Your summer money checklist and top tips
As most courses enter the long summer break, the Student Advice Service wants to remind you that we’re still here to answer your questions around money issues. We’re working remotely for now, so drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for a quick response.
This is a good time to give yourself a financial check-up too, so you can start the next academic year in a healthy financial position. Here are our top tips:
Apply for your funding if you haven’t already done so. Student Finance take around six weeks to process an application so apply early to ensure everything’s sorted before you return to uni. Keep an eye on your online account in case they request further information from you and action this promptly. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if things get complicated.
Banking & overdrafts
Try to clear – or at least make a significant dent in – your overdraft. A free overdraft facility is available to most full-time students by many high street banks and can be a useful financial cushion. Ultimately, you’ll need to repay it and ideally you won’t rely on it for everyday costs. If you can work over the summer and get your account into the black, all the better.
As you approach the new academic year, spend some time setting a budget – admittedly not the most fun of summer activities, but one that won’t take long, and you won’t regret. If this is an alien concept, we urge you to take some time to grapple with it – being in control of your finances is a vital life skill and can relieve much stress.
Budgeting is simply creating a spending plan for your money. To create a budget, you’ll need details of all income – student funding, part-time earnings, bursaries – and essential outgoings (expenditure), such as rent, travel, bills. Hopefully your income is higher than your expenditure and what’s left over is your disposable income (the bit you get to spend on nice stuff). You may need to try to increase your income, for example, by getting some part-time work or asking family to make contributions and/or reduce your outgoings by shopping smartly or switching energy provider.
Create your own spreadsheet or get yourself a dedicated notebook and keep track with good old-fashioned pen and paper! And remember, never write down passwords, codes or other login details.
If your tenancy is coming to an end, make sure you have settled up on all the bills. If you can, try to take meter readings together and notify the utility provider when you have left. This has a significant impact on any deposit which you may be due back, so it is worth getting it right. Check the terms of your deposit scheme and tenancy agreement so you’re prepared.
It has been a dreadful 18 months in terms of the availability of part time work, but as restrictions have lifted, the hospitality industry in particular has been crying out for new staff. Whether you are staying local to uni or travelling home, make sure your cv is up to scratch and reflects the best version of you. Many pubs, cafes and restaurants advertise in their windows or on social media, so take some time to shop around and sign up for the Careers recruitment updates on twitter.
Wishing everyone a happy, safe and productive summer