We encourage you to work through some of our resources to help you better understand your financial health.
A good place to start is our Introduction to Student Finances module that you received ahead of your start here at the RVC. If you missed it or would like to work through it again please do so.
Financial health is important for a number of reasons. Money worries can lead to anxiety and stress, which in turn can have a direct impact on your studies and your general well being. In a recent survey 84% of RVC students cited ‘Finances’ as being one of their top three concerns whilst at university. Here are some quotes from current students relating to their finances:
‘I rely on student finance to fund my degree and this really helps in sorting out all the boring bits’
‘I thought I could apply at the last minute and still be fine but it doesn’t always work out’
‘Spending a few minutes planning your finances before you start is much better than leaving to a last minute panic attack when you start the course!’
We believe that developing sound financial management skills will bring the following benefits:
- Less day to day anxiety and stress.
- Better chance of achieving academic potential.
- A firm foundation upon which to build future professional and personal finances.
- Increased prosperity
Hopefully these resources will provide you with remedies for many of the common financial ‘ailments’ and – if you still need help – direct you towards making an appointment with our Student Money Adviser – someone who will be able to help you with any concerns you have about your financial health.
We have put together a range of resources and information that we believe will help you develop healthy finances. To start, try to get a sense of what kind of financial person you are with our Money Personality Quiz. Then take a look at preventative and remedial money health strategies...
If you have questions about funding or finances that are not answered on these pages, please contact our Student Money Adviser, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to stop things going wrong with our finances we need, from time to time, to adopt preventative strategies. These are pro-active methods of ensuring that we plan our finances as effectively as possible.
Try our Financial Health Check and see whether it tells you a bit more about how good you have been at planning your finances.
The Budgeting Tool
The most important tool for successfully managing your money is a Budgeting Tool. A budget tool is designed to help you plan your finance for the year ahead and get the most out of your money. Whilst we realise that you might not be able to predict every last pound of income and expenditure for the year ahead, creating a budget based on what you currently know and can reasonably predict will help you to make a useful and informative forecast.
For some students part-time employment might be a realistic means of ensuring that income is sufficient to meet expenditure. Whilst studying be sure to maintain a healthy balance between study, work, leisure and relaxation.
For information and advice about employment opportunities please visit:
Tax and National Insurance
Make sure you haven’t paid too much, if you have - claim it back! Students who only work for part of a year, or who work part time and earn less than their personal allowance, might qualify for a refund of any tax they have paid.
For further information please refer to:
Although most students cannot claim state benefits - some can. Students with children and/ or disability should check their entitlements at Gov.uk
Reducing Expenditure - see remedial strategies below
You’ve done your budget - but things don’t look too good. Take a look at the Money Advice Service's Cut-back Calculator, it's a useful tool for determining whether making modest daily or weekly savings might improve your outlook.
Beware of Scams!
All students should be aware of the potential scams they could fall foul of while studying. Some scams specifically target students such as phishing emails from criminals pretending to be the Student Loans Company while others all members of the public can find themselves victims of. Read through through the Metropolitan Police's guide to preventing scams and always keep your personal information safe.
When things go wrong...
From time to time, even the best laid plans go awry. There are a number of options available to help you get back on track.
RVC Funds and Scholarships
There are a number of funds from within the College that can be used to help you if you have met with unforeseen difficulties that have impacted on your finances and budgeting, or simply to help with high course related costs. Take a look at our other funding sources for further information.
Grant Making and Charitable Organisations
You might be surprised at the number of charities and organisations there are that have a remit to provide grants to assist students who are in financial hardship or who are simply looking for help towards books, equipment and course costs. Take a look at our funding options for further information.
Reset the Budget
If the previous budget has gone out the window, you can always start again! Try using the Money Advice Service's Money Stretcher and the Cutback Calculator to take some of the pressure off.
Help with Debt
If you are having problems with debt then help might be at hand. There are a number of ways of dealing with debt depending on your particular circumstances. As a starting point take a look at the Money Advice Service website or the Citizens Advice Bureau. You can also make an appointment at your local CAB to discuss serious debt concerns.
Reduce your Energy Bills
Any one renting in the private sector should make sure they review their energy provider to make sure they are getting the best deal they can. Ofgem have a specific page to help students make sure they are on the right tariff and tips on how to shop around for the best prices: www.goenergyshopping.co.uk/switching-suppliers/students-rights
See the Doctor!
If you’ve tried everything else and still can't see how you are going to cope - come and see a member of the Money Matters Team. Together we can discuss what options you have and identify strategies to help you get through a difficult period.
Whilst it is the case that most full-time students cannot claim benefits, there are two main exceptions:
- Students with disability
- Students with children
If you are in one of these groups you MAY be entitled to claim a state benefit whilst studying. In the first instance please refer to Gov.UK for further information. This can be a complex area – if you are unsure please contact the Student Money Adviser on email@example.com for further assistance
Information for Final Year Students
As a final year student, you are probably already thinking about your life after the RVC and beginning your career. The fact sheet below and this interactive tool: Exit Counselling: Life after RVC has been written by the RVC Advice Centre & RVC Careers Consultant specifically for RVC graduates.
It gives helpful information to encourage you to begin thinking about employment contracts, repaying student loans, graduate accounts and more.