This week is National Student Money Week, an annual campaign to publicise and highlight money support that students can access at their university.
Being in control of our finances is often associated with security and comfort. This is because money allows us to meet basic needs such as food and accommodation. When we struggle to meet these needs, our wellbeing is significantly impacted. In addition to this, the subject of money can be awkward and difficult to approach. Sometimes we don’t like to reveal that we are struggling and asking for money can bring shameful thoughts and feelings. Everyone deserves to feel financially stable and not have to worry about money issues.
This National Student Money Week we want to normalise talking about money problems and financial hardship, reminding students that it’s ok to ask for help. It’s also important to remember that there are many reasons why people might be at a financial disadvantage, that you’re not alone and it’s ok to ask for help.
The University has the Living Cost Support Fund in place to help you if you’re experiencing financial hardship. If your financial situation is impacting your wellbeing, there is lots of support available which you can find out about here. Also, If you’re interested in learning how to budget and take control of your finances, check out the Financial Wellbeing pages created by the Student Wellbeing Team or this student led article.
If you just want to make your budget stretch that bit further, we have compiled a few tips inspired by Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert. The theme of this National Student Money Week is sustainability, so try and consider how you can use these tips to minimise your impact on the planet.
- Supermarket vegetable reductions
Shop after 7pm and increase your chances to get fruits and veggies for the next day much cheaper. Ensure that you eat them before the expiry date! Making them for dinner the night you buy them is always the freshest and best option.
- Use your first month of Pret a Manger subscription.
Coffee and sandwich chain Pret a Manger has a subscription service where you can get up to five drinks a day, for £25 a month. The first month is free, and you can always cancel after this! Make sure to bring your own cup!
- Get money off on your birthday!
Chain restaurants, shops and eateries such as Greggs, Krispy Kreme, Hotel Chocolat, and Paperchase either offer free food or money off on your birthday! Make sure to download their reward apps and get yourself some loyalty cards. Consider getting a separate organised wallet for your loyalty cards and make sure you use them!
- Go to UoM’s zero waste shop!
Go to the Want not Waste shop by Manchester Academy for money saving and sustainable spending.
- Consider making yourself a spreadsheet.
Making a spreadsheet of what you’re spending and when is a great way to keep track of your finances. You could break down what you want and what you need, as understanding the difference is essential to saving money.
- Get yourself a UNiDAYS account!
Get yourself a UNiDAYS account for massive savings on lots of essentials.
- Come to our clothes and book swap event!
Come down to our clothes and book swap event where you can trade items with another student. This is a great and sustainable way to refreshen up your wardrobe or bookshelf with some new items without breaking the bank. Details to be confirmed via the wellbeing calendar.
If you or anyone you know is struggling, don’t hesitate to head over to the Student Support website for advice and further resources.