Summer is finally here! The days are getting warmer and longer, and it’s not long now until the end of the academic year. You might have sorted out your summer plans already, but just in case you’ve been too distracted by assignments, revising, and sunny afternoons, here are some points you should consider:
Will your loan stretch?
You received your last loan payment in April – unless you have a job or generous family or friends, this needs to be stretched until you get your next loan instalment at the beginning of the next academic year in October. Sound difficult? If you have not done so already, look at your bank balance to create a summer budget so that you know how much you have left and how much you’ll need. Further guidance on how to budget can be found in many of our previous blogposts, as well as tips on how to increase your income and how to make small changes to save money; online tool like student calculator can also be helpful. If you’d like help putting your budget together, please get in touch.
Home or away?
If you came to Northampton to study, you’ll need to decide whether you plan to stay here for the summer or return home. Both options are likely to incur costs: if you stay, you’ll need to budget for rent, utilities (if these are not included in your rent), and food; whereas if you go home, it is likely to be cheaper but you’ll still probably need to pay a rent retainer, and depending on their financial circumstances, your family may ask you to contribute towards board. You’ll also need to budget for any essential travel, mobile phone bills, entertainment, etc, too.
Looking for work?
We rave about part-time work all the time on this blog, but that’s because it’s one of the best ways to boost your income. If you have not yet found a summer job, register with Unitemps or other job agencies to see what is available.
Are you eligible to apply for benefits?
Did you know that if you are a parent with a low income, you might be eligible to apply for benefits over the summer? You can check your entitlement with Northampton Citizens Advice who offer appointments and drop-ins on the ground floor of the Learning Hub, Waterside campus every Tuesday during term-time, or see their adviceguide online.
If you are a continuing student and think you might struggle financially over the summer, you might be eligible to apply for the Summer Fund or EU Summer Hardship Fund (eligibility criteria apply) for support. Please be aware that the closing date for all application forms and supporting evidence is 31st July 2017 (subject to funds remaining available). Funds do start to run low at this time of the year, therefore there is no guarantee the team will be able to offer support, so apply as soon as you can.
Don’t forget to re-apply for your funding!
If you’re returning to study in October, you need to make sure you have applied for your funding for the next academic year; the deadline is 23rd June 2017. If you have not done so already, apply today. If you don’t, it could be delayed.
Please remember to bring some money with you to cover the first week of term or so, because you won’t receive any of your student finance until after you enrol; the first instalment of funding is usually paid 3 – 5 working days after your enrolment is confirmed on the first day of the new term.
If you have any budgeting tips for the summer, let us know and we’ll feature the best ones on the blog!