Money Matters

Your Students' Union and the University of Lincoln has partnered with financial education specialists WEALTH at work to provide you with information and knowledge when it comes to managing your finances at University and beyond.

WEALTH at work is a specialist provider of financial education in the workplace.


Managing your Money

Click on each category for guidance on each issue and the support available to you.

 

Student Loan: Your Student Loan is made up of tuition fees and maintenance loans. These are repaid following graduation.

Bursaries and scholarships: These do not need to be repaid and there are various reasons for these to be awarded.

Hardship Fund: This is available from the University of Lincoln financial assistance fund.

Grant: For example, travel expense may be available if you are required to study abroad.

Everyone who is eligible for student finance can get at least some maintenance loan. This loan will need to be repaid and you may be able to apply for more based on your household income.

Once you have received this mark you may wish to challenge the feedback informally. Our Advisors can support you to do this.

If you are having difficulty with your finances at University, you may be able to apply for a Hardship Fund to help you out. This is available from the University of Lincoln Assistance Fund.

Below is a list of things you may need to spend money on whilst at University:

  • Rent
  • Food shopping
  • Socialising
  • Utilities
  • Clothes
  • Streaming
  • Travel
  • Mobile bills
  • Course material
  • Gym/club memberships

How much do think you would need to spend on each of these monthly?

Start budgeting your finances as soon as you can to see where you can save money.

Use our simple budget planner here to work out exactly how much you have left after deducting your outgoings.

There are a wide range of budgeting apps and websites which may be useful in helping you manage your money.

Budgeting apps: Money Dashboard, Cleo, Yolt.

Budgeting apps use open banking regulations to gain access to your bank accounts. They then help you to categorise spend into things like bills, food shop, entertainment and create a budget to help manage your money. Cleo is slightly different in that it works through Facebook messenger via AI to tell you how much money you’ve got left and what you can and can’t afford.

A benefit to using these is that there’s no way to hide your spending. They will see your exact incomings and outgoings and put it all in one place.

Budgeting management websites: Save the Student, UCAS, The Money Advice Service.

These websites have online budgeting tools to help you manage your money.

Banks with budget planners: Monzo, Starling Bank, Revolut (other tools may be available from alternative banks and building societies).

Banks such as these have inbuilt budgeting tools to help you categorise your spend and manage your budget.

You may find that you spend far more than you realise on non-essentials.

You are unlikely to be able to reduce the amount you are spending on rent, however many other types of expenditure can be controlled.

Think of your subscriptions, for example. You might want to consider

  • Are you paying for things you don't use?
  • Is there a student offer?
  • Is there a free trial? Have you cancelled once the free trial is over - do you want to pay for the service?
  • Can you get free subscriptions from banks or mobile providers?
  • A group subscription with housemates?
  • Is there a cheaper alternative?

Look carefully at the ways you can reduce the money you’re spending. Work out where you’re spending money regularly, such as grocery shopping, and consider whether you can make savings.

Don’t forget to review your direct debits and consider whether you can save money on monthly costs such as gym membership and mobile phone contracts.

You may have already started looking for a place to live when the next academic year starts. Make sure you have the detail of all the costs involved before committing.

Consider:

  • The monthly rent
  • Admin fees, including any itinerary costs
  • How much your deposit will be
  • Approximate costs of utility bills
  • Who you want to live with
  • Where you want to live
  • The cost of commuting to campus

When renting a property you are normally required to leave a deposit. Your landlord is required to ensure this money is kept with a government-backed tenancy deposit protection scheme.

If there is a dispute about your rental deposit, check that your deposit has been held with a Government backed tenancy deposit protection scheme.

There are three types of tenancy deposit schemes. If your Landlord has not held your deposit correctly, you may be owed compensation.

You can check your deposit has been held by visiting here.

Investing a little money in insurance for some of your more expensive items, may well save you a lot of money in the long run.

By insuring your belongings, you can protect items such as your computer, iPad or phone at a very little cost – and you’ll avoid the hefty bill if something does go wrong!

Don’t forget to compare your quote and cover by visiting:

Money Supermarket

Compare the Market

Olio: a mobile app for food-sharing, aiming to reduce food waste. It does this by connecting those with surplus food to those who need or wish to consume such food..

Quidco/Top Cash Back: cashback sites to use when you’re shopping online. They give cashback just for buying through a link and include online retailers such as National Express, Amazon & ASOS.

Voucher Code Students: exclusive student discounts.

Too Good to Go/Karma: local restaurants sell their produce cheap before they close to avoid throwing it away.

VitalSource: an online bookshelf program that is used to access eBooks for your courses – often a lot cheaper than hard copies.


Your Income

If you plan to take a summer job during the holidays, before you start work you should check:

  • How much will you be paid – make sure your employer is paying you at least the minimum living wage.
  • Whether you are likely to pay tax or National Insurance on your wage.
  • That your employer completes a ‘Starter Checklist’ from HMRC – this will ensure you are paying the correct tax and National Insurance.
  • When you will be paid – will you receive your wages in advance or arrears and will these be paid weekly or monthly?
  • Check whether you are paying the right amount of income tax by visiting www.gov.uk/guidance/hmrc-tools-and-calculators.

