The clocks have gone back, restrictions have been eased and spring has sprung. After what has been a challenging year for many of us, the prospect of lighter, brighter days ahead is more than welcome. What better time to spring clean your finances.
Having to stay indoors and isolate, you may have spent far less money than you normally would, given shops, bars and restaurants have all been closed. Or, you may have spent more than usual on takeaways, or on items you didn’t really need as a way of coping with the impact of the pandemic on your wellbeing.
Whatever your circumstances, now that it’s possible to socialise and play sports outdoors in line with government guidance, and with the retail and hospitality sectors also due to open up soon, it’s only natural you’ll be tempted to spend money. However, before you do so, think carefully about whether you can afford it, whether all of your expenses are essential and how can you ensure you don’t overspend.
Why not take a look at the Advice and Counselling’s budgeting resources, which include a spreadsheet you can personalise, some helpful tips on controlling your spending and an A-Z of money saving ideas. Planning a budget will not only help you calculate your total income and costs but also identify any shortfall in your funds.
If your budget shows you don’t have enough money, you can apply to the Queen Mary Financial Assistance Fund. There is more information about the fund in our Additional Sources of Funding advice guide for undergraduates and our Postgraduate Funding advice guide. The deadline for a standard award is Friday 16th April.
If you are a student living in halls who doesn’t need a TV licence for the full 12 months, you may be eligible for a TV licence refund.
You might also want to boost your income through part time and vacation work. See our Part time and vacation work advice guide for helpful advice about employment.
Once you have read all our guidance, don’t hesitate to contact a Welfare Adviser in the Advice and Counselling Service with any queries.