If you’re struggling to make ends meet, don’t panic. You still have options available. There a few steps we would recommend initially to see if you can help yourself in the short term.

BEWARE! However bad you think things are right now, NEVER go to a payday lender. Payday lenders prey on those who are unlikely to be able to pay off their debt on time, meaning that the interest on your small loan increases massively. Use our tips below instead.

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If you haven’t already, pop over to our Budgeting form [link] and fill it in. Putting all of your incomings, outgoings and debts in one place allows you to gain a better idea of your financial situation right now. With everything written down, you’ll be able to see where you could make budget cuts to cover the shortfall.

A few outgoings we would recommend looking into include your expenses on food and shopping (especially takeaways), memberships, and general spending. If you can restrict what you’re spending on non-essentials, then you’ll have more breathing room to cover the essentials like rent, transport and bills. An easy way to reduce your food budget is to meal plan, and compare prices for your ingredients across your local supermarkets.

If you’ve already budgeted to the penny, and you’re still feeling the stretch, consider who else may be able to help.

If you are working alongside your studies, you are in an excellent position to supplement your income.

Depending on the type of employment you have, requesting a few more hours could be helpful to increase your incomings (within reason!).

You could also potentially ask for a pay rise or an advance on your salary for an unexpected cost. An advance would mean your employer ‘loaning’ you part of your wages before your payday but would need to be paid back, so this should be something you only consider in extreme circumstances. The worst they can say is no!

We understand that you might feel embarrassed or not want to admit to your family that you’re struggling for money, but it might be the best option if you are truly stuck.

Asking a family member to look through your budget with you could also help, as they will have more experience with managing their money and be able to guide you. 

We understand that not everyone is fortunate to have families with either the means or the intention to help out if you’re in difficulty. If you’ve exhausted the above, then you may be able to request short term help from the University.

The University of Chester has a Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) for students who find themselves in financial difficulty, or have a sudden unexpected expense that they could not avoid. 

The Fund is intended to offer a lifeline to students who have exhausted all other options available to them. It usually opens for applications in the October term and remains open until the funding available is spent.

Please note the fund is not limitless, so please consider if you are in financial need before applying. 

How Can The Advice Service Help with Financial Assistance?

If you’re still unsure with where to start with your finances, the Advice Service can help by:

  • Talking you through your budget on a budgeting sheet and recommending where improvements could be made to your incomings and outgoings (required before any application to the Financial Assistance Fund)
  • Offering advice on how to apply to the Financial Assistance Fund, including walking you through the form 
  • Signposting you to external services if you still find yourself struggling, or are not eligible for the Financial Assistance Fund
     

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