Money events

Blackbullion money week 2024   

From Monday 22 April to Friday 26 April 2024 our partners Blackbullion are running Money Week. They will be offering lots of practical tips, guidance and online resources designed to help you manage your money more effectively, including limited edition Blackbullion playing cards.

No matter how good or bad you are at managing your money – there's something for everyone. Find out everything you need to know about Blackbullion Money Week 2024.

National Student Money Week 2024

National Student Money Week is an annual campaign created by the National Association of Student Money Advisers to raise awareness about the money advice and support available to students at University and beyond.

This year’s National Student Money Week focuses on Less Risk More Reward. 

The reward of creating a budget

Managing your finances can often feel like navigating a maze with no clear exit. The costs of tuition, accommodation, and daily living expenses can quickly add up, leaving many students feeling financially stressed. However, there's a simple yet powerful tool that can help you take control of your money and alleviate some of that stress: creating a budget.

Why budgeting matters

Budgeting is not just about restricting your spending; it's about making informed decisions about where your money goes. By creating a budget, you gain visibility into your income and expenses, allowing you to prioritize your spending according to your needs and goals. Whether you're saving up for new shoes, aiming to pay off accommodation, or simply trying to make ends meet, a budget is your roadmap to financial success.

Register and dive into the Blackbullion Budgeting 101 video and pathway. This resource is designed to equip you with essential financial management skills that will serve you well throughout your life.

The benefits of budgeting

  1. Financial Freedom: When you know exactly how much money you have and where it's going, you feel more in control of your finances. This sense of control can lead to greater financial freedom and peace of mind.
  2. Debt Reduction: For many students, student loans and credit card debt can feel overwhelming. By creating a budget and allocating funds towards debt repayment, you can gradually reduce your debt burden and work towards a debt-free future.
  3. Savings Goals: Whether it's an emergency fund, or a travel fund, budgeting allows you to set aside money for your savings goals. Even small contributions can add up over time, putting you closer to achieving your dreams. 1p Saving Challenge.
  4. Reduced Stress: Financial stress can take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you can reduce anxiety about money and focus your energy on other aspects of your life, such as your studies and personal relationships.

Tools for budgeting success

Fortunately, there are numerous tools and resources available to help University of Essex students create and maintain a budget. Two such resources are Blackbullion and Save the Student.

  1. Blackbullion App: the ultimate solution for University of Essex students to take control of their finances with confidence. With all your accounts in one place, the app provides a comprehensive view of your spending, allowing you to manage your money effectively and efficiently. Plus, with secure open banking connections, you can connect all your accounts effortlessly, giving you total visibility and peace of mind over your financial well-being. And the best part? The app is completely ad-free, with no in-app purchases, and offers great rewards for your financial diligence. With custom categories and personalization options, managing your money has never been easier. Say hello to financial freedom with the Money Manager app.
  2. Save the Student: Save the Student is a website dedicated to helping students make the most of their money. The Student Budget article provides great alterative and tips on creating a successful budget which include spreadsheets to alterative apps.

Creating a budget may seem daunting at first, but the rewards far outweigh the effort. By taking control of your finances and making informed decisions about your money, you can achieve greater financial stability, reduce stress, and work towards your long-term goals. With resources like Blackbullion and Save the Student at your fingertips, there's no better time to start budgeting than now. Your future self will thank you for it.

Gambling on your future

Gambling is the act of wagering money or valuables on the outcome of a game, contest, or other event with an uncertain result – is a common recreational activity enjoyed responsibly by many people. However, for some, gambling leads to significant problems that can negatively impact major areas of life. As a student, it is important to understand the line between responsible and problematic gambling, recognise signs of unhealthy gambling behaviours, and know how to get help if gambling becomes unmanageable.

Gambling does not need to be a full-blown addiction to cause disruption and harm. Problem gambling refers to any pattern of gambling behaviour that causes damage to one’s life or the lives of loved ones. Even occasionally borrowing money to gamble, lying about time and money spent gambling, neglecting other responsibilities to gamble, or gambling when feeling distressed can indicate a gambling problem. Other red flags include trying to win back losses by gambling more (chasing losses), getting irritable when attempting to cut back on gambling, and having obsessive thoughts about gambling.

Why gamble?

Several interconnected factors influence gambling problems, including biological, psychological, and environmental causes. Biologically, gambling activates the brain’s reward system and releases dopamine, creating pleasurable effects that can become addictive to vulnerable individuals. Psychologically, mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, and substance abuse problems increase the risk for compulsive gambling. The environment also plays a key role, as easy access to gambling opportunities and the normalisation of gambling by peers or family make problematic behaviours more likely to develop.

Left unchecked, unhealthy gambling takes a severe toll on the gambler and loved ones. Financial devastation through accumulated debt and bankruptcy is unfortunately common. Isolation, trust issues, and breakups frequently damage relationships. Legal problems, lost jobs, and dropping out of school can derail careers and education. Underlying mental health conditions like depression and anxiety also worsen. Tragically, problem gambling has one of the highest suicide rates among addictions.



