How can I manage my money?

Many students find it difficult to manage their finances whilst they study. Termly instalments of student finance and monthly outgoings can feel impossible to balance.

The best thing you can do is work out what money will be going into your account, subtract the amount you will have going out (food and bills), and BUDGET the money you have left over, making sure it will last you for the duration of that term. You will then know how much money you have to play with each week and this will prevent you from over spending with money you simply don’t have, this is the money you will rely upon later so make sure it’s still there!

If you're worried about budgeting, you may find this budgeting planner helpful.

Can the university help?

The University of Brighton offers a wide range of advice on all money matters HERE. See ways you could save money and avoid debt. You can also check if you are eligible for discounts and funding!

I’m in shared accommodation but bills are not included, how do I manage this between my housemates?

It’s difficult to pay for these when they need to be split between you and your housemates. Therefore, setting up a joint bank account for household bills is a great way to keep on top of things. Then every housemate can pay their share into this account every month to cover the bills. The easiest way to do this is to set up ‘Standing Orders’ (for the money going out of housemates accounts into the joint Household Bill Account) and ‘Direct Debits’ (for the money coming out of this joint account to pay utility providers). It’s important that the date for the Standing Orders are prior to the Direct Debits, that way everyone would have paid the money in BEFORE the bills go out. Then it’s all automatic! No one has to be relied upon to remember to do it, and, you won’t get any fines or scary letters for late payments.

Don’t forget some utility suppliers only bill you on the quarter (every 3 months) which can be very hard to budget for. To avoid this, call your supplier and ask them to estimate the monthly usage of water/gas/electric and set up a direct debit for this amount to go out every month (preferably from the joint ‘Household Bill Account’ you all set up). This way you’re safe from being stung with a large unexpected bill, 3 months down the line, that’s not been accounted for.

My loan instalment is late - what can I do?

Speak to Student Finance England and double-check that they've got everything they need from you.  If they have but there's still a delay, speak to the university’s Student Advice Centre - they may be able to help you access other sources of funding to reduce your money stresses.

I'm in debt, and I just can't afford to be a student - do I have to leave?

Possibly - some people do have financial situations which means university is not an option for them right now. But come and see an advisor in Union Support - they'll go through your situation with you and see if there's anything you can do to increase your income or reduce your costs. They're confidential and their advice is free. You can also access the university’s Money Advice Team.

How can I ease my financial worries?

To ease their financial worries, many students seek work whilst they study. If you wish to look for work, job opportunities are regularly listed on the Students' Union website and at the University's Careers Service.

I’m in debt to the university / my bursary providers, can Union Support help?

Yes, don’t worry, we can help support your case to resolve this in a way that’s manageable for you.

Things to think about…

A common mistake is to spend too much money in the beginning of the term when the student loan instalment first comes in and not save enough to get you through the rest of the term. This leaves you completely skint, surviving on beans on toast for weeks, desperately awaiting that next student loan instalment to come and save you. Don’t be that person, take a bit of time at the start of each term to organise you finances and you will save yourself a whole lot of stress for the rest of the year.