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Money Matters

Thursday 13 December 2012

Are you worried about money? Need help on how to manage your finances? The Advice and Counselling Service provides lots of advice and support such as how to budget, working over the vacation, how to apply for grants and how to avoid the temptation of pay day loans.

Plan a budget for the vacation period and stick to it
The Advice and Counselling Service leaflet ‘Managing your budget and cutting costs’ helps you to plan your own personal budget, and also gives you valuable tips on how to stick it as well as money saving ideas.

Work during the Christmas vacation
Working over the three week Christmas vacation can be a useful source of extra income as well as providing you with valuable work experience. If you already have a job, perhaps your employer could offer you some extra hours during the vacation. If you don’t yet have a job and are looking for one, see below.

How can I find work?
Read the ‘Finding Jobs’ section of the Advice and Counselling Service ‘Part-Time and Vacation Work’ advice guide.

See QM Careers information on part-time and vacation work. QM Careers can also help with CV writing and interview skills.

How much could I potentially earn before tax and national insurance?

If you are 18-20 the national minimum wage (the minimum amount that an employer can legally pay you) is £4.98 per hour. So if you worked 35 hours a week for three weeks you could earn £522.90 minus income tax and National Insurance deductions (see below).
If you are 21 or over the national minimum wage is £6.19 per hour so if you worked 35 hours a week for three weeks you could earn £649.95, minus income tax and National Insurance deductions (see below).

Many employers pay more than the national minimum wage.

Do I need to pay tax and national insurance on my earnings?
This depends on how much you earn, and on whether you only work during vacations. For more information see the Advice and Counselling Service advice guide, Part-Time and Vacation Work.

Increase your student overdraft limit
If you think you are going to need money over the vacation, and if you have a student bank account, you could ask your bank if you can increase your interest free overdraft for a limited period even if they will not agree to increase it long term. However, if your bank only offers this for a limited period, you need to be aware that you will have to find money to put into the account to bring the overdraft balance back down on the date set by the bank.

Don’t be tempted by Payday loans

What are they?
Payday loans are small, short-term, cash advances offered by loan companies. They are not connected to real paydays but rely on your ability to repay them within a very short space of time. If you cannot repay your loan by the deadline you have agreed with the loan company, you may be charged an extremely high rate of interest as well as charges which can increase day by day.

I have taken out a payday loan but cannot repay it– what can I do?
Act quickly to avoid paying even more interest and charges. Contact a Welfare Adviser at the Advice and Counselling Service who can explain your options.


Apply for a non-repayable grant from the Access to Learning Fund (ALF)

You can apply to the ALF if you have taken your maximum Maintenance Loan entitlement for this academic year and you are in financial hardship.

You can apply to ALF if you can show you have most of your funding in place but need a little extra financial help.

How do I apply?
Collect an ALF application form from the Advice and Counselling Service Reception, ground floor, Geography Building, the Student Enquiry Centre (CB2, Queen’s Building, Mile End campus), the Student Office (ground floor, Garrod Building, Whitechapel) or download one from the website.

How long will the application take to process?
Applications are assessed weekly so you will usually have a decision within two weeks of applying, and payment is usually the week after that if you are eligible for an award. However applications made now will not be processed until after the Christmas vacation, but emergency cash loans of £25 can be made up until Friday 21 December – contact the Student Enquiries Centre in Queens’ CB2.

Do you need further advice?
You can find out more about the Advice and Counselling Service and how we can help you at www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk

To contact us, you can:
· email us via our website www.welfare.qmul.ac.uk
· call us on 020 7882 8717
· visit our Reception on the ground floor of the Geography building, Mile End

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on Twitter: @QMUL_ACS
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