Managing your money

Your time at SOAS should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Studying your degree course, living away from home and meeting new people are just some of the challenges you will face, along with your ability to handle your finances. It's important to create a budget and plan you're finances so that your money lasts all year.

Help with managing your money

The Student Advice Service provides confidential immigration, finance and accommodation advice to prospective and enrolled students. We can help you create a budget and check that you're receiving all the funding you're entitled to. We offer advice by email or by appointment.


Its a good idea to work out a budget based on the money you have coming in and out. You may need to check this regularly in case anything changes or you're spending more than expected. You can use an online budget calculator such as the Money Helper budget calculator or the UCAS budget helper.

Do not let bills pile up or ignore them – if you are unable to make the necessary payments, try negotiating special terms with your creditors or seek advice from a debt advice organisation such as StepChange.

Living costs

Increasing income

Make sure that you are getting all the income that you are entitled to. For example, are you getting the correct amount of student finance? Are there any welfare benefits or allowances or other loans that you may be entitled to? Have you explored other areas of funding? – for example scholarships, charities and trusts, and hardship funds

Consider taking a part-time job. Even a few hours work per week can make a difference and many students work part-time. If you're a Tier 4 or Student visa holder, make sure you understand the work conditions of your visa.

SOAS Careers Service offer advice on finding work, CV checks as well as a jobs board. Try to increase your work hours during the vacations so you have some money put aside for the next term. If you are working, make sure you don’t pay any more Income Tax and National Insurance contributions than you need to. Visit GOV.UK for more information.

Check you're getting the best possible deal at your bank with a student account and interest-free overdraft facility which can help you get over temporary financial difficulties. Do not go over your authorised limit or you will be charged interest and bank charges.