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Managing your money

Whether you’re about to leave home for the first time or you’re returning for postgraduate study, you’ll need to consider how best to budget for life at university.

Here are some things to consider before you start your course with us.

Discount cards

  • NUS extra card. Apply online and collect from the Union when you arrive.   
  • A 16-25 Railcard can save you 1/3rd on most rail fares in the UK. Pick up your application form from the train station. Once you’ve filled it in, take it to the Student Centre so we can validate it.
  • ISC (International Student Identity). This internationally recognised card can be used in the UK and over 100 countries worldwide. 

Managing your finances

A few simple tips can help you make sure you stay on the right financial track.

  • What are you spending? Check what's in your bank account(s), review exactly what you are spending and how much you are left with each month.
  • Keep a spending diary. Identify what you're spending money on and the area​s where you could cut back.
  • Be prepared to change. What can you live without? How can you make positive changes that could save you money?
  • Share the costs. Is there anything you could share with flatmates/friends that could save money, such as petrol costs or food costs?
  • Be prepared for something to go wrong. You might need ‘emergency’ funds for a ticket home, new books, a new appliance or to spend on something you don’t want to miss out on.
  • Keep bank statements and other records of household bills. Check bank statements, credit card bills and household/utility bills. Is anything going out of your account that shouldn't be? Don't forget to cancel standing orders or direct debits if you change companies or services between suppliers.
  • Loans and credit cards. If you have a credit card, are you getting the best deal and lowest interest rate (but do be careful to read the terms and conditions if you swap cards).  Can you pay more off each month so that you owe less?  Loans from credit cards are one of the most expensive.
  • Costs of moving out.
    • Have you got insurance for anything you need covered?
    • Are you getting the best deal and interest rate on your savings account?
    • How much will it cost to travel home for holidays?
    • What will it cost to commute to and from university if you are not living within walking distance?
    • What will it cost to set up your new accommodation?

Find out more UCAS budgeting advice.

Financial advice and support

The Student Centre can provide information and guidance on most aspects of student finance and funding, including your Student Loan Company entitlement and scholarship information.

  • The Money Doctors service is provided jointly by the Student Centre and the Advice and Representation Centre and is available to all students. The Money Doctors are here to help you manage your money and help you to reach decisions to avoid those financial pitfalls.
  • The University Hardship Fund provides financial assistance to students who face difficulty in meeting their living costs or course costs (although not tuition fees). This can be due to ongoing personal circumstances or because you fall into hardship unexpectedly and through no fault of your own. You can only apply once you have enrolled as a student, since the University assesses how much should be awarded.
  • ​A short-term emergency loan of £50, £100, £150 or £200 is available for students who experience unexpected financial hardship during their studies. Our advisers will ask what has caused your immediate hardship and if your application is successful, you’ll need to show you have the means to repay the loan within 4 weeks.