Money matters

Managing your money for smart summer spending at uni

When you’re busy at uni with lectures, exams, coursework, sports games, society events, nights out, nights in and everything in between, it’s completely understandable that summer might not be at the forefront of your mind.
Managing your money for smart summer spending at uni
Published on: 22 Oct 2023
Spending throughout the academic year

The main income for most students studying in the UK is a student loan. In England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this is paid by Student Finance England, Northern Ireland and Wales in three instalments throughout the academic year – in or around September, January and April, though exact dates can change from person to person depending on your university. In Scotland, payments are made by the Student Awards Agency for Scotland on the 7th day of each month, once your course has started.

Why does this matter? Well, it directly affects exactly how much money you can expect to have at the end of the academic year, or the beginning of summer. Making the most of your break is the number one goal, and it’ll be easier to achieve if you’re in control of your money.

If you’re moving into halls in September…

Once you’ve received your first student loan payment in September, the next step is to work out how much money you have left after paying the first rent instalment for your student accommodation. Remember, this loan instalment will be your only student loan payment until January. Depending on your student loan amount, a part-time job may help to fund your university lifestyle. How much money you’ll need depends on your personal routine and interests, so have a think about whether it’s worth applying to some jobs ahead of starting a new academic year.

If you’re moving into a student house in September…

Going into a rented property as a student, you'll need to pay a deposit, which is usually about one month's rent. This has to be paid ahead of moving into the property in September – keep in mind that your final student loan payment is in April, the previous academic year. You'll also need to consider that, usually, student housing contracts are 12 months long and begin in July. That means, if you’re planning on moving home for the summer, you might still need to pay rent on the new property, even if you’re not yet living in it.

If you have a part-time job over the summer…

Getting a part-time job over the summer months is an especially good idea if you have expenses to pay at home – whether that’s your rent, phone bill, gym membership or Netflix subscription. It also offers the opportunity to save up some money ahead of the next academic year, or add to your current savings so you can splash some cash on more expensive things, like going on day trips with friends, or even a holiday!

If you’re not working over the summer…

Naturally, if you find yourself low on funds, the last thing you want to do is use your savings – and if you do, spend more than absolutely necessary. If you won’t be working over the summer months, creating a weekly budget will help you keep track of your outgoings and ensure you don’t overspend. This way, you can use your savings to enjoy your summer, but won’t use more than necessary and put yourself at a disadvantage in the future.

If you’re spending your overdraft…

If you do find that you dip into the overdraft of your student bank account, it’s worth double-checking your specific account allowances as they can vary from bank to bank. For example, will you be charged interest on any overdraft spendings? What is your overdraft limit? Your overdraft can be great when you need short-term financial support, but it’s not a long-term solution, so make sure you’re careful with what and when you’re spending.

If you need an extra helping hand…

There’s always help out there if you’re struggling, or think you will struggle, with finances throughout the summer break. It varies between universities, but most offer some sort of financial aid in the form of a student support fund. This is a discretionary grant that you don’t have to pay back, to help out with the cost of living over the summer when you might be staying away from university. It’s worth doing the research to see what your uni offers and if they can help you.

If you want a jam-packed summer…

Whether you’re at home or uni over the summer, there will be loads to do if you search for it! If you’re looking for things to do, check Facebook for local events and other social media to see what friends and local students are talking about. And don’t forget to always check for student discounts! From shops and restaurants to the theatre, cinema or museums, there are loads of heavily discounted – and even completely free – things you can do with a quick flash of your student ID, so always keep it handy.

Staying with Sanctuary Students gives you the option to pay in instalments throughout the year, or pay the full rent sum in one go in September – you can decide which is better for you based on your personal circumstances. We’re here to help, and if you’re struggling to make rent payments, we’ll do what we can to support you in all money matters.

Looking for student accommodation for the 2022/2023 academic year? It’s not too late! We have properties in lots of cities around the UK, including London, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Dundee, Salford and more. View our full location list and register here to book a room!