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Budgeting Tips


Making ends meet as a student can be a tricky business. Budgeting properly can help you avoid getting into too much debt, stop money worries getting in the way of your studies and ensure you have some money left over for your social life. See below for some top tips when it comes to budgeting, if you have any tips of your own please email them to studentfinance@mmu.ac.uk and we will try to include them on this page:

Draw up a plan
First of all you need to sit down and work out what you've got coming in and going out. This is the key to balancing your budget.The Student's Union Advice Centre also have useful tips and information about budgeting and managing your money on their web pages.

Read your bank statements and have a look at your spending patterns - are there any transactions which weren't really necessary? Are you regularly spending money on items you don't really need?

Part-time work
Try to find a part-time job that you can fit around your study as early as possible in the academic year.

Phones
Limit the use of your mobile phone, be very careful about contracts, ask around and shop for a bargain. Consider pay as you go - you won't be landed with a heavy bill at the end of the month.

Banks
Shop around for the best bank account, see what's on offer and suits your needs best. Avoid credit and store cards as these have high interest rates and you can lose control over your spending.

Food

  • Learn to cook, ready meals and takeaways are an expensive way to eat. As well as this cooking can be fun and a social event.
  • Be creative and make the most of leftovers
  • Cook large batches of food, separate these out into individual meals and freeze them
  • Visit supermarkets at the end of the day, when food is often reduced in price.
  • Don't shop when you're hungry
  • Make a shopping list to avoid impulse buying and plan your meals for the week
  • Make your own sandwiches to avoid spending in cafes

Shopping
Take advantage of student discounts and don't be afraid to ask for one if it's not advertised.

Travel
Get a student rail or coach cards you'll make big savings on costly trips home to visit friends and family.

If you own a car ask yourself if you really need it? Manchester buses offer great deals for students and frequent services between the University and areas popular with students.

Bills
TV licence - if you do not use your TV during the summer you may be able to get a refund. Visit the TV Licensing website for more information.

Think about paying your bills by direct debit - you can often make a saving paying bills this way.

Internet
Shop around for the best deal from service providers and make the most of University internet access.

Books
Use the University library, look into buying from second hand bookshops and check out the internet to see if books are available cheaper from online outlets.

Cash Points
Try not to use cash points that charge for withdrawals.  Don't go to the cash point every day, £10 here and £20 there soon add up, work out your weekly cash allowance and stick to it.

Insurance
Shop around for your best contents insurance on the internet comparison websites