Financial wellbeing in difficult times


During difficult and uncertain times, it can be challenging to maintain our financial wellbeing when unexpected costs or reductions to our income occur. The current situation may have brought with it financial concerns for you, and worries around money can be straining and unsettling. It is important to remember that there is always help available and somebody to talk to if these concerns become overwhelming. 

We have created this page and a number of resources to cover some of the issues that have recently been arising when it comes to finances.

Current financial issues

Below are some common issues related to finance that have arisen in recent times. If you are struggling with any of these, help and support is always available and we have included some useful resources to supplement this. 

Uncertain times may mean that you experience a loss of income. An example of this might be the loss of a part time job. Save the Student has a guide on what you can do if you have lost your job as a result of the current times. 

The University recognises that this can have a massive impact on your ability to fund your living expenses. If you are experiencing financial hardship, you are able to access the University Living Cost Support Fund. This fund is in place for all students regardless of nationality or level of study.

You might also want to make use of our budget planner to create an awareness of funds coming in and out and where you may be able to cut back or save.

You can also access a comprehensive guide to money, including budgeting and what to do if you are struggling, in this resource.

If you feel the current times have put you and your family into significant debt you can contact Step Change Debt Charity for advice.

You could also look out for the 'Finding Part Time Jobs Talk' on the Careers Service Youtube Page that has tips for looking out for paid work in the current climate. 

Scammers can take advantage of difficult times and it’s important to be vigilant. Common scams that have been identified during this time are as follows:

  • Emails that may seem that they are from the Government offering money to help you in this time, or from HMRC offering tax rebates.
  • Phone calls from scammers posing as banks offering payment holidays/no late fees on credit cards as a way of getting you to reveal bank details
  • Encouragement to invest money in the stockmarket. A common red flag is that scammers may say is that the investment is ‘low risk, high reward’.
  • Scammers may take advantage of that fact that helplines for shops and utility companies are very busy and claim that there is an issue with your payment/bill.

You can find lots more information on scams and what to do if you think you might have fallen victim to one on the financial conduct authority website.

We also have a dedicated webpage all about scams with tips for how to avoid them.


More time spent at home with less distractions can mean that we are buying things online that we don’t necessarily need out of boredom. Sometimes if we are feeling low spending money can make us feel better by providing a temporary high. This type of spending can become problematic, particularly if it involves buying things on credit cards that could potentially lead to growing debt.

If you are finding that you are making unnecessary or excessive purchases during this time, it might be a good idea to take a step back and look at the reasons why you are shopping in this way. By taking notice of our spending we can be more mindful when considering to make future purchases.

This website has some useful tips on how to curb boredom spending.

If you are finding that you are spending money when you are feeling low, you may want to speak to someone else about this. The Universities Counselling Service could be a good starting point.  

Due to the current situation, if you're in private accommodation you may find that you are struggling to pay rent and utility bills due to a loss of income. If this is the case, you may want to speak to your landlord or letting agent to see what support or delayed payment plan they might be able to offer.

If you are having difficulties with your accommodation provider, you can seek advice from the Student Union Advice Centre or Manchester Student Homes.

If you are experiencing financial hardship and unable to keep up with essential living costs such as rent, you may want to apply for the University Living Cost Support Fund. This fund is in place for all students regardless of nationality or level of study.

For students living in University halls of residence and who have not returned since the national lockdown announcement on 5 January, you will not pay any rent until the end of the current lockdown restrictions or the date that you return. 

Additionally, all students in halls of residences will receive a reduction of rent for semester 1 (September 2020 – 31 January 2021) totalling 30%. You can find out more in the accommodation pledge for students living in halls.

The current situation may mean that many people are facing financial uncertainty for the future. This is particularly true for students who are in their final year and may be worried about their career prospects after University. Many students feel concerned about the next steps, so if you are feeling this way you are not alone.

The Careers Service have developed a set of resources around this, so that you can feel more supported as you begin to consider your options. You could also check out the Careers Service Youtube channel that has some great videos to help you plan for the future. 

As well as utilising these resources, it might also be a good idea to speak to a Careers Consultant to consider your different options. This is not only beneficial for students who are graduating, but also for students in other years of study too.

If you are finding that these concerns are affecting your wellbeing, you may find this article useful. It is always a good idea to speak to someone else when financial concerns become overwhelming, such as a friend, family member or someone at University.

Useful resources