NOT going to uni? How to manage if you’re working or travelling

Iona Bain

You’ve got your exam results and even if you are confident about what you want to do, you will still feel the pressure of being at a big crossroads right now. Are you going to uni or want to start work? Want to travel or stick closer to home?

If you are not going to university, you’re in good company. Countless people have opted for a more direct route to success, from Richard Branson to Zoella.


Starting work

Do you have a clear idea about what you want to do, whether it’s embarking on a vocation or realising a business idea? Great. The first step is to make sure you understand how much money you have coming in and adjust your living expenses accordingly.

The aim, always, is to live within your means. Staying at home (if you can stand it!) can be very helpful as you find your feet, given that rent can be the single biggest expense for young workers.

You can make extra money to help get you started by selling goods and services online through sites like Ebay, TaskRabbit and PeoplePerHour. You can also turn to charities like the Princes Trust to help get your business off the ground, if you want to work for yourself.


Save the cash

Once you start earning, don’t spend it all! Put at least 10 per cent per month into an easy access savings ISA (which gives you tax-free interest) and look for the highest rate possible. If you can’t live on 90 per cent of your income, go back to your budget and see if you can find savings, or alter your habits.


Moving on out

If you decide to move out, avoid rip-off letting agents by renting directly from private landlords – check out sites like Upad or OpenRent. Your first payment can be a fair whack (usually a months’ rent as a deposit plus your first month in advance), so budget for this and how you will manage to live during this expensive month. Landlords are now obliged to safeguard your deposit, but be really clear about the state of the property when you move in. If there are any issues (like carpet stains, faulty furniture or cracks) photograph them and email the landlord, so that you both have a record of the state of the property up front. This can save you hassle about the return of your deposit in the long run.

Log onto comparison sites to get the cheapest deals on your utility bills, broadband and mobile bills.

Click here to find out how to cope if you go on a gap yah…

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