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Money Matters - worried about money over the festive break?

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Monthly articles from the Advice and Counselling Service to help you manage your money

Worried about money?

If you are worried about having enough money until you receive your next instalment of funding, here are some ideas to help increase your income for the vacation.

Plan a budget for the vacation period and stick to it

We have online resources to help you plan your own budget, including spreadsheets you can personalise. Once you have worked out your budget, you will know how much money you need, and then you can consider the options below.

Work during the Christmas vacation

Working over the 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.

How can I find work?

Read the Part-Time and Vacation Work advice guide, written by QMUL staff.
Also see the Jobs Online page of QMUL Careers and Enterprise website. QMUL Careers can also help with CV writing, interview skills and more – see www.careers.qmul.ac.uk/students/

Apply for a non-repayable grant from the University Financial Assistance Fund

This fund at QMUL exists to help students who are experiencing financial hardship. The eligibility criteria is explained in the guidance notes which can be downloaded along with an application form. Submit the completed form with the relevant documents (see part 12 of the form) to the Student Enquiry Centre (ground floor, Queen’s Building, Mile End campus) or the Student Office (ground floor, Garrod Building, Whitechapel).

Applications are usually processed within four working weeks, and often sooner.

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. If your bank only offers this for a limited period, remember 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.

Enjoy doing free stuff

Time Out London and London for free both list lots of free and low cost activities for you to enjoy during your vacation.

Time Out also lists Christmas activities in London, some of which may be free or if not, you may be able to get a discount with your NUS Extra card.

If you are worried about the cost of Christmas, there are loads of great ideas online for homemade gifts, which will save you lots of money.

Do you need further advice?

Money advice is available to all QMUL students from experienced Welfare Advisers in the Advice and Counselling Service. The service is confidential and free.

We have same-day appointments every weekday in term time, subject to availability. Just turn up to register at 1.30pm. If you would prefer to book an appointment or ask for advice by email you can: 

email us via our website
call us on 020 7882 8717
visit our Reception on the ground floor of the Geography building, Mile End campus.

You can also follow us: 
on Twitter: @QMUL_ACS
on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/pj5TP3.

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