Living independently in an altogether new city, Manchester can be challenging and a lot to offer. For students, the important thing to have is a budget.
I have been in the same place for the last few months, so I planned to draft out my top tips to live within the limited budget.
Have a monthly budget with yourself, which should be divided among the essential and miscellaneous activities.
The major portion of the budget goes into the payment of rent. One piece of advice, I would like to give is to do possible research and look for all the options available. This can be a university hall, private apartments, shared houses and studio rooms. There are many Facebook groups available to get shared houses; you can check those for cheaper alternatives.
I always prefer to cook myself. The first thing I did here at Manchester was to explore the grocery stores and look for the best options around. Students usually grab meal deals at the stores, which are very reasonable. Many fast-food chains around the city offer discounts and freebies. You have to download their apps to claim these offers. I always suggest cooking at home rather than eating outside daily, it will surely help to maintain your monthly budget.
Commuting in Manchester is very cheap and feasible. The transport services available include tram, bus and train. There is a bus service '147 magic bus’, which offers free travel to students by just showing the student ID cards. The alternatives available are to take a bicycle ride or walk. Manchester has great and newly improved cycle routes. Moreover, there is a service available to rent a bicycle at different parts of Manchester by just downloading an app and scanning a QR code. I usually walk to the university, since I live nearby. Walking or cycling is not only good for health but helps to save some pennies.
As a student, we usually assume that socialising can be costly. However, there are many places in Manchester, which are free of cost and cheap than you think. There are restaurants and indoor activities around the city that offer student discounts. You just have to show a valid student card.
At last, I would tell you about a secret to shopping on a budget. There is a store in the city centre where you can shop for vintage clothes. It is on the corner of Piccadilly Gardens, which offers bigger savings. Moreover, there are fairs and events organised weekly by the student union where you can shop around.
Keep a check on the student website like Unidays and Totum for the latest offers. I hope my tips help you when you move into this welcoming city.