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An amount of money received at regular intervals. This is not the same as being paid to do a job. For example, pocket-money is an 'allowance'.

Access Fund

An 'access fund' contains money that your college can use to help students with financial problems.


A licensed organisation which looks after money and lends money to others. Banks are mainly concerned with making and taking payments, looking after money, and lending money to individuals and organisations.

bank account

A bank (or building society) looks after your money by keeping it in an 'account' for you. This is so that they can keep track of how much money you are putting in and taking out. They will regularly send you a statement with this information in it.

bank charges

Money that your bank takes from your bank account. This money pays for services that the bank provides for you, such as processing cheques.

bank loan

Money that your bank lends you. Usually you will pay it back over a period of time, and must pay interest on top of the loan.

basic pay

The amount of pay ('income') that you earn, before anything is added or taken away. For example, overtime may be added and tax may be taken away. Also see: gross pay; net pay; income; income tax.


(Benefits.) Money from the government that you get if you have special needs. For example you do not work because you cannot find a job, or you are too ill to work. Also known as 'State benefits'.

'bounced' cheque

A 'bounced' cheque is one that is rejected by the bank. This usually happens when the person who wrote it does not actually have enough money in their account to pay it.

building society

The same as a bank. A building society is owned by its customers. It looks after money and lends money to homebuyers.

cash card

A plastic card that allows you to take money from your account using a cash machine.

cheque guarantee card

Most shops will only accept a cheque with a cheque guarantee card. This guarantees that the bank will cover the value of the cheque up to a stated limit (usually 50 or 100).

Council Tax

Council Tax is a local tax, set by each local council, to help pay for local services. It is usually paid by the resident owner or tenant of a property.


The word 'credit' can mean a number of things, but most notably:

1) the positive balance in a person's bank account;

2) the practice of allowing someone to receive goods or services before payment.

credit card

A credit card lets you buy things and pay for them at a later date, with interest. The amount of interest can be high.


A word used by banks to describe a withdrawl of money from an account.

debit card

A debit card lets you pay for things from your bank account without using cash or writing a cheque. You must have enough money in your account. Often the money will leave your account straight away, but in some cases it may take two or three days.

Direct Debit

An arrangement where you allow someone else to claim money directly from your bank account. They must let you know how much has been taken. Direct Debits are often used to pay regular bills, such as for telephone, gas and electricity.


Where money is concerned, the word 'deposit' can have two meanings: 1) to put money into an account; 2) an amount of money given in part-payment for something, or as security. Money given as security is usually given back to you when you have paid the full amount.

Education Library Board (NI)

This is Northern Ireland's equivalent of an LEA.


Someone who works for an employer.


Someone who pays others to work.


The act of spending money for goods or services.


A full-time job is for the whole working week (e.g. Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm).


Money that the government gives for a specific purpose, such as education. You may be able to get a grant from your Local Education Authority to help pay for your college course.

gross pay

The full amount of pay you earn, after anything has been added to your basic pay. Income tax and National Insurance are taken away from this. Also see: basic pay; net pay; income; income tax.


The amount of money you earn. This includes your wages, and any money you get from investing.

income tax

Money that is taken from your income to pay for services such as hospitals, schools and police.

Inland Revenue

The government department which collects tax.


'Insurance' is money paid to you if you lose something, break something, or injure yourself. You must pay regular amounts to the insurance company. The amount you pay depends on what you want to be covered by the insurance.


1—An extra amount you pay when you borrow money;

2—an extra amount you earn on money saved in a bank or building society account.

Jobseeker's Allowance

Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) is the benefit for people who are unemployed and looking for work.


See Jobseekers Allowance.


See Local Education Authority

Local Education Authority (LEA)

Part of a local or county council. It is responsible for providing schools for children living in the area.


A way of deciding if you need financial help. This will be done to decide how much your grant or student loan will be.

National Insurance

A form of tax. This money is taken from your income and goes towards any benefit(s) you may need in the future.


See National Insurance

National Union of Students

(NUS) The official body for supporting students.

net pay

This is how much money you earn after tax has been taken away from your gross pay.


See National Union of Students


Banks often allow customers to take more money out of their account than they have in it. This is known as an authorised overdraft, and must only be done with the bank's permission. If not, the bank will charge the customer a very high interest rate, and may temporarily close the account. Having an overdraft is often known as being 'in the red'.


Your account is 'overdrawn' when you have an overdraft. It is often shown on your bank statement by a minus sign (-) or "Dr"


Work done in addition to your usual hours. Employers often pay more for overtime as a way to encourage people to work extra hours.


A form showing your tax details. Unlike a P60, it is given to you by your employer when you leave a job.


A form showing your tax details for the year. This is given to you by your employer at the end of every tax year.


A part-time job is usually a permanent job, but only for part of the working week. For example, you may work for only 0.5 (half) of the week

permanent job

A job that has no fixed end date.

Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

The system that takes your income tax away from your gross pay. It is often called P.A.Y.E. for short.


See Pay As You Earn


This is given to you by your employer every time you are paid. It shows your income and any tax and pension contribution that has been taken off.


A specified amount of money that is paid regularly to you when you retire or reach a certain age. See also pension contribution and state retirement pension.

pension contribution

A regular payment by you and/or your employer into a pension scheme. From this you will receive a private pension. This is additional to the state retirement pension.

pension scheme

See pension contribution.

personal allowance

The amount you are allowed to earn in a year before any income tax is due.

rented accommodation

'Rented accommodation' is a place that you live in but do not own. You have to pay to live there, and usually pay weekly or monthly. The place may be a room, a flat or a house.


When your wages are a fixed amount and paid regularly they are called your 'salary'. These are normally paid monthly.


Someone is 'self-employed' if they work for themself, and make their own money.


The amount less than needed to meet a goal.

stakeholder pension

A type of pension that promises low charges and easy access for those earning between £9,000 and £20,000 a year.

standing order

An instruction you give to your bank to pay someone money, usually at regular intervals. Like a Direct Debit this is often used to pay bills. Unlike a Direct Debit, only you can tell your bank how much money is to be paid.

state benefits

See benefit.

state retirement pension

Anyone who's paid enough NI contributions during their working life can receive a state pension when they reach retirement age (man-65, woman-60).


A printed record of money going in and out of your account. Also see bank account.

student loan

A 'loan' is not the same as a 'grant'. A student loan is money that you can borrow to pay for your college course. It must be paid back to the government when you start working. The organisation that deals with student loans is called the Student Loans Company.

Student Loans Company

The company that lends money to students ('student loans'). It works on behalf of the government.


A compulsory financial contribution to the government. Tax can be added to such things as income, property, goods and services, etc.

tax code number

The Inland Revenue gives the employer a code number for each employee. This is used to work out how much of your earnings is paid as tax.

temporary job

A job that is done for a short or uncertain period of time. For example you may be asked to work for four months, or you may be asked to work until you are no longer needed.

Tuition fees

The amount charged by a college or university for teaching you the subject you have chosen to study. You may be able to get a grant to help pay for this.


The amount of pay you earn.


To take money out of a bank, building society or Post Office account.


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