We bring you a fantastic new blog post which has been written by UWS Funding And Advice Services.
This week is National Student Money Week 2022! This is an annual event run by Members of the National Association of Student Money Advisors or NASMA for short (https://www.nasma.org.uk/). Our membership spans the whole of the UK, and our aim is to relieve the poverty of students through advice, information, and training. Each year institutions who are involved with NASMA join up to run a National Student Money Week to promote a specific theme and use a mixture of social media, activities, and resources to help students better manage their financial well-being.
The theme for this year is Sustainable Spending and this brings together many different strands of financial wellbeing. From sustainable fashion to making better choices with the energy we use to reducing food waste; all of these allow us to improve our spending habits and live a more sustainable lifestyle. Some of the more obvious ways to spend more sustainably are buying secondhand clothing, repairing, and recycling our existing tech and furniture pieces. Many people are also interested in more green ways to consume energy or to travel around. Another way to spend more sustainably is to shop locally, visit your local butchers and fruit & veg grocers. What isn’t so obvious or easy to find out about is how to manage your finances more sustainably.
The Role of the Renfrewshire Affordable Credit Alliance
This is where an organisation like RACA can help. Sustainable means (according to the Oxford English Dictionary) 1. able to be maintained at a certain level or 2. able to be upheld or defended. So, when it comes to our personal finances, there are ways we can look to be sustainable too. Everyone at some point needs to access credit and everyone should have access to credit that is affordable and fair.
RACA helps consumers, not just in Renfrewshire but across Scotland and the wider UK, to learn more about credit and find organisations that can help in a sustainable way. Borrowing funds from a payday lender or a doorstep lender might seem easy, but rarely do they make the small print easy to find, much less understand. So quickly a small loan of £250 for car repairs can spiral into a much larger debt and be much less manageable to pay. In this way, finance can become unsustainable for households, especially if they are at the lower end of the income scale.
Using the resources on RACA’s website is a fantastic way for people to find out more about sustainable finance, specifically credit that is affordable and fair. So, whether that’s finding out how to join the Credit Union movement or accessing information about other ethical ways to borrow, RACA has great support to educate yourself. This is why here at UWS; we work with RACA to spread that affordable credit message.
Many of our students are parents or have other caring responsibilities and need access to information that can help make sure they get the most out of their money. Through our work with RACA, we have found out more about organizations such as Fair for You that we can then promote to our students as an alternative and more cost-effective option when their fridge breaks down or they need a new washing machine. We too have lots of information and advice that users of RACA can access spanning from information on credit, reducing household bills, having fun on a budget to the best ways to shop. Find out on the RACA website about the organisations we have mentioned. Visit us at UWS https://www.uws.ac.uk/money-fees-funding/money-debt-advice/ and Happy Student Money Week.
Follow #nsmw22 to keep up to date with events and National Student Money Week runs from 21st to 25th February.