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10 ways to keep costs down this semester

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Are you feeling the financial pinch as the second semester approaches? Check out our tips for cutting costs and stretching your budget below. And if you’re in financial difficulty, scroll down for information on the support that’s available.

1. Pick up a free breakfast at a Winter Warmer event

Brace yourself for some warm and cosy treats! Winter Warmers is back! Last semester, we launched this initiative to provide free breakfasts to students on campus. The next events are special editions where you’ll not only enjoy a delicious free breakfast but also have the opportunity to chat with key student services like Manchester Student Homes (useful if you’re about to start house hunting for the next year), the Careers Service, Volunteering and more.

The next events are taking place on Tuesday 31st January between 8.30am and 10am for all students, and Thursday 2nd February between 8.30am and 10am for postgraduate students. Find out more here, and keep an eye on Student News for information about future Winter Warmers.

2. Make use of our new Community Fridge, offering fresh, free food on campus

We are thrilled to share the launch of our Community Fridge, designed to combat food waste and help keep your costs down by providing fresh food options for you to enjoy for free. The Community Fridge is stocked with surplus food from University and Students’ Union outlets, giving those in need a variety of options like sandwiches, wraps and salads, depending on what’s leftover.

Located on the first floor of the Students’ Union in the Hive, our Community Fridge is easily accessible, caters to a variety of dietary needs and welcomes everyone with open arms, no questions asked, and no eligibility criteria or referrals required.

3. Create a budget

Understanding what money you’ve got coming in, and where you want to spend it, can help you keep on top of your finances. Not sure where to start? Check out Save the Student’s handy budgeting tool, to help you get started. Once you’ve got a budget in place, put time aside each week to check in and track your spending so you can see where and when you can make savings.

4. Plan your meals

After rent, food shopping is the number one student expense. Sending time planning your meals, and what you need to buy, can help you save money – and time! – in the long run. Find out more about how to plan your meals, alongside how to save money on your food shop and recipe inspiration.

5. If you need to buy food on campus, top your student card up to save 20%

FoodInAdvance allows you to use your student card to pay at Food on Campus outlets and now gives you a 20% discount on each purchase. Find out how to top your card up here.

6. Have a free night in at the Students’ Union

Looking for a fun way to meet new people without breaking the bank? Each week the Students’ Union host a ‘Cosy Night In’ with free food and drink provided. These nights are open to all students and are a great way to make new connections. Think movie nights, games nights and craft sessions. Find out more on the Students’ Union website.

7. Download money saving apps

There are loads of money-saving apps out there, and we’ve rounded up the best of the bunch to save you money as a student. Check it out! Looking to save? This article on Save the Student lists the best money-saving apps to help you reach your goals.

8. Take a hot shower and pick up free period products on campus

Want to cut down on your bills and freshen up? Take advantage of the many showers available across campus! You can use the filters on this campus map to see where our showers are located. You can also collect free period products from the first-floor toilets in the Main Library and MECD.

9. Explore part time work

Lots of students have part-time jobs to help grow their income alongside gaining work experience across a variety of sectors. The Uni has lots of student jobs on offer so you can find something that works around your studies. Find out more about how to increase your income.

10. Take advantage of our Cosy Campus spaces

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of campus life? In our Cosy Campus spaces you can relax, hang out with friends and spend time between lectures and seminars in a warm and welcoming environment, with hot water for tea and coffee and microwave stations to heat up your own food. Cosy Campus spaces can be found in the locations listed below – and here’s a campus map to help you find them.

  • University Place Drum, open 9am-9pm 
  • Dover Street Ex Café, open 9am-6pm 
  • Dover Street G45, open 9am-6pm 
  • Engineering Building A Ground Floor, open 9am-8pm, and until 10pm during exam time 
  • The Library Living Room, Main Library, open 8am-midnight Monday to Friday, and 9am-midnight Saturday and Sunday  (this space has blankets and board games!)
  • Alliance Manchester Business School 2.094, open 8am-8pm Monday to Friday and 9am-5pm Saturday 
  • Samuel Alexander Building departmental hubs, West Wing, first and second floors, open 9am-5pm Monday to Friday 

Reach out if you’re in financial difficulty

If you’re struggling, get in touch with us. Our Cost of Living support doesn’t stop with our one-off payment to students. We also have a support fund that gives non-repayable grants between £250 to £2,000 (depending on your circumstances), an Emergency Loan scheme through the Students’ Union, advisors on hand to help, and mental health and wellbeing support.

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