Top Money-Saving Tips for Apprentices



The rising cost of living in the UK has been making headlines. If you’re considering starting an apprenticeship, you may have concerns about the financial aspects of your programme and how you will manage your money in today’s climate.


Although an apprenticeship wage may seem low in comparison to ‘traditional’ employment – the National Apprenticeship Wage has increased for 2022. As of April, apprentices are entitled to £4.81 an hour. When you're over 19, this rises to the National Minimum Wage for your age group after one year on your programme.


You can check exactly what you will earn as an apprentice here.


The key thing to remember is that your apprenticeship is key to unlocking qualifications, experience and connections which will increase your earning potential in the long term.


To help you get the most out of your wage while you complete your training, we have put together some top money-saving tips for apprentices.

 

Create a budget


Having a clear breakdown of where your money goes puts your in control of your finances and reduces the stress of overspending or not being able to pay unexpected expenses.


The first step in creating a budget is to work out how much you earn compared to how much you spend. When you first start earning a wage, especially if you are getting paid weekly, it can be easy to get excited and spend it all. It’s good practice to keep on top of your outgoings so that you are prepared for future employment and greater responsibilities.


To keep it simple – think about the rule of three. This means dividing your pay into three equal parts:

  • Essentials (rent, food, petrol)

  • Fun (shopping, nights out, restaurants)

  • Savings (holiday, new car, flat deposit)

This simple formula helps you keep track and manage your money, without feeling like you’re missing out.


If you don’t think you’ll remember to keep a note of this, there are a number of smart-spending apps and online bank accounts such as Monzo, Emma and Plum that automatically track your spending and can help you set a budget, categorise your expenses, and keep your savings goals on track.


Keep saving


Getting into the habit of regularly putting a little money away now can make all the difference to your financial future. No matter how small the amount, keeping yourself accountable for your saving responsibilities is a great way to make your money go further.


You can set up a direct debit from your current account so that your savings happen automatically. If you do this on the same day that your wages enter your account, the difference won’t be as noticeable and will make sure your savings are a priority.


Open an apprentice bank account

If you are enrolling on a higher-level apprenticeship, you can open a student bank account and enjoy a range of freebies and additional benefits.


Currently, HSBC and Santander are the only high-street banks that offers their student account to apprentices. This means that apprentices are now able to receive equivalent benefits as undergraduates would with a student bank account.


Current benefits that come with HSBC’s Student bank account for Apprentices include the following:


• £60 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card

• 12 months of Prime Student

• An interest and fee-free overdraft


With Santander, you can get a free 16-25 Railcard to save 1/3 on rail travel in Great Britain.


Take advantage of apprentice discounts


As well as getting more from your bank, as an apprentice you are eligible for student pricing and discounts from hundreds of retail brands and organisations.


The NUS Apprentice Extra Card costs just £11 for 12 months and gives you discounts across a number of sectors including fashion, fitness, travel, food and drink


If you are between the ages of 16-25, you can also save 1/3 on train travel with a 16-25 railcard. This costs £30 a year, and gets you discounts on off-peak train travel, days out, restaurants, hotels and more.


Depending on where you live and how you like to get around you can also get discounts in Northern Ireland with the yLink card, in London with the Student Oyster card, and travelling via coach with the Young Persons Coachcard.


It’s also worth asking if your employer if they offer any staff reward schemes. You may be able to claim money towards dentist treatments, opticians, and discounted gym memberships.


Know what you can get for free


As an apprentice, there are certain bills you may not have to pay in full or at all. For example, those in full-time education or certain apprentice schemes do not have to pay for Council Tax.


To apply for an exemption, you’ll need a declaration from your employer stating that:

  • you will not be paid more than £195 a week

  • the training leads to a qualification accredited by a body recognised by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) or the Scottish Vocational Education Council (SVEC).

If you are aged 16-18, you don’t have to pay for NHS prescriptions and once you hit 19 you might be eligible to apply to the NHS Low Income Scheme.


If your application is accepted, you can get free prescriptions. The same process applies for dental treatment and sight tests.


Find out more on the HC2 form.

 

If you're struggling with managing your cash flow, there are many organisations that can help, providing excellent tips and guidance. The Money Advice Service and the Money Advice Trust offer free, expert guidance if you are facing financial difficulty.


Our apprenticeship team are on hand to answer any of your questions – financial, personal or professional. Simply contact us today and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.


Browse our apprenticeship courses to find out where your career could take you.

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