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Budgeting and money tips

The Essentials - Household bills

You are about to embark on your journey at UCLan and you need some tips. Lets start with the essentials!

  • During your first year you are likely to take a place in Halls of Residence. Your accommodation fees will include fuel bills i.e. gas and electricity. 
  • Work out your monthly expenses and set up direct debits / standing orders from your account to pay your bills.

    Download our Finance Planner (.pdf)


You're now in your second/third years and you need to pay for all services associated with living in a shared house or flat:

  • Private accommodation - agree with your housemates to set up an account in joint names to pay for shared bills.
  • Work out monthly expenses and set up direct debits / standing orders from your account to pay your bills - some providers offer discounts if you pay by this method.
  • Ask parents/relatives to purchase telephone cards or vouchers for your mobile phone.
  • There is the option to have your telephone set to receive incoming calls only - this would eliminate the chance of accruing large telephone bills and avoid friction between housemates when the bill arrives! University Halls of Residence have telephones - you can dial internally at no cost. There are 2 types of telephone cards, one can be credited with cash or by credit/debit card (up to £10.00) and one is disposable (£2.00).


Budget Planning

For other budgeting tips and advice see the following websites:

Books and stationery

• Stock up on your notepads and stationery beforehand
• Students may have second hand books available for you to purchase - look out for bargains by checking notice boards, book fairs and the university bookshop.


• Student rail cards and bus passes offer cheaper travel.
• Advertise / ask around for lifts / car sharing.
• Save money by sharing taxis with other students where possible e.g. visits to the supermarket.

Hidden essentials

• Hidden essentials can often catch you out. Don't forget to budget for hidden essentials such as haircuts, special occasions, birthdays etc.
• If joining a club or society at the University, don't forget to consider any extra costs for specialist equipment or material.


• Stock up from home with non-perishable goods - this will give you time to sort out the best place for bargains.
• Shop around - take advantage of offers. Shop in the cheaper supermarkets.
• Get your pots, pans and cutlery together before you arrive.
• Apply for a University Smart Card - this can be credited with cash to pay for food at discounted prices. Bring the essential items you think you will need.
• If you are in Halls of Residence wait until you arrive before purchasing larger items e.g. kettles and toasters as you are more than likely to end up with 6 of everything in your house/flat! Discuss with your housemates who will purchase what and share your costs out.
• Sort out a weekly menu in advance and stick to it. It may be cheaper to make your own sandwiches than buy them.
• Remember that supermarkets are not the only place to shop; Preston also has an excellent covered market with a wide choice of goods.

Where are the shops?

Aldi - caters mainly for grocery items and fresh fruit/veg is very cheap. It can be found at the bottom of Corporation Street, opposite Office World and is only a 5-10 minute walk from Foster Building.
Lidl - caters mainly for grocery items and fresh fruit/veg is very cheap. You will find it on Strand Road, at the bottom of Marsh Lane.
Market - the indoor market is open every day except Sunday selling cheap fresh fruit/vegetables and fish. The indoor market can be found at the top of Orchard Street, opposite Squires Nightclub.
Use all the student discounts you can find!

Other useful tips

• Find out what you can get for free e.g. council tax and prescriptions up to the age of 18. From 19, use the NHS HC2 form to apply for free prescriptions if your income is low
• Get an NUS card to obtain discounts in local shops
• Consider whether you could boost your income with a part-time job, sign up with UCLan Opportunities Centre and get CV checks and interview practice through our Careers Service
• Shop around for the best deals and consider second-hand options
• Other useful budgeting tips can be found through Save the Student and Money Saving Expert

Local food banks

Here are some useful links to local food banks if required:

The Bridge Project, Salvation Army Citadel, Raikes Parade, Blackpool FY1 4EL
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10:00 - 14:00 BST.
Tel: Bev Taylor or Ben, 01253 299835 or 626114

Blackburn Food Bank, Unit 2, Brunswick St, Whalley Banks, Blackburn BB2 1NR
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 11:00 - 14:00 GMT
Tel: Ros Duerden - 01254 672756

LivingWaters, 33-45 Bolton Street, Chorley, PR7 3AB
Tuesday or Friday, 10:00-14:00 GMT
Tel: Carol Halton - 07889 757045/ 01257 260050

Food Bank Warehouse, International House, Springhill Road, Burnley, BB11 2LQ
Tuesday & Thursday, 09:00 - 12:00 GMT


Morecambe Bay Food Bank, The Gym Methodist Church, Green Street, Morecambe LA4 5HN
Tel: Annette Smith - 07591 763 130 or 01524 874004

The Salvation Army, Harrington Street, Preston PR1 7BN
Weekdays 9:00 - 15:00 GMT (closed Thursdays)
Tel: Dr Alex Cadogan 01772 555425

Ingol Food Bank
Tel: Lynn Fahy and Debbie Clegg - 07594 738344


For Financial Support Enquiries:

Telephone: 01772 895000 / Email: