National Student Money Week
This year’s national student money week is all about sustainable spending to get students thinking about how they can be more sustainable whilst saving money. Living away from home whilst at university and learning how to manage your money can be overwhelming, however university is a great place to develop money management skills and CUSU are here to help you. On this page you can find more information about sustainable spending and see what events we have coming up for National Student Money Week including our upcycling workshop. You can also visit our managing your money page for further support with budgeting and money advice.
thinking Sustainably to Save money
- Create a weekly meal planner to help reduce your food waste and think about what you already have in your fridge/freezer/cupboards before writing your shopping list.
- Spend less on your shopping – use cheaper supermarkets and consider their own value range. Check out Save the Students’ 24 supermarket money saving tips.
- Team up with your housemates to buy in bulk and cook together.
- If you shop online, check out Save the Students’ guide to shopping online.
- If you don’t already, choosing green options such as walking or cycling can save you money. If you’re travelling by car, think about car sharing.
- If you use trains to travel, see if you are eligible for a railcard. London Northwestern Railway are also offering discounted student tickets.
- Fast fashion is a growing concept and refers to the fast changes and production in fashion, but most importantly it refers to clothes only being worn a few times.
- Think about how sustainable the brands are that you use. Is their a more sustainable brand you can buy from?
- Shop second hand. Apps like Vinted now make it easy to purchase second hand clothes at cheap prices.
- Thinking repair rather than replace is key to sustainability and iFixit provides some guides for free on how to repair some electronics and gadgets rather than spending large sums on a new device.
- Reusing your old clothes can save you money, but also reduce the impact fast fashion is having on the environment. Read this guide for 9 ways you can reuse your old clothes.
- Attend our upcycling workshop on Tuesday 1st March to find out how you can turn some old clothes into new ones. Taking place in the Courtyard from 11am - 3pm.
Ethical Banking, what's it all about?
The term “ethical banking” may seem unfamiliar. But opening an ethical bank account simply means choosing to place your money somewhere that has environmental and social conscience at its heart. Transparency is one of the key things in ethical banking, which, along with a little research, should make it easier to decide what is right for you.
What to consider.
Most sources suggest focusing on three key points when considering whether a bank is “ethical” enough for you.
- Proud ethics: is the bank committed to making a positive change through its work? This could be internally through addressing pay inequalities and committing to be a living wage employer. Or something more wide reaching, like paying the right amount of tax or taking action to lower their carbon footprint.
- Positive investments: is the bank funding initiatives that are going to make a difference? This means choosing to invest in organisations that strive to make a positive contribution to social or environmental issues. This could be through work with renewable energies/technologies and local community projects, instead of heavy investment in more harmful initiatives like arms deals and fossil fuel industries.
- Honest approaches: is it easy to find out exactly what the bank is investing in and paying out in tax? It is a good sign if a bank can show an ethical investment policy which outlines how all assets are used and how many go towards addressing social and environmental issues. The ability to find out whether a bank is fulfilling its tax obligations should also be clear. All related documents should be public and easy to access. Banks should be able to shout about the positive impact they are making.
How to find out more?
There is a lot of information out there about ethical banking, what it means and how to get involved. Here are just a few links to get you started:
An accessible summary on ethical banking: Current Accounts Ethical Banks in the UK (moneyexpert.com)
Particularly pitched at students: Ethical banking for students – and challenging the dominance of big banks | Ethical Consumer
A more in depth resource here: Three ethical issues to think about when switching your bank account | Ethical Consumer
And finally...a video resource Banking 101 (Video Course) - Positive Money