Budgeting whilst living on a student loan can be very tricky. Your money is paid to you in three installments, normally in October, January and April. If you qualify for a bursary, this will be paid later than the main loan. All together this makes your life difficult and so you need to be very clear about what you money you will be receiving and when.
A budget plan is a useful tool to help you manage your money. Even if you can't keep exactly to your budget plan, it is useful to have some idea of how your money is lasting. It is all too easy to blow your loan and be left with unpaid essential bills that are impossible to meet.
To help you build your budget for living in Loughborough, we have produced a lovely sheet you can use to help. You can collect a hard copy from the Bridgeman Building, or click on the next section to download it as a PDF. Now there is nothing to stop you building a budget!!
You have to find a way of budgeting that suits you. This is a super simple budgeting app to help you track your spending or you might prefer fancy software by YNAB (to get this software for free, email them once you have a Lboro.ac.uk email address and they will send you a link). Some people simply use a notebook and pen.
What type of shopper are you? This quiz may be only a bit of fun, but you need to understand where your weaknesses are and what you are likely to overspend on what you are a student!
Build your budget
Click on the image below for a PDF to help you build your budget!
Banks are keen to secure your custom as they see you as a potential long term customer with a good income once you have completed your studies and able to purchase all of their associated products e.g. insurance, savings plans etc.
When choosing a bank don't just look at the free offers, check out their interest charges, overdraft limits, how quickly you are expected to pay them off at the end of your studies, duration and flexibility of the overdraft facility. For information on student bank accounts, visit the Money Saving Expert website.
Remember if you run into difficulties, it is important to keep in touch with your bank rather than bury your head in the sand. If you contact them as soon as you realise you have a problem they are more likely to be understanding. Our advisers can offer practical help with debt problems, and managing your money.
It is important to keep bank statements and keep a check on the transactions listed. Banks can get it wrong! You will need the bank statements if you have to apply to the Hardship Fund.
Try to make payments to credit cards and overdrafts on time to avoid incurring additional charges. If payments are starting to fall behind-seek advice.
We all love a bargain, but the best way to save money is building it into your spending habits and saving small amounts on a regular basis.
We can help you with this, but we also recommend the Money Saving Expert website as their advice is very good.
Students and welfare benefits
Generally students are unable to claim benefits whilst studying or on a leave of absence.
There are some exceptions which include students with children and/or disabilities.
We are able to advise you if your situation entitles you to claim benefits. We suggest you book an appointment to see an adviser to discuss this in confidence.