Every year, you will be sent a letter from HMRC relating to your personal situation. This is a Notice of Coding letter and will state what your tax code is for the next tax year.

  • The letter is sent around January/February and will be for each employed position you hold.
  • The tax code is made up of a series of numbers and letters.
  • The number represents the amount you can earn before tax.

The letter could be one of the following:

L = most common code - you're eligible for standard personal allowance.

BR = whole income at 20% - usually for second jobs or pensions.

NT = no tax to be deducted from this income - often if you live overseas.

You need to check that your payslip has all the correct details on and that you aren’t paying too much tax or national insurance. You may be eligible for a refund which can be paid direct to your bank account.

It is also important to get in touch with HMRC if you think you aren’t paying enough tax or National Insurance as you may be asked to pay this back later on.

To contact HMRC you can call them on 0300 200 3300 or complete an online form at www.gov.uk.


Borrowing & Saving money

Some things to consider may include:

  • Banks are offering students some great deals. They hope you will stay with them when the deal expires, however you don’t have to.
  • Don’t join just for the giveaways – freebies may be attractive, but a 0% overdraft may be better value for money.
  • Is the overdraft ‘up to’ or ‘guaranteed’? The overdraft quoted may not be the one you get.
  • Know the repayment conditions – you will need to pay the money back at some point. It is important to know when this is.
  • Location – You will probably use Internet banking, however having a local bank branch or ATM is always a good thing.

You may find it useful to use comparison websites when comparing student bank accounts. There are a number of these available online, including:

Money Saving Expert

Save the Student

Which

A bad credit score can impact your ability to borrow money, not just whilst you’re a student, but a number of years into the future. Information about how to check your credit score and action you can take to improve it is available at:

For a free personal credit check see:

Noddle

Clear Score

Experian

Equifax

  • Check your interest rates with your lender.
  • Always try to pay off the borrowing with the highest rate of interest first.
  • If you are struggling to make the payments approach the lender and request a meeting to discuss another rate or a longer term to suit your affordability

Check out this site here for further information.


Life after University

Did you know that?

  • A graduate’s average starting salary is between £19,000 (according to Student Employers) and £23,399 (according to DHLE). It’s hard to know for definitive but these are two reliable sources of information so it will be somewhere between this range.
  • There are regional variations in salaries paid to graduates. For example the gap between London and Wales (the regions with the highest and lowest starting salary) is £4,358 a year or roughly £84 a week.
  • Different sectors in the economy have higher salary rates than others. Higher salaries are found in financial services, engineering, IT, and energy.
  • The gender pay gap exists. The average starting salary for females was £21,535, the average starting salary for males was £23,668. This amounts to a difference of £2,133 a year

As well as finding an opportunity if you are taking a placement then ensure that you have appropriate accommodation contracts in place.

You may also be able to claim for help with relocation support and expenses. Large employers may also have a social network of support you can tap into.

And do ensure that your new accommodation is affordable and from where you can realistically commute from every day.

Have a think about what you are looking for in an employer and make a list of your priorities when considering who to work for.

  • The salary you require is likely to be only one part of whether an employer is right for you.
  • What benefits should you expect all potential employers to offer?
  • Does the employer offer auto enrolment to a pension scheme with employer contributions.
  • A contract that states your hours, place of work and salary.
  • Holiday entitlement.
  • Sick pay (you get at least Statutory Minimum).
  • Other benefits, such as Private Medical Insurance or a company car may be on offer but are not guaranteed.
  • Whilst your future employer may offer ‘free’ benefits, these may lead to a tax cost to you

Once you start working, you will no longer be eligible for student benefits such as being exempt from paying council tax. It’s a good idea to start considering what will be your outgoings once you start getting paid.

Don’t forget about further deductions – you also need to remember that you will pay tax and National Insurance. This will automatically be deducted from your pay.

  • A good pension
  • Private medical insurance
  • Car Park
  • Proximity to transport links
  • Sick pay and protection insurance
  • Employer's reputation
  • Company car
  • Holiday entitlement

It could be worthwhile switching accounts to a different bank. Make sure you consider the following:

  • Cheaper overdrafts?
  • Lower rate loans?
  • Overall cheaper banking?
  • Reducing debts over the longer term!

    Check out the following sites for comparing graduate bank accounts:

    Money Saving Expert

    Save the Student

    Which

  • Student Loan Repayments commence if your earnings exceed £25,725 (19/20).
  • This rate is reviewed annually.
  • Repayments made will be 9% of any earnings that are in excess of £25,725pa.
  • Your Student Loan is written off 30 years after you start paying.
Your income per year Monthly repayments
£25,000 and under No repayment
£27,500 £14
£30,000 £33
£32,500 £70
£35,000 £70
£37,500 £89

 


Useful contacts & sites for helping you to manage your money

Student Loan Company

Student Finance

Taxation and notice of codings

Budget planning

General Financial Awareness

Hardship Fund