New term – new budget

It’s the summer term and with this comes your final instalment of funding for this academic year. You now need to stretch your money for this term and possibly also the summer too. It’s not as scary as it sounds – see below for our guide to keeping on top of your finances for the final term and beyond.

Look at your budget

If you’re returning to study in October 2018, you won’t receive any further funds from Student Finance until after you enrol – so you need to make sure your money will last. The best way to do this is with a budget. If you already have a budget which has worked so far this year – great! If not, it’s not too late to start – think about how much money you have and then add up your expected essential spending such as rent, food, travel, etc, to the end of term and beyond. If you need a hand, check out our How do I budget post, as well as Student calculator for a useful online tool.

Don’t forget summer costs

Think ahead to your possible summer costs – are you likely to be living in Northampton, or are you returning home elsewhere? If Northampton is your main home, you are probably already aware that you’ll need money for rent/ mortgage, food, utility bills, travel, etc, as usual during the summer. However, if you are staying with your family somewhere else, you will need to check with them whether you will be expected to pay any board towards food and bills, as well as budgeting for socialising, travel, etc. If you’re thinking about getting a head-start on next year’s work, include any new books/ study equipment you might need.

Looking for a new student house?

Do you know where you are going to be living during the next academic year? If you have found a new student let and you aren’t staying there over the summer, you will need to include a rent retainer in your budget. If you’re still looking for a house, see our What are the true costs of renting? post and the University’s Studentpad page for further guidance including typical costs (rent and deposits), tenancy agreements, and what to look out for.

Increase your income

If you’ve worked out a budget but you’re still feeling short, you should look at ways to increase your income. The best way to make money is with part-time work – as well as improving your bank balance, you can also gain extra skills and experience to help you in your future career, as well as meeting new people.  With the summer fast approaching, new opportunities for work might be available – contact Unitemps or similar agencies at home for details. For further tips on how to make money, see our How to increase your income post.

Cut down on your spending

The next step is to have a look at your typical spending (don’t forget to include trips to the pub, takeaways, hot drinks, magazines, etc) and work out ways to cut back. For further tips, see our Minimising expenditure, Cooking vs Takeway, Make small changes to save money! and Mend your spending habits! posts.

Help from the University

You could be eligible for additional support from the University’s Financial Assistance Fund or EU Hardship Fund (eligibility criteria apply). The Fund assessment will consider your income and expenditure over the academic year. We can’t guarantee that you will receive an award but if you’re successful, you don’t have to pay it back. The closing date for new applications is 31 May.

We are also likely to launch a Summer Fund in June to help with costs over the summer – further information will be available soon.

Don’t forget to reapply for your funding

If you are returning to study next year, you need to reapply for your student funding for 2018/19. Go to Student Finance to reapply before 22 June 2018 to ensure that your funding is ready for next year.

Don’t forget to confirm that you agree to the terms and conditions (you will be asked to re-enter your password) otherwise your funding may be delayed.

If you would like further guidance about budgeting and money management, contact the Financial Guidance team.

Let us know if you have any good tips for money management and we may feature them on our blog.