Budgeting can help you to:
Find out how much money you have
Track how much you’re spending
Prioritise essential spending (rent, water, gas, electric, phone bills) that has serious consequences if it’s not paid
Check whether you really need what you’re paying for
Some people think that budgeting means that you cannot manage your money. This is not true.
There are plenty of free budgeting tools and apps available so look around and find one which works for you, or make your own. If you miss items out though, it won’t be accurate.
The Money Advice Service is a good place to start; https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
Dealing With Debt
If you do owe money, the person you owe it to will usually ask you to contact them.
Ask for help if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, but don’t ignore it. It will get worse if you do. If you think you might be late with a payment, let your landlord or creditor know before the money is late.
If you have debts from before you started your course, or if you have lots of debts, contact a free money advice service like https://www.stepchange.org for some free help dealing with them.
Credit cards and Overdrafts
As a student you’ll often have an interest free overdraft. This isn’t a long term plan, as you’ll usually need to pay it back or be charged interest once your course ends. But while you’re not charged interest, it is usually cheaper than borrowing money using a credit card. Some banks won’t let you set up a student account if you have less than a year left on your course, or if you’re not on a full time course.
Student Finance England Funding
If you‘re receiving Student Finance England funding and don’t believe you’re receiving all that you’re entitled to, you can check an estimate here;
https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator and challenge it if you don’t think the decision is right. You can also use the calculator to help check whether your rent contract is affordable. If you are likely to receive £4000 in maintenance loan and your rent is £4000, you’ll need a way of paying for living costs like food, transport and phone bills while you’re studying.
Your student funding could be your main income, so it’s important to understand how much you’re getting. It usually won’t be enough to cover all your living costs, no matter how hard you budget. Apply for your student loan on time, as if your application is submitted late, you may not receive funding for several weeks after you start your course and move into your accommodation.
Grants and Scholarships
The Scholarship Hub and Turn 2 Us Grant Finder can help you check if you’re eligible for a grant or a scholarship.
Keep some money back from your student loan payment if you can, in case of emergencies. Some bank accounts allow you to divide your money into pots so it’s easier to keep track of what you’re spending
If you receive an email from a company and you’re not sure if it’s genuine, large companies will often have an email to check or report it, for example
firstname.lastname@example.org for the Student Loans Company.
Don’t transfer any money for a property before you’ve seen it.
If you’re buying through a website and the seller asks you to complete the payment outside the site, stop and think before you do it.
If you’re selling items on an online platform, don’t post items to PO boxes and don’t send them before you’ve been paid.
Check that your letting agent is registered with a professional body and that they and/or your landlord have a UK contact number.
Some common signs of scams are:
You’re asked to make an immediate decision
No contact number, or an overseas contact number
Bad spelling and grammar
An offer too good to be true, or unreasonable threats if action is not taken
https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk has a lot of useful advice about scams.
You are not liable for council tax if you’re a full time student living with other full time students,
If you’re sent a bill before your course ends you can apply for an exemption at https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-for-full-time-students
but if your accommodation contract expires some time after the end of your course, you’re likely to be liable after your course finishes. There will be more details on your Council website.