Budgeting and Bank Accounts
For many of you, this will be the first time you will have to manage your day to day expenditure. It’s a good idea to have a think about this before you arrive.
Add up all the money you’ll get from loans, any savings you have and any other sources of income. Subtract from this your fixed expenditures like rent and other charges (more on this later), and then work out how much you have left per week. Do keep track of how much you’re spending, and make sure you check your bank balance and Buttery bill at least a few times a term. On this note, having online banking is invaluable, and easy to set up.
Having a student bank account is also a good idea. Most banks offer them for free. These accounts usually include large interest-free overdrafts, which are a useful buffer whilst you wait for your loan to come through. Remember that you will have to pay your overdraft back at some point, so only borrow what you can afford.
Finally, NEVER compare your spending to anyone else’s. Everyone’s financial situations are different, so don’t get sucked into spending more than you can afford.
The college bill is paid at the start of each term and at the end of the academic year. It covers a variety of costs, which are explained below. The bill must be paid by the deadline stated on it to avoid late payment charges. The bill can be paid by cheque or bank transfer.
The bill covers:
- University and College Fees: The portion of the fees you are required to pay for your educational costs that term. The amount will depend on your fee status (Home, EU, or international). If you have a student loan, your fees are paid directly to College, and so this section won’t appear on your bill.
- Residential Charge: The term’s rent for your room, typically between £1200 and £1400.
- Kitchen Fixed Charge (KFC): A charge levied by College, which goes towards the running of the kitchens. This acts as a subsidy for meals in the Buttery and Formal Hall and costs £145 per term.
- Meal Charges: The money you’ve spent in the Buttery and on Formal Hall (Note that the amount you’ve spent can be checked online on the UpayChilli website, and appears on the till whenever you use your Uni card in the Buttery).
- Computer Connection: Fixed charge for connecting to the internet in Clare. £34 per term.
If you have any problems paying your College bill, contact Linda Challinor in the Bursary (Imb30) as soon as you can. For example, student loans have been known to come through late, and if you are waiting for this money to pay your bill, Linda will be very understanding.
If you have any other financial difficulties you can contact Dr Parker (gfp1000 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk ), the Financial Tutor, who will be happy to help you in any way he can.
There is money available from both the college and the University, and these grants are very much worth applying for if you are eligible. If you need help applying, or have any questions regarding finances, you can contact your Tutor or the Financial Tutor. For more general enquiries you can always drop me an email at ab2475 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk, and I’ll do my best to help.
Hardship Funds and Bursaries
If you are a Home/EU student, you will automatically be assessed for a bursary when you apply for a fee loan. If you are an overseas student, you will have been sent the details of the Bursary scheme in the February before you arrive in College. Bursaries are available to those students whose household income is below £42,500. If your household income is below this level and you have not received notification that you will receive a bursary, you should contact the Financial Tutor.
The college also has some funds available for those who find themselves facing unexpected financial problems. If you find yourself in a financial difficulty and wish to be considered for a college Hardship Grant, speak to your Tutor in the first instance. Your Tutor is likely then to refer your case on to the Financial Tutor, Dr Parker.
For more information about hardship funds, have a look at the Newton Trust website (www.newtontrust.cam.ac.uk)