Summertime for Students
University is expensive. The National Union of Students puts average annual living costs at around £16,000 a year – and that’s excluding fees, which are set to rise to as much as £9,000 per year from this September. It’s hardly surprising, then, that so many students are forced to work during the summer holidays or part-time during the academic term to support themselves financially.
And in difficult economic times, when jobs are hard to come by, most student workers can’t afford to be too picky. Typical employment often includes manning a supermarket check-out, chamber-maiding in seaside hotels, shepherding foreign school kids around museums, waitressing at weddings, handing out leaflets to tourists, or tedious factory work – but it all helps to build up money in their bank accounts.
Still, the toil is at least financially rewarded and helps to chip away at those living costs – and hopefully you’ll have enough to spare for at least a few pints and perhaps even a festival ticket. If nothing else, any job teaches you a lot about the world of work, your fellow human beings, and all the jobs you don’t want to do when you finally graduate. It’s all part of the academic experience and helps to expand your CV. And if the worst that happens to you in your summer job is that you are bored for a few weeks or have to wear an ill-fitting uniform, you’re lucky. Think of it as character-building.
However, there is another valuable aspect of working during the holidays – and that is learning about managing your money and your bank accounts. Getting used to regular income as well as outgoings gives you the chance to work out how to budget so that you can afford the things you need, how to save by avoiding wasting money on the things you don’t really need, and how to run your bank account online.
Remember that to receive your wages in full without paying tax, you must be a student until after 5 April next year, and have a total income from all sources, excluding your student loan, scholarship or educational grants, of no more than £8,105 for the tax year of 2012–13. You will only need to pay National Insurance contributions if you earn more than £146 a week or £632 a month.
There is a wide variety of bank accounts for students available from the high street banks. Some of the better ones will offer you a generous interest-free authorised overdraft, which can be helpful for students. And there are lots of other useful features – for example, you can register for text alerts to warn you when you’re nearing the red or reaching your agreed overdraft limit.
You’ll also learn about managing your money and your bank accounts. The best bank accounts for students will offer you text alerts to help you remain in the black and the option of an agreed overdraft if you do need one. You may also find it easy to manage your bank account online – freeing up more time to study, of course.
Issued by Barclays
This article has been written for information and interest purposes only. The information contained within this article is the opinion of the author only, and should not be construed as advice or used to make financial decisions. Expert financial advice should always be sought and any links contained within this article are included for information purposes only.
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