It’s that time again where saving money becomes a hard thing to do. Whether you are a first year or post-grad student, fees and expenses all add up when you start to think about commuting to and from university, weekly shopping, if you live in halls, paying rent on time – the list goes on.

However, don’t be afraid when times are tough! Brunel offers great services and advice for all students so you are never alone. Money Doctors are a friendly team set up for the students to discuss financial issues and problems in private that a student may be facing throughout university. From my own experience, the team offer excellent services on how to manage your money whilst studying and are welcoming towards any issues you may have about money problems

I spoke to Ingrid Samuels, who is the Senior Advisor at the Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) at Brunel and she said: “I guess the key thing for students is that they have applied in time for all eligible statutory student funding i.e. Tuition Fee Loan/Maintenance Loan/Maintenance Grant; University Scholarships/Bursaries; and if on NHS funded courses NHS bursary. This will ensure that they are getting the maximum income.

“However, your student funding will not hit your bank account until you are formally enrolled. So what have you done to plan ahead to enjoy Fresher’s Week to the full? e.g. you have saved money from summer part-time work so you can sign up for Clubs/Societies membership and buy tickets for Academy events; travel to campus etc.

“Also have to think about paying your 1st term Halls accommodation instalment due on 22nd October. A big chunk of your 1st term student loan instalment will be used for this payment. Think about how you are going to budget what is left to last you till the end of term and into the New Year.

Think about having 2 bank accounts - one to deposit all your student loans/bursaries and part-time employment income and once you have worked out your priority expenditure (i.e. accommodation/mobile phone contract/gadget insurance/travel/utilities) then transfer what is left as a weekly amount (preferably on a Monday) into your 2nd account to use for shopping/socialising?”

Ingrid is also part of the team at Money Doctors and she shared their advice on what Money Doctors is, how they work with students to help them to budget through university and to help students enjoy their experience of learning and gaining independence:

- Money Doctors is a University/Student Union service aimed at supporting you in navigating financial challenges you may face and helping you to become confident with your personal finances.

- We aim to support you in addressing money issues before you get into financial difficulties and though we are not prescriptive with our advice and guidance, we will give you the tools and techniques to make your own financial choices.

- Whatever the level of Undergraduate or Postgraduate study, or whether you are from the UK, Europe or Overseas, we can assist.

. We are a friendly, accessible and approachable team
. If you are experiencing financial problems we can help you get your finances back on track
. We can show you ways to make your income stretch and decrease expenditure
. We can signpost to other possible sources of funding
. Your money related questions can be answered at: moneydoctors@brunel.ac.uk
. We offer 1-2-1 budgeting appointments at either the ARC or the Student Centre
. Drop In sessions are offered throughout the year.
. If you are experiencing significant or more complex financial issues we can refer you to expert advisers.

 

For more information or help with money matters contact: moneydoctors@brunel.ac.uk
https://intranet.brunel.ac.uk/moneydoctors
Fear not when it comes to shopping either! The team at Money Doctors aim to represent every students needs and here are some easy money saving tips they offer:

What about shopping?

Branded or none branded:

Supermarkets own goods are usually cheaper than the branded names when shopping for groceries. You could save on average over £20 per week on a standard shopping basket of basic groceries. Most people cannot tell the difference or prefer the supermarket own product.
Make your own lunch:
By making your own lunch and bringing in your own drinks instead of purchasing from a shop, you could save over £1000 per year.
Recipes:
Recipes for cheap and healthy food can be found on the Money Doctors' website at: https://intranet.brunel.ac.uk/moneydoctors/recipes.html
Eat for £10:
"Eat for under £11 per week" This is a meal plan that has been devised by a nutritionist. It's not recommended for long term but for those weeks where finances are difficult: https://intranet.brunel.ac.uk/moneydoctors/recipes.html

Shopping online or the High Street:
Great savings can be made when shopping on line and from High Street retailers if you produce your NUS Extra card. This can be purchased for £12 and can be extended up to three years. Full details can be found at: https://cards.nusextra.co.uk/

Health costs:

If your income is low, you may be exempt from NHS charges such as prescriptions, dental treatment and eye tests. Further information can be found at: https://intranet.brunel.ac.uk/moneydoctors/saving-you-money-on/health-costs.html

 

Not eligible for NHS Charges?

If you are not eligible for exemption, if you need more than 12 prescribed medicines each year, you could save money with a 12 month Prepayment certificate. You can also purchase a 3 month prepayment certificate. Further information can be found at: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/1127.aspx
Key Dates for Money Doctors Events during Term 1 are as follows:

Drop Ins

1) 18th September 2014 - Ground Floor, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

2) 25th September 2014 - Ground Floor, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

3) 2nd October 2014 - Library, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

4) 7th October 2014 - The Atrium, Hamilton Centre
11am-2:30pm "Compare the Shopping Baskets" - Guess the price difference and you would be in with a chance to win 2 shopping baskets

5) 4th November 2014 - Bannerman Centre Foyer
11am-2:30pm "Are you a Christmas Cracker" - £25 Amazon voucher for best Christmas Saving Tip

 

Ingrid added: “The main aim is that we want to ensure that students are aware of our service and not to stress and worry about money issues. We know from many students experiences once you start to worry about money then academic studies suffer. So we want to get as many students to discuss their financial issues with us as soon as possible.”   On ways to keep track of your own expenditure, it could be worth making a student budget planner of 2 tables that consist of: 1) your monthly income broke down into areas where you receive money from. 2) a monthly expenditure table where you are able to record all your outgoings and add up totals to see where money is being spent. The Money Doctors are happy to help with any of your problems during any time of the academic year at university. Their aim is to ensure that your journey through university is a stress free one!

 

SHAKOOFEH SHAH

Key Dates for Money Doctors Events during Term 1 are as follows:

Drop Ins

1) 18th September 2014 - Ground Floor, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

2) 25th September 2014 - Ground Floor, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

3) 2nd October 2014 - Library, Bannerman Centre
1pm-3pm

4) 7th October 2014 - The Atrium, Hamilton Centre
11am-2:30pm "Compare the Shopping Baskets" - Guess the price difference and you would be in with a chance to win 2 shopping baskets

5) 4th November 2014 - Bannerman Centre Foyer
11am-2:30pm "Are you a Christmas Cracker" - £25 Amazon voucher for best Christmas Saving Tip

 

Ingrid Samuels, Senior Advisor at the Advice and Representation Centre (ARC) said: “The main aim is that we want to ensure that students are aware of our service and not to stress and worry about money issues. We know from many students experiences once you start to worry about money then academic studies suffer. So we want to get as many students to discuss their financial issues with us as soon as possible.”   On ways to keep track of your own expenditure, it could be worth making a student budget planner of 2 tables that consist of: 1) your monthly income broke down into areas where you receive money from. 2) a monthly expenditure table where you are able to record all your outgoings and add up totals to see where money is being spent. The Money Doctors are happy to help with any of your problems during anytime of the academic year at university. Their aim is to ensure that your journey through university is a stress free one!