It is an odd time for those who are in the buy-to-let game. George Osbourne’s so-called “tax time bomb”, set years ago by the then-chancellor is set to hit landlords with regulations and taxes remove a great degree of profitability from the market. This has led to many headlines across the press claiming that the uptake of regulation is the death knell of the buy-to-let market for many keen investors.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however. The property market in many parts of the UK looks set to be sunny in outlook, with great opportunities for property investors to turn over money in places that are on the way up. One place that’s identified as fertile ground is my hometown of Glasgow. With buy-to-let yields hitting 7.8% on average, it’s certainly an area to think about.
A lot of regeneration has made Scotland’s largest cities one of the most desirable places to live in the UK, and today we will look at where is the best place to look for a profitable property.
When you’re at university, you may have the first taste of adult freedom in the form of moving into a flat or student accommodation. Ask most people who have lived in student accommodation what their diet was like and they’ll tell you some culinary horror stories, but also with a hint of nostalgia and a sense of good times. Moving into your own place when you’re 17, 18, or 19 may present the first time that you’ll have ever had to cook for yourself, and as anyone who’s been through it themselves, it’s no picnic (quite literally).
The first trip that many of us take to the supermarket without adult supervision to stop you from buying a bucket of Haribo gives many of us an idea of how much food can cost. You get to the checkout and the cashier tells you the price and something clicks; “food is bloody expensive!” With this in mind, here’s some top tips for students designed to help you make your money go a little further at meal times.
Where else to start but at the beginning of this magical journey we call: university, where somehow we’re tempted to spend money like water and yet have nothing to show for it – as we have eaten, or drank it all. The following article by Alex Watson on how to avoid blowing your student loan sums it up.
If you want to be smart with your money then start here! It all begins with fresher’s (drunken) week. The fresher’s band is inviting and as a fresher, you feel as though this is a requirement … but be warned it is not necessary, just because you don’t buy a fresher’s band doesn’t mean you won’t go out. Unless you go to every single event (which is most unlikely) then it is a waste of money, and due to the demand of some of these events, you may find you and your new friends want to avoid the crowds and explore further areas of your new city.
Next on the list of fresher’s obligations is the fresher’s fair, here you will be handed an abundance of flyers, stickers, leaflets and much more and let’s be honest they will all most likely end up at the bottom of your bag never to be looked at again, and there is your mistake. The surplus of paper you have just received is actually full of great student deals, which will truly help you save money at university. Another top tip for saving money, as a student is to buy a student discount card. For £9.95, it’s yours for 3 years, from which you will acquire an array of discounts in Edinburgh from bars, restaurants, shops and take-outs.
Eating in Edinburgh
George street is pricey, stay away, shopping and nights out alike. However, this is not a problem as there are countless places to eat in Edinburgh. Some advice, get cultural, Tuk Tuck located on Lothian Road serves the best Indian street food and it is cheap!
Another money saving idea is share! Bread Meats Bread, on Lothian Road is arguably the best burger joint in Edinburgh and yes it is a little pricey, however, no human can possibly eat one of their burger and fries, so share, half the burger, half the price! Lastly, be smart with your money, don’t let the hangover cravings take over and demand you to spend £18 at Nandos for an overpriced piece of chicken, get inventive, gather your friends and cook cheap healthy meals.
Nights out in Edinburgh
Edinburgh is a fun filled night out with plenty of options for students – with almost every club holding a student night. However, you may want to avoid weekends as there is no escaping the high entry cost and stupidly overpriced mixers.
There are also alternatives that don’t involve clubbing and won’t leave you penniless. These include interesting stuff like ghost walks and stand-up comedy.
An additional idea to help save money is to pre-drink, the novel way in which our generation socialises, gone are the days of meeting at pubs and bars. Well perhaps not gone, but let’s be realistic: as a first-year student your calendar will most likely involve around 3 nights out per week and it is just not plausible to drink in bars each of these nights.
Top tip, get all your friends around, buy some cheap fizz (they will never know the difference) and if you are worried about not being sophisticated enough get some cheap wine glasses from Ali’s Cave
Entertainment in Edinburgh
There are plenty of things to do for students in Edinburgh on a budget. For example, take a walk up Arthurs seat for the best views of Edinburgh, this burst of activity will be good for you as calorie consumption is likely to be high due to your new found freedom where you can drink and eat as much as you want. It is also completely free!
A walk up the royal mile to Edinburgh Castle is another must-see, there is no need to pay to get inside as you get a great view of the castle at the top. On a summer’s day, Princes Street gardens can be your go to however it is normally busy so head to the Meadows which will be filled with students, Frisbees, beers and ball games. Grab yourself a BBQ, your friends and you have an afternoon bursting with summer fun.
My last tip is to get yourself a rail card, for those days when the bank balance is looking bleak and it’s time to head home for some TLC and a home cooked (free) meal.
If you’re like me, and have the attention span of a gnat, you might find yourself sitting in on a Saturday afternoon with the walls closing around you, bored to tears and the thought of spending your precious weekend watching countless hours of Murder, She Wrote and Dickinson’s Real Deal. Fear not my frugal friends! Having had a lifetime to perfect how to have a fun-filled day for less, here are five of my favourite places to see/visit when I’m counting my pennies. All are either free to visit, or won’t break the bank and I’d heartily recommend them to anyone thinking of visiting Glasgow.
