Managing money is tricky when you’re a student. You may be eligible for a student loan or bursary which will cover rent or basic living expenses. It can be difficult to earn enough additional money to feel comfortable while still prioritising your studies. It’s important to figure out, and claim, what you’re entitled to early on, to allow you to budget and work out how much extra you might need to earn. Remember, that your loans and bursaries will generally only be paid during term time, so try and keep a bit back in case of emergencies over the summer.
To find out what funding is available to you, and how to claim it, visit the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) website. If you were receiving any benefits prior to becoming a student, speak to Citizens Advice Scotland to find out what you should still be claiming now. In addition to these entitlements, you may be eligible for financial support directly from your university. Universities have a pot of money provided to them by government to help students who need a bit of extra financial support. This is usually called the Discretionary fund, you may have also heard it referred to as the Hardship fund. To claim some of this money you will need to meet certain caveats set out by your institution. You should be able to find information about this fund and whether you may be eligible for it, through your university intranet, but you can also speak to your programme lead or development tutor.
Regardless of how much money may be coming in, managing your finances is a skill that can require a bit of time and experience to master. If this is your first time living away from home or being responsible for yourself, you may find yourself struggling to stretch your finances through to the end of term. To help you keep an eye on your finances, have a look at the Money Charity’s Student Money Manual which you can find here. You can also follow this link for some great university budgeting tips from Money Helper.
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