Studying in the UK: Mike

Listen to Mike talking about his finances at a UK university

Hi, I’m Michael Turner, I’m 21, I study International Relations at the University of Plymouth and I have a job at the Student’s Union, it helps finance my student life.

I work in the Marketing Department, and do about 10-15 hours a week. The job’s really good ‘cos it’s flexible which means I can arrange it around my lectures.

The work in the Students’ Union really involves putting up posters and banners, distributing newspapers and handing out flyers. Yeah, and that’s about it really.

If you do get into trouble at Uni, there is financial support at the University and at the Students’ Union. I’ve not needed to use it yet but it’s good to know that it’s there.

The biggest expense probably is the living accommodation. There’s four of us in the house and it costs just under £300 each.

Because we’re students, we don’t pay council tax, so that’s good. Apart from that there’s TV, the phone, the Internet and the gas and electric. And my other housemate pays for the electricity and the gas and then we pay him, split that four ways. And the same thing happens with the TV, Internet and ‘phone.

Basically I came to University in the first year and I ended up spending a lot of money, two Uni overdrafts, and my student loan. Three and a half thousand pounds in a term. So I decided to do something about it. I designed myself a little spreadsheet, just to be able to balance my finances and work out how much I’ve got, and how much is coming in, and how to claw back paying my debt.

I’m actually on an income-assessed loan. I get just over £1000 a term. My Mum also helps me out a little bit.

I go in with my girlfriend on food, £25 a week, and that’s for both of us, and it saves us a lot of money really.

I try to stick to roughly about £80 a week and I think that’s about average for a student. Obviously there’s bills to pay, but the rest kind of goes on socialising, and general cost of living.

My advice would be to keep check on your bank account and what money you have. And just remember that just because you have money available in your account, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s yours.

Thanks to the University of Plymouth for another video with the script! see more at: http://www.plymouth.ac.uk/pages/view.asp?page=19964

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