Managing your own money can be a cause of stress for new students. The 2022 Save the Student Money survey found that 82% of students worry about making ends meet. We’re here to support you with making financial decisions during the cost-of-living crisis and our Firstpoint team can put you in touch with our Money Advice Service for those looking for help with their finances.
In 2022 the West Midlands had an average monthly living cost of £822 and is regarded as the cheapest region for students in the UK. However, household bills, transport costs and accommodation prices have increased across the region.
What can students do to improve their finances?
It’s important to work out how much money you’ve got coming in each month. This income might be from your maintenance loans, a part time job, money from your parents, money from your savings, or money from bursaries and scholarships.
Once you know how much money you have each month, you can work out your essential outgoings. Essential outgoings are things like rent, groceries, bills, TV licence, transport, and books. Once you’ve subtracted your essential outgoings from your monthly income, you can divide this into a monthly budget for non-essential activities and expenses.
Firstpoint have extra tips on budgeting, current bill costs and boosting your income. Information on accommodation costs is available on our accommodation webpages.
Apps such as Starling Bank and Monzo and budget calculators such as UCAS and Save the Student can also help you work out how much money you need.
Funds, Allowances and Grants
There are many different types of funds, allowances and grants you can apply for to support yourself at university depending on your circumstances and the course you have chosen to study.
Some of these include:
Earn as you Learn
You can take on a part-time job to improve your employability and earn money whilst you study. Our specialist Earn as you Learn webpages have more information about working whilst studying.
Our Careers Team can support you with the planning and management of part-time work and post weekly lists of vacancies for students as well as offering resources to build your CV, practice your interview techniques, and write applications.
Working as a Student Ambassador
You can work for the university as a Student Ambassadors to earn money during your studies.
Ambassador roles include:
- Student Events Ambassador - working at taster days and open days
- Course Ambassador – representing your specific course to potential students
- Digital Ambassador – creating digital content for the University such as videos, blogs or taking photos for social media
- Becoming a Unibuddy – Unibuddies talk to potential students online about their course and university life.
You can find out more information about becoming a Student Ambassador on our Ambassador webpages.
Food on Campus
Heat and Eat
We offer a ‘Heat and Eat’ scheme and are committed to providing microwaves on campus to enable students to bring food from home to re-heat. This is a great way to save money through batch cooking.
Chartwells, our on site catering company, now offer a ‘Saver Menu’ at our St John’s Campus and City Campuses. Students can now get breakfast for just £2, hot meals for only £2, and coffee from £1!
This new selection is available at MADE Dining Hall (St John’s Campus) and Hastings Café (City Campus) throughout the day.
Money Saving Tips
Apps that sell reduced or free food
Apps like To Good to Go make sure good food gets eaten by allowing customers to collect food that is nearing it’s sell by date from businesses.
Student Bank Accounts
A student bank account often has benefits including interest-free overdrafts and sometimes freebies such as a 16-25 Young person’s railcard. Shop around for the best deal and remember to prioritise things like good repayment conditions and long interest free periods over free pens or equipment.
You will need to prove student status when opening a student bank account which is often a letter of acceptance from your university or a UCAS offer letter.