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Life Lessons They Don't Teach You in Class

Surviving in the Outside World

Image courtesy of instagram:

Everyone believes that education and work teach you more than enough about life and some skills; however, this is shockingly not the case.

Acting like an adult is pretty much perceived as having good communication skills, behaving appropriately in public, and not crying on the shopping mall floor—although there are probably lots of reasons to cry your heart out.

The question still remains as: what is normal? I've noticed that normality, or what is acceptable, is subjective over the course of time. For example: what was not acceptable 50 years ago is now celebrated and protected by the likes of political correctness as well as other things.

Being normal can also be considered as following the crowd's hype, the main agenda, or the view of the masses. Not all of us follow the same rules that society creates, which then creates chaos for which is needed some form of order and more rules and laws are put in place, which reduces freedom of creative minds—many of those whom don't have any negative intentions.

We must all ask ourselves for our and for the future generations' sake: are you really prepared for this world?

No one knows most of the answers to all the questions below until it happens to them.

How to Pay Bills:

First thing's first: do not go to a lender—you'll end up worse, as you could end up owing more in terms of interest. If you can't pay it all at once, sort out a monthly instalment deal. Any bills you need to pay—luckily we have the internet so most things can be paid via the web now—but some people may be stuck in the older ways [for example, the older generation struggling to understand technology].

How to Obtain a Contract/Mortgage:

Credit checks/scores are very important. If you don't pay your bills regularly on time, or miss too many payments, your credit score rating becomes very low, which can take approximately three months or so to show a change. This is not inclusive of any CCJ's (County court judgements), these can affect your credit rating for up to five years, and there is no way to remove them from your credit history sadly, so you must be incredibly careful.

How to Think on the Spot and Make the Most of Your Situation When You Lack the Funds:

In life, there may come a time where you could be stuck with low budget and expensive taste.

First world problems are seen as: my phone doesn't work, I have no Wi-Fi, my social media doesn't log in. However, hygiene is very important to most people. If you are stuck in a situation where you're unable to have a shower, we have come up with an almost genius idea; Hospitals! Every hospital has showers for patients, etc. In case of an emergency, do try this idea. Take your towel and be fresh for your job interview!

No Wi-fi? No problem. Go to your local fast food restaurant or coffee shop. Most of these places have free Wi-Fi hot spots, so log on and surf away. Don't forget your charger!

How to Avoid/Appeal Parking Payments or Fines:

The majority of people these days will own cars or have access to one. Wherever you go, do make sure to keep an eye out for congestion/toll charges/parking & parking signage. For example: London—they expect you to know the rules even if you're not a Londoner! Always avoid bus lanes, never even drive an inch into the bus lanes in order to overtake someone—you could get sent a hefty fine.

[Please note; when you change addresses, please make sure to update your DVLA license and your logbook address, or you could face a hefty fine again, and making an appeal for missed letters posted to your previous address may prove difficult. Ignorance doesn't pay.]

In order to appeal a fine or penalty, please remember there are multiple ways to fight your case. Do your research on ways to appeal parking tickets/fines, etc. Don't ever think the fines will just disappear. They will find you through various means.

How to Defend Yourself Against a Bailiff & Eviction:

Once bailiffs are involved, it usually means the court have authorised a warrant. At this stage, you can still appeal. Don't be afraid of the bailiffs & don't be pressured into a sudden payment which you may not have the funds for. Try to set a monthly instalment plan, speak to a debt advisor—some advisors can give you the option to consolidate all your debts into one monthly payment paid over five years, provided you meet their requirements. You could also speak to a Citizen's advice bureau and perhaps Council or seek legal aid.

In the event of an eviction/sudden homelessness, 30 days’ notice is given by the landlord to vacate the premises. This has to be signed by the courts officially (not done verbally or via text messages). If you go to your local neighbourhood office, they could provide emergency housing, which ranges from a room in a block of flats to a temporary bed and breakfast, to an homeless shelter. After a certain amount of time, you could keep getting swapped around different properties at their disposal.

Once you’re in a shelter, they will not allow you to work over approximately 16 hours a week. If you find full-time work you would be required to leave the shelter, as it's deemed you have sufficient funds to find your own accommodation; which is a catch-22 situation, because if you have under 16 hours of work, you'll only have enough money to eat, and you can forget about luxuries.

How to Live Without Luxurious Goods?

Living without certain luxuries is difficult for most people, especially when it’s a sudden change.

For example: if you don't have access to a fridge/freezer, we recommend using a cool box, which is substantially cheaper than white goods. Buy some ice/ice packs and use as a temporary cooler. If your mattress is fine, but the bed frame is not in perfect order/ or you have no access to one, find two wooden pallets to place under the mattress as temporary bed frame.

If you don't have a working shower (some shelters or housing have weak shower pumps), short shower cords, we recommend obtaining a hosepipe to connect to the sink taps and use accordingly.

No access to food? Find your local food banks, collect token vouchers from newspapers, look at reduced prices for food, and collect points from restaurants & takeaways or any place with a club card. You could go to Sikh temples where they sometimes provide food for anyone for free. Some churches and mosques do the same at certain days. The Red Cross/ Salvation Army also do their bit for those struggling. If you see a homeless person, please provide them this information and options.

No Friends or Family to Lean On:

Life can show the harsh reality that most people may or cannot help you in times of need. Hence, believing in yourself is paramount. Try to simplify your problems one by one and tackle them with confidence. You could sign on with the local job centre office and also sign up with local employment agencies. Consider joining clubs and local community groups to make friends.

Most people in this type of situation could feel lonely and suicidal, but please don't give up. If you or anyone you know is feeling suicidal, please contact the Samaritans (one of many options) here or by phone call free any time, from any phone on 116 123; available 24 hours a day.

How to Defend Yourself Against Violence/Abuse:

Firstly, if you are a victim of any kind of abuse, we suggest you contact the police as soon as possible.

As far as we are aware, no school or college in the UK has any mandatory self-defence lessons, which is, in our opinion, incorrect. We feel this subject is highly important to protect us and the people around us. This subject could easily combat child abuse and other abusive behaviour in society. We hope one day the governments globally will take this subject into the national curriculums. [Disclaimer; we'd like to mention that we in no way condone any negative, hurtful behaviour towards anyone.]

How to Earn Alternative Forms of Income Outside of Any Standard Job:

If you are running low on money, or just want to have some alternative ways of earning some cash, here's a list:

  1. ISA Accounts
  2. Cash for surveys
  3. PPI claim
  4. Uniform Tax rebate (If you wear or have worn uniforms whilst working you could claim for a tax rebate)
  5. Write blogs
  6. Sell your unwanted items
  7. Hire out your car (Preferably if it’s not on finance)
  8. Rent a room out (No subletting unless with prior permission)
  9. Teach someone something you know
  10. Offer to be handy-person (gardening, car wash, DIY, painting)
  11. Become a carer (quite a high paid job, flexible hours)
  12. Write short stories
  13. Try learning how to sell stocks & shares

In conclusion, we hope that this article can help those of you who just need a guiding hand in life's difficult stages. Experience is a cruel teacher; it gives us a test before presenting the lesson. We wish you good luck!

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