University can be an expensive experience which is why lots of students now work alongside their studies to support themselves. You can get help with budgeting by contacting RHUL Financial Welfare & Funding Advice – Founder’s West 1st Floor (150). They can give you information about grants and loans available at the University as well as helping you to plan your budget.

Budgeting yourself

Step 1: Work out your income

Find out how much money you have coming in. Draw up a personal budget plan to work out your income. Only list money that you are certain you will receive. Remember that student income arrives in a variety of ways - student loans and grants come termly and earnings from part-time work may come weekly or monthly. You will therefore need to do some calculations to work out what your income is on a weekly basis.

Step 2: Work out your expenditure

It is important that you know how much you will be spending on priority items from the start. Work out your essentials/priorities such as rent, food, bills (gas, electric, water, phone, internet), and travel costs in the first instance. Use your personal budget plan to work out your annual, monthly and weekly expenditure.

Remember - Your biggest bills, such as tuition (unless it is paid straight to the College) and accommodation fees are usually paid at the start of term so you'll need to leave some money aside for them.

Step 3: The balance

Subtract your expenditure from your income to find out just how much money you have left over. Do you have extra money or a deficit? If you have a surplus, it is worth keeping aside at least some of that money for emergencies before you start buying any non-essentials. If you find that you have a deficit, you need to consider ways of either reducing your expenditure or increasing your income.

Step 4: Keeping track of your finances

It is advisable to test your budget from time to time to make sure you are keeping to it, and also to ensure the budget plan you have put together is a realistic one for you.

A good way to see if you have budgeted correctly is to keep an actual record of your expenditure for a week to see how it matches with your budget. Remember to include all the items you buy even if it's just a coffee or a magazine as they all add up. If you find that you have a shortfall you will need to look again at your income and expenditure to see how you can adjust things to make sure you keep to your budget.

Student Hardship Fund

The Hardship Fund is an amount of money available to eligible students who are suffering financial hardship. The Fund is cash limited and demand is high. A standard assessment procedure is used which calculates the level of support based on the gap between annual income and essential expenditure.

We provide a number of different hardship funds to support UK students with the following:

  • Field trips
  • Theatre excursions
  • Travel for study
  • Employment or volunteering opportunities directly related to your studies
  • Facing serious short term financial hardship and where there is a possibility of you having to withdraw/interrupt your studies
  • Additional financial support to assist with payment towards living costs such as rent and utility bills
  • Have caring responsibilities and/or disabled students

You can use this fund to supplement your main source of funding. However, it cannot be relied upon as a sole or main source of financial support and cannot be used to support your tuition fees.

To find out more and to apply click here.