The cost-of-living crisis has affected the majority of people in the country, and students in particular are finding it really hard to manage their finances.
Many are faced with the question: do they eat or heat their home?
Additionally, managing your finances can arguably be one of the hardest parts of being a student as this new life at university comes with greater financial strain.
At LJMU, the money advice team aim to help you manage your finances and make the most out of your money.
We sat down with Vivian Heart, who is a member of the money advice team, and she shared her top tips on how to make the most out of your money.
Be aware of how much energy you’re using:
- Although it may cause anxiety seeing how much you’re spending, plug in your smart meter so you don’t receive any unexpected bills. It allows you to keep track of your spending and usage.
- Make sure you’re providing your supplier with regular meter readings so again, you don’t get a surprise bill at the end of the month for going over your usage.
- The government have introduced a £66 payment every month from your utility bills, this should be automatically deducted, but it doesn’t hurt to double check it has actually been taken off, especially if your bills seems higher than normal.
- Invest in curtains, heat escapes through windows so having thick curtains will keep the heat in more.
- Make use of timers! Instead of coming home and putting the heating on maximum, set a timer for half an hour before you arrive home for a lower heat, that way you will instantly feel the benefit of your heating when you get in from the cold and you won’t be using as much energy.
- Where are your radiators? If your radiator is being covered by a bed or a couch, the heat will be blocked and the room will remain cold. If your heating is on, allow it to fill the room so it can be on for less time.
Money advice team at LJMU:
- At LJMU, the university have a student support fund, to which they have just been given an extra half a million pound that will go directly into helping student during this cost of living crisis
- The money advice team also have been given an extra £20,000 in supermarket vouchers for those who are struggling with their groceries
- The money advice team also refer students to a food pantry, which is not to be confused with a food bank. A food pantry allows people to choose up to £15 worth of food of their choice for as little as £2.50 a week. The pantry’s work on a traffic light system in regards to the worth of items, but you will end up with around ten items. Another great thing about food pantries is that the food is from Fair Share, who stop food going into landfill.
- The university are aiming to host energy clinics to allow students to become aware of how much energy they are actually using,
- The clinics will provide insights to how much it costs to run your x-box for an hour, or to have your fairy lights on around your bed.
- The team are appearing at Refreshers week but hope to make their way around the university to educate all students.
- The university are also placing food shelves around halls of residence and also libraries, the shelves will be full of dry food and essentials such as shampoo, laundry detergent and deodorant
- The university will start up the shelves, however they want to encourage students to donate. For example, at the end of the year when you have leftover pasta or tins of beans, donate to the shelves instead of throwing them out.
- There is no sign up or communication needed for these shelves, you simply help yourself.
Check out this TikTok below on how to save money and energy: