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To worry about how I'm going to manage when I start studying?

(16 Posts)
Sinkingships Wed 29-Jul-15 11:50:37

I am starting a degree in September and I'm worried that I'm going to really struggle for money when I start.

I work but only part time as the job I have I intend to keep through the whole duration of my course. Due to a slight misunderstanding with the hours/days I'm expected to work, it turns out I'm earning less than I thought I would be. Despite this I really like the job and it is perfect for me in many ways, it fits in with my study days and gives me valuable time to spend with my children that I'm not sure I would get with another job. The hourly rate is very good for the industry I work in but unfortunately the hours cannot be increased.

I'm not eligible for any kind of tax credits, in fact I'm fairly sure I'm not entitled to any benefits at all. My LL has not put me on the tenancy agreement for the place I rent with DP - students apparently 'don't count' for council tax purposes, so he's on the tenancy agreement alone which means I don't think I can claim HB.

I am eligible for student finance and have already applied and been accepted but since I applied the rules have changed and I was going to be entitled to a grant and a loan but now the grants have been scrapped so I've lost out on about half of what I was going to receive.

Dp earns at least twice what I do but he does not support me financially as such, all the things we have to spilt such as rent and bills are spilt 50/50 and everything else I need I will buy myself, he is very much 'my money is mine and your money is yours' due to a very grabby ex who used to make him pay for everything and left him broke so I can't rely on him for money.

What else can I do? Aibu to worry that my wages and the student loan won't be enough?

Lj8893 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:10:16

First of all I think he should be supporting you but that's just my opinion.

You will not have to pay council tax as a student, and your dp will get a 25% discount on CTax as he will be classed as "sole occupancy".

I'm assuming you split all the dcs financial needs 50/50 too? I'm sure he wouldn't let them go without if you couldn't manage?

At the end of the day what is he going to do if you can't afford to pay your half of the rent or bills??

Sinkingships Wed 29-Jul-15 12:18:46

We don't have DC's together, his son lives with his mother and my DC's are living with my parents at the moment so their needs will be taken care of regardless fortunately.

DP will expect me to split the council tax 50/50 too as I am still living there he would consider that a joint bill.

I don't honestly know what he would do if I could afford it, either lend me money which he would expect to be paid back in a timely manner, or expect me to change my job/get a second job to earn more I think.

He has expressed the opinion in the past that I shouldn't be studying because I don't have the money but if I don't do it now I'll just be in the same position when I do study, my money situation is not going to improve on its own as I work in an industry that is typically nmw. I'm already a mature student and I don't want to leave it any longer as I think it'll be more difficult for me to get a job at the end of the course if I do.

Theycallmemellowjello Wed 29-Jul-15 12:20:02

As a student you don't have to pay council tax, but this is no reason not to be on the lease. In fact, you should still let the council know that you are living there, and will need to provide them with proof of student status (just a letter from the college) so that you are exempt from council tax. I would go see the Citizens Advice Bureau to talk about possible benefit entitlement.

Lj8893 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:20:28

He sounds a bit of an ass to be honest. Are you guaranteed a higher income at the end of the degree?

Theycallmemellowjello Wed 29-Jul-15 12:20:55

Definitely do not pay council tax to your DP- you will be exempt.

Sinkingships Wed 29-Jul-15 12:27:45

Mellowjello, can I let them know that I will be studying in September now or do I have to wait until I've started the course? I don't have anything in writing that officially confirms a place yet although I know I have the grades and have accepted an offer.

DP will expect me to pay half the council tax, he would see it as unfair if he had to pay it and I didn't even though we are both living there.

Lj, it's a completely different industry but providing I can get a job then yes my earning potential will be massively higher, at the moment it's nmw or slightly above plus very stressful and long & unsociable hours.

Lj8893 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:35:12

Your university will provide you with a certificate to give to your council for exemption. You can't do anything before then.

And how likely is it you will get a job at the end of the degree?
I personally think that if it's certain you will get a job with much higher earning potential in the long run, than it is in his interest to support you for a short 3 years.

The5DayChicken Wed 29-Jul-15 12:35:35

Tell him to get to fuck about the council tax. You are exempt. It is his bill, not yours.

I was in his position previously...I worked FT and lived with my then BF and a friend. Both were students so were exempt. It was my bill to sort out.

The5DayChicken Wed 29-Jul-15 12:36:46

If he wants to keep finances separate, fine, but he shouldn't expect to have it both ways and have you paying out for things you're exempt from.

Theycallmemellowjello Wed 29-Jul-15 12:38:14

I think that unfortunately you will not be exempt from council tax until your course actually starts - they will give you a letter saying the course's official start and finish dates and the council will exempt you from tax apart from this. Legally, you should let the council know that you are living in the property as soon as you move in and they will charge you for council tax for all the time you're living in a property but not a student.

I have no idea what your benefit entitlement might be but I definitely think that you should look into it, especially as you might owe council tax. The CAB are extremely helpful, and there might also be similar free advisory services in your area.

I guess it might help your case against your DP to not pay for council tax if you are paying for a while then get your own exemption. I think it would be completely and massively unfair for him to expect you to pay his taxes when you both have separate finances.

To be honest, your DP does not sound very kind or supportive - in personal or economic terms. I hope that it is not too difficult living with someone like that.

Lj8893 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:38:33

^ exactly. Why should you be paying for things you are not liable to pay?!

Sinkingships Wed 29-Jul-15 12:45:23

I do find that there is a slight double standard with money and him sometimes, he wants me to split everything 50/50 but then if I have to top up on food shopping or something he isn't exactly clamouring to give the the half he owes (although he grudgingly does).

It's hard to say Lj, I guess I will only really know that when I finish but I'd like to have that option rather than living on nmw for the rest of my life :/
I do think that since he earns significantly more than me that he should split things more fairly, which would give me more to live on but at the same time I'm reluctant to be that reliant on anyone else for my income - if he lost his job or left me that would put me in a very difficult position if I was depending on him to pay my bills.

If I was on the tenancy agreement, is it possible I could get housing benefit?

The5DayChicken Wed 29-Jul-15 12:49:12

Not certain about your entitlement to HB but really, you should be on the agreement anyway, even if not as a lead tenant.

Lj8893 Wed 29-Jul-15 12:51:05

If your landlord accepts HB then yes it could be possible if you were on the tenancy.
However, HB would be calculated on household income I believe so they would take into account your partners income and your student loan (I know, seems ridiculous!) so you may not be eligible for it, especially if you don't have dc in the property.

farbeyond Wed 29-Jul-15 12:53:16

I thought the student grants were going to be scrapped from next year so you should still get it for this year? The BBC says it will end from Sep 2016. You should check to make sure you're not missing out!

It's worth getting advice from your uni's student advice service to double check what your entitlements are. I got additional grants/benefits and tax credits as a single parent student, but as yours aren't living with you it gets more complicated. Also most benefits would regard you as a couple with joint finances (and therefore expect your DP to be sharing finances!) - so you couldn't claim HB even if you were on the tenancy agreement (and students generally can't claim HB, although student parents can, but I'm not sure whether that would apply in your case).

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