference to this, without sacrificing what you eat. First of all, meal planning can be a great way to lower your weekly spend. Knowing what you plan to eat can help you to write a list of what you need, which then helps you to deter from buying anything else. You could also consider changing where you shop, which could also see you decrease what you spend. One last thing when it comes to food is staying away from the brands, and trying supermarket own brands instead. They can offer a huge saving on your overall shopping spend. 

Got anything lying around you don’t want anymore?

Finally, there is money lying around. You may even be looking at it, you may know it is hiding in a drawer or wardrobe. We all can hoard things at times, but now is a great opportunity to declutter some of the things you no longer want and pop them for sale on websites like eBay. It can be a great way to boost your income in a month that feels like it is so long. Plsu doing this can help you get organised for study ahead this year. 

Let’s hope that these ideas help you to get back on the straight and narrow with your finances this month. 

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