1) The Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Any time there’s even a suggestion of sun or blue sky in Glasgow, there are a few things you can expect to see. One is the off-grey torsos of Glaswegians who have opted to go “taps aff” in an effort to soak up some elusive Vitamin D. The other is a busy Botanic Gardens. Located in the city’s illustrious West-End, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens have provided a green space for the people since 1817. The park is full of botanical curiosities from the world over, and if you find that your caught in a predictable Glasgow down-pour, you can always take shelter in the iconic Kibble Palace.
The iconic wrought-iron glasshouse was erected in the park in 1873, and it’s temperate climate allows for tropical and exotic plants to flower. If you’re passing by on a November evening, be sure to jump in for a wee heat, and a look at the impressive pond that lives in the palace’s main lobby. There’s plenty to see in the main park itself, including a cafe and the long abandoned Byres Road subway station for those with an adventurous streak!
2) Kelvingrove Art Gallery
There are few places in the world that are able to say that they boast a museum collection as diverse as art by Dali and Picasso, a 1940’s Spitfire, and a stuffed giraffe, but Kelvingrove Art Gallery. The museum is free to entry and lauded as being one of the best museums to visit in the UK. On the basement floor there is a cafe with an impressive lunch menu, but if you’re only in looking for a coffee to keep you ticking over, a vendor on the ground floor will keep you right.
There is such a wonderfully diverse collection of things to be found in the Kelvingrove art gallery that I think you would struggle to see everything in a day. A great deal of collections are covered in the stunning Victorian gallery, and throughout your visit you can expect to see collections from Ancient Egypt, the history of Glasgow, French Impressionists, the Dutch Renaissance, and an impressive selection from the natural world. If you’re lucky you might be able to time a visit with a performance on the museum’s massive pipe organ.
3) The Ben Nevis Folk Session
If you were to go for a stroll in Glasgow’s Finneston area as recently as ten years ago, you would find the shell of a city that once had a proud ship building tradition. A place were jobs thrived and money was made. The removal of heavy industries from Glasgow was a difficult and uncertain time for the city and the Finneston area was littered with empty buildings and ‘for sale’ signs. Now, much like the rest of the city, it has reinvented itself for the 21st century.
Many of the trendiest drinking spots can be found down by the Clyde at Finneston. Bars like Distill, the 78, and Lebowski’s have come to represent Glasgow’s flair for reinvention. No pub in the area better blends the old and the new than The Ben Nevis. If you were to pop in for a reasonably priced pint at the Ben Nevis on a Thursday or Sunday night, not only would you find a fine ale and the world-famous welcoming atmosphere, you’d also get some of the best live folk music the city has to offer. Only for the cost of a pint of Tennents! Not bad..
4) Lawn Bowls In Kelvingrove Park
Not many folk know that the bowling green that lives in front of the aforementioned Kelvingrove art gallery is free to use to the public. So if you feel like you need a bit of fresh air having gone for a wander round the galleries, why not stop in and put your skills to the test? The combination of patience, technique and sheer bloody luck make the Kelvingrove bowling club a must visit for those trying to do Glasgow for less!
5) Tennents Tour
Scotland may be famous for its whisky, but Glasgow in particular is famous for its Irn Bru, and its Tennents lager. A cold pint of the Wellpark nectar is a must for any night out. If you want to see how the city’s favourite pint comes into being, why not book a place on the brewery’s tour. Adult tickets only cost £7.50, plus you get free samples at the end. It really is a no brainier
, and a perfect way to see what’s brewing in Glasgow. (Sorry).
Are you a smart grocery shopper? Simply take this online quiz to find out!
When grocery shopping, do you:
Arrive at the supermarket straight after work, with only the most vague of plans to buy something for dinner, only to find that the whole place is already a war-zone of yummy mummies fighting sweaty businessmen for the last bag of organic quinoa. You go home with whatever overpriced ready meal you can grab as you run screaming from the premises.
Go to the big retail park outside of town at the weekend. A shopping list in your filthy hand, you still leave with mounds of unnecessary impulse-purchased nonsense. You get home and sigh, and light one of your ten new scented candles to make yourself feel better.
Get your mum to do it for you because you’re a big fat waster and can’t do anything right. But at least the fridge is always full and there’s a never-ending supply of Twixes in the cupboard.
Do the Smart Thing, which instantly makes everyone impressed with you. Strangers smile at you in the street and men and women alike are attracted to your aura of intelligence.
Credit Cards – You might not know as much as you think
Credit cards are now a very common way for paying for goods or services, and now many banks and financial companies are offering benefits to people using credit cards for every day purchases in the form of cash back. However, many people are unaware of the financial dangers that a credit card can bring into your life. Credit card users often get themselves into unwanted debt due to improper usage or more often, a lack of understanding. The credit card debt cycle becomes harder to break out of the longer it goes on. So, here are a few tips to stay on track with credit card bills.
Applying for a mortgage? Here’s what you need to know:
Okay, you’re ready to make that big jump – buying a home is one of the biggest commitments that you are ever going to make. We have put together 5 important tips that will help you organise yourself to ensure you apply for the right mortgage to make the process that little bit easier.
Buying a car is usually one of the most expensive purchases we make in our lifetime, maybe only second to buying a house or a flat. So, it is important to consider the different options that are available to you. Here is an overview of different finances available.
As you probably already seen on the news, our current Chancellor George Osborne delivered our budget to parliament on 18th March 2015. However, in what may come as a surprise, a lot of people are unaware what the budget actually is. Simply put, the budget is a plan on how the government will spend the country’s money for the next 12 months. This is an annual process and is always conducted by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The government will decide how much they are going to spend, and on what services they are going to spend it on: housing, schools, and hospitals, defense etc.