Managing your money this spring

NASMA's Sustainable Spending 2022. National Student Money Week.

Managing your money is an important part of university life, but we understand that it isn’t always easy.  This National Student Money Week, we are bringing you advice on specific ways to manage your money and navigate the latest financial challenges.

The Student Financial Support Team are on hand to review your personal situation; whether it may be ensuring you are receiving your full funding entitlement, or simply giving you tips on how to save more money.  Matt Daley the Head of Student Finance shares some practical advice on reducing the impact of increasing living costs.

National Student Money Week 2022

The theme for the NASMA National Student Money Week 2022 will be Sustainable Spending, kicking off Monday 21st February 2022.

When you think about ‘sustainable’, you may think ‘ethical’, ‘green’, ‘eco-friendly’, ‘climate’ etc but it should also be affordable and within your means.

Although Sustainable Spending as a theme is very broad and can mean lots of different things, I think it is important to acknowledge that the costs of living are increasing, and it looks like that trend will continue for some time. So, to start National Student Money Week I want to share some tips on managing energy and food costs, advise on what financial support is available at the University and list what other useful resources there are to help students manage their finances.

Energy costs

  • For many it is not the right time to change energy providers, but that doesn’t mean small changes won’t make a big difference
  • Reducing your energy use is good for your bank balance and the planet.
  • The Energy Saving Trust have great advice on energy efficiency when renting a home and the NUS Student Switch Off+ website has a lot of tips too
  • I also recommend checking out Money Saving Expert’s range of resources about cutting the cost of energy.

Food costs

  • Use a meal planner to keep track of a menu plan for the week and help reduce your food waste. Check out The Beginners Guide to Meal Planning and The Best Way to Use a Weekend for Meal Planning Success.
  • Get into the habit of checking the cupboards, fridge and freezer while preparing a shopping list.
  • Schedule time for shopping. Rushing around the supermarket (or quickly doing an online shop) can lead to random items in the basket. The Money Helper service found that people who shop while tired spend an extra £14.53 each time.
  • If you are looking for bargains, go shopping later in the day when you may see more reduced items.
  • Check out the Save the Students guide to saving money while grocery shopping

Financial Support at the University

The Student Financial Support Team can provide short term solutions in the form of interest-free loans, campus card catering packages and essential food and household items via their Essentials cupboard. The team can also make referrals to other services such as a food bank and provide financial support via the Student Support Funds.

Student Support Fund: The Student Support Fund is to help relieve unexpected financial hardship that might impact on a student’s participation in higher education. Awards from the Student Support Fund can be used towards unexpected living costs up to £1,500 (single student) or £3,000 (student with dependents).

Campus card meal plans: each year Catering Services provide the Student Financial Support team with a limited number of meal plans for students in hardship.

Essentials Cupboard: set up and designed to give students in the moment support and can provide three to four days’ worth of essential items including food with recipe ideas, household items and personal care.

Useful Resources

Blackbullion: all students have free access to this amazing digital financial tool with plenty of free online personal finance courses and money management tools.

RUSU Specialist Money Advisors offering free, confidential, impartial advice and information on all money related matters

MoneySavingExpert – Student Money advice

MSE’s Academy of Money

The Money Charity

Mental Health & Money Advice

Love Food Hate Waste

Too Good to Go app

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