Young person at cash machine

Managing money

It pays to be a money expert!

Whether you are a student, employee, apprentice or school leaver, you will benefit from improving your financial skills and knowledge.

Rates of pay, National Minimum Wage rates, student finance, learner bursaries, taxes and benefits change each year, so you need to understand what pay or support you are entitled to and learn to manage the money you get.

Your money

Looking after your money is important.

Being able to understand the basics could save you money and a lot of worry, so find out about:

  • opening a bank account
  • budgeting
  • understanding a payslip and your pay
  • saving money.

These organisations can help you understand more about money and pay:


If you are over 16, you may be able to apply to claim benefits.

Benefits are government payments that help some families and individuals. These are usually paid if you are on a low income, looking for work, or caring for a young child or older person.

There are also benefits to help you if you are disabled or have an illness that affects getting a job or going to work. 

Your family may be able to claim Universal Credit or Child Benefit if you stay in education or training after Year 11.

It may seem complicated but there are organisations that can advise you:

Debt advice

Although you can’t get a bank loan or credit card until you are 18 years old, many young people do get into debt by borrowing money from friends.

If you find you are constantly short of money, or having to borrow money, you need to check your spending. Are there things you could easily do without? By cutting these out you can settle your debts and try to keep a tighter check on your spending.

Several places offer free advice to help with debt problems:

Citizens Advice Islington - free confidential service for Islington residents
National Debtline - information is online or call 0808 808 4000
MoneyHelper - information is online, webchat available
Money and debt advice from Islington Council.

16 to 19 Bursary Fund

You could get a bursary to help with education-related costs if you're aged 16-19 through the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund. A bursary can be used to pay for things like clothing, books or equipment for your course, or transport and lunch on the days you study or train. The 16 to 19 Bursary Fund is open to young people who are:

  • studying at a publicly funded school or college in England - not a university
  • on a training course, including unpaid work experience.

If you are 19 and over you could still get a bursary if you:

  • are continuing on a course you started aged 16 to 18
  • have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).

Ask your school, college or training provider for further details and an application form.

If you are struggling ask your school or college for help, they may have their own bursary scheme available.

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