The video features Nick, a former student who bravely shares his story of battling problem gambling. Nick reveals his struggles during the peak of his addiction, where he lost around £50,000.

How to get help

If you recognise signs of problem gambling in yourself or a loved one, know that help is available through many pathways:

  • talking to a counsellor, advisor, or therapist such as via the Counselling Directory
  • joining a peer support group like Gamblers Anonymous
  • using self-exclusion programmes to ban yourself from gambling locations
  • exploring medication options that treat underlying mental health factors, such as discussing your situation with the NHS
  • cognitive behavioural therapy to change unhealthy thought patterns around gambling.
  • developing healthier coping strategies and lifestyle changes

Problematic gambling often starts out innocently before spiralling out of control. As a student, be vigilant for warning signs, stay aware of campus gambling risks, and don’t hesitate to seek help if gambling becomes unhealthy. Resources exist to overcome gambling problems – there is hope for regaining control and getting your life back on track.

Advice sources

There are organisations throughout the country that have been offering support to people affected by gambling for many years and have a wealth of information they want to share. We have pooled together a small selection of articles most relevant to our student body. Please follow the links below to find some helpful information.

Supporting your health and wellbeing

We understand university life can be demanding and stressful, particularly when you may have financial worries, and we want to ensure you receive the appropriate emotional and mental wellbeing support. Our Student Wellbeing and Inclusivity Service (SWIS) provides free, confidential help and guidance for any concerns that you might have during your time at Essex. They can advise and signpost you to the support available for mental and emotional health, disability support, academic concerns, financial worries, and accommodation issues.

The risk of buy now, pay later

Klarna and Clearpay etc. are what are known as "Buy Now, Pay Later" (BNPL) programmes, which you might have already heard of or used. It allows you to spread the cost of a purchase over a few instalments when you might not be able to afford the total cost straightaway. However, it doesn’t mean that you get to pay any less for the items you are buying, just that you have longer to pay for them in full.

BNPL services often entice users with promises of instant gratification and flexibility. With just a few clicks, you can acquire the latest gadgets, fashion items, or even pay for services without parting with your cash up front. However, this convenience can quickly spiral into a cycle of debt if not managed responsibly.

Failure to make timely payments on BNPL platforms can negatively impact your credit score if not paid. This can affect your ability to secure loans, mortgages, or even future employment opportunities. In addition, some BNPL providers may impose hidden fees or high-interest rates for missed payments or late fees and add to your financial burdens.

Why not “buy now, pay later”?

The one thing you should always remember is that any financial service like a BNPL scheme, can be used with success if you are careful and know for sure that you can afford to make the repayments asked of you, without putting yourself into financial difficulty.

Always consider if you would have bought the item through BNPL had it not been for the lack of a payment choice.

If the response is negative, you might perhaps pause and wait to make the purchase.

When is buy now pay later a bad option?

There are key warning signs to watch out for and avoid:

  • You regularly use a credit card or overdraft to cover daily costs like groceries or petrol
  • You're late paying bills or making repayments
  • You're worried about money
  • You're juggling multiple debts on a low-income
  • You hide or avoid looking at bank statements, receipts and bills
  • You've had warnings from a lender, bailiff or a legal organisation.

When is buy now pay later a good option?

You have a budget plan, you’re aware of your income and expenses, and you can stick to your plan.

You rarely make compulsive spending.

Before making a purchase, especially for non-essential items, you take some time to consider whether it’s a want or a need. Delaying gratification can save you money in the long run.

Your loan or debt is under your control.

Advice sources

For further understanding of buy now pay later services, Blackbullion offers clear explanations, while Save the Student focuses on safety concerns with Klarna. The Conversation delves into Klarna's marketing strategies. To manage impulse spending, BetheBudget provides practical tips. These diverse sources equip individuals with essential insights for navigating BNPL services wisely.


The big question podcast

The Big Questions podcast delved deep into the complexities of university finances, providing practical tips, expert insights, and real-life experiences to empower students in navigating their financial journey at the University of Essex.

Further advice and support

The Funding team are always keen to hear from any students who would like money advice, information or who are seeking additional financial support.  We have lots of information available on the University of Essex Money webpages and you can contact us at

There are various funds open to students including the Hardship fund, Care Experience Bursary and DSA Laptop support fund. The applications are to be completed via Blackbullion and guidance notes are available to students online and we encourage everyone to have a look at the support we have available.

The Money Charity is also providing the Student Money Manual (.pdf). This helpful tool gives students useful information on student finance and managing their money at university.  

We really hope that you enjoy and get a lot out of the National Student Money Week activities and resources.

If you have any questions or would like advice about potential additional financial support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at  We look forward to hