Making your money go further
Money worries can have a negative impact on your experience at university. Using money management advice and support resources can help you make wiser financial decisions and improve your financial wellbeing.
Use all available income sources
It is a good idea to double-check that you are receiving all the funding you are entitled to and explore additional income sources
- Apply for student finance as soon as possible to avoid delays in getting your tuition fee and maintenance loan and use your student finance account to check when your next payment is due
- Use the scholarships and bursary finder to check what additional financial support you may be eligible for
- You may find the Careers and Employability pages useful for finding job opportunities
It is worth exploring opportunities to earn cash rewards and other incentives by participating in activities, such as
- Participating in STEER research
- Joining Students’ Union research focus groups
- Completing university surveys
- Engaging in Blackbullion events
Understanding your main expenses
Accommodation and rent
- Rent is often the biggest expense, so it is important to work out how much you can afford when choosing accommodation. SaveTheStudent rent calculator or MoneyAdviceService rent guide can help you work out rent payments suitable for your budget.
- Sharing accommodation with other students can significantly reduce your living expenses. You can find student housing through Sheffield Hallam StudentPad.
- Although sites like SpareRoom or Roomgo can be useful for finding accommodation and flatmates to buddy up with, be careful to choose a well-maintained property to avoid unexpected costs cropping up in the future.
- It is important to check your contract and understand rent terms, extra fees, bills and deposit. Further guidance is available on the government's how to rent page.
- Consider using apps like SplitTheBills, Splitwise or Settle Up to help you pay for utility bills equally with your flatmates.
- Shop around for the best energy deals that suit you and your flatmates to save on utility bills. CheapEnergyClub, CompareTheMarket or USwitch can help you compare tariffs and pick the best one for you.
- It’s worth trying to cook from scratch, freeze leftovers and share the cost with flatmates
- It may help to make a shopping list and to shop on a full stomach to avoid impulse buying
- It’s a good idea to create weekly meal plans and follow student-friendly recipes
- It is usually cheaper to buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables, which reduces plastic consumption too
- Consider using apps like TooGoodToGo, Karma or Olio to get perfectly fresh food for bargain prices
- Check out the reduced section at your local supermarket as you could grab some great bargains but be aware you might need to use food quickly or freeze it to avoid wastage
- Consider investing in student tickets and passes for public transport to get around Sheffield and/or railcard if you live outside the city
- You can save money, improve your health and wellbeing by walking or cycling to campus
- If you have a car, it is a good idea to check the associated expenses and whether it’s worth it, you may find this MoneyHelper guide useful
- If you need to buy expensive items like a laptop or phone, it is worth investing in a good quality product to avoid fixing or replacing it soon after
- It is a good idea to check your direct debit for any forgotten subscriptions, you may want to cancel them or shop around for better deals
- Consider checking if you are getting the best deal with your mobile phone contract. There are several comparison websites like USwitch, MoneySuperMarket or MoneySavingExpert to help you find the best deals
- It can be a good idea to sign up for free loyalty card schemes such as Tesco Clubcard, Nectar Card, Co-op Membership and Boots Advantage Card to receive discounts and collect loyalty points in exchange for rewards or money coupons
- Simple things like making your own flask of tea/coffee instead of buying it can save you a surprising amount of money in the long run
Take control of your finances
Open a student bank account
Bank accounts specifically designed for students often include various benefits from freebies to extended overdraft. It might be safer to choose an account with a larger or interest-free overdraft rather than the one offering freebies. You may find advice available on MoneySavingExpert, Which? or SaveTheStudent helpful when choosing the right account for you.
Consider choosing a digital bank. Digital banks offer an online-only service that can be accessed using the web or an app. The main advantage is the flexibility to make changes to your account or perform transactions at a faster pace.
Get the app
Whether you are using a traditional or digital banking system it is a good idea to download your bank’s app. This will make it easier for you to track where your money is going and when.
Make a budget
Preparing a budget and trying to follow it will help you make sure that you do not run out of money in the middle of the term. Find more information on our budgeting page.
The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group has produced a comprehensive tax guide for students.
Money-saving tips and tricks
As soon as you become a student, consider getting a TOTUM student discount card, and signing up for UniDays and Student Beans, which offer discounts on a range of things from eating out to technology.
Free Microsoft Office 365
Hallam students can access Office 365 Education for free, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and now Microsoft Teams.
Before investing in course materials it’s worth checking the Library Gateway and Reading Lists Online. You can also use the Document Supply Service to request books and resources not available in our collections. If the resources you need are not available through the university, consider using online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace, eBay or Depop to buy second-hand copies. It is important to check that the editions you buy meet the requirements of the course.
Consider buying second-hand items from charity shops and via online marketplaces like eBay, Depop or Shpock to save money and live sustainably. You may find advice from other students shared on Thrifty UK Blogs useful. Social media can also be a good place to start for inspiration.
Struggling to save
Constantly trying to cut back on expenses without success or worrying that you do not have any emergency pot to fall back on can affect your wellbeing. There are several self-help resources available
- The demotivator tool from MoneySavingExpert may help you identify non-essential spending and find areas you could try to cut back on
- MoneyHelper guide on how to set a savings goal may help you focus on your saving priorities
- You may want to follow some of the SaveTheStudent practical saving tips
Suggested Blackbullion learning
Blackbullion is an online learning platform that you can access for free with your Hallam email address and improve your money skills through pathways, articles, and tools. We recommend that you complete the below modules to help you improve your financial wellbeing:
- Money House online bootcamp is tailored specifically for university students getting ready to rent
- Money Smart online bootcamp can help you reduce your everyday spendings
- Learn how digital banking can benefit you in this guide to digital banking
- Top 10 Money Tips article can help you create good money habits
- You could also challenge yourself to complete the 21 days of saving bootcamp