Uni Hacks

Uni Hacks: how to make (and stick to!) a budget

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Uni Hacks is a new series, sharing tips and tricks to help you save time, feel more productive and make the most of your time at Manchester.

We know that now more than ever, every penny counts. This hack is here to help you make a budget, top tips to help you stick to it and some help to make your money go further.

1. Make a budget that works for you

When it comes to money, ignorance isn’t bliss! Understanding what money you’ve got coming in, what’s coming out and where you want to spend it, can help you keep on top of your finances.

If you’re not sure where to start then check out Save the Student’s handy budgeting tool, to help you get started. Make sure you’ve got a column for non-negotiables, such as your rent, food shop and any bills your responsible for alongside essential travel such as journeys on buses, trains and trams. You can then have further columns for your disposable income such as how much you want to spend on nights out, any subscription services you might use and clothes or shopping.

2. Keep on top of your finances

Whilst it might seem daunting, knowing your income, and how much you’ve got left to spend once your non-negotiable spending has gone out, will help you budget your disposable income within your means.

Put time aside each week to check in and track your spending so you can see where and when you can make savings. It might be tempting to keep your head in the sand if you’re worried about money, but that’s not the case in the long-run!

3. Plan your meals

After rent, food shopping is the number one student expense. We’ve all been guilty of popping to the nearest local shop to pick up that night’s ingredients for tea after a busy day, but spending 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. And for the days when you need to pick something up on campus, our range of food outlets, offer cheap and healthy options for all tastes.

4. 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! Remember you can also get student discount on lots of major brands by downloading Student Beans and UNiDAYS.

Looking to save? This article on Save the Student lists the best money-saving apps to help you reach your goals.

5. Grow your income

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.

6. Get help if you need it

We understand the impact the current cost of living crisis is putting on our students. If you need further support, please explore our current cost of living support package, including financial help on offer, advice and guidance and what we’re doing next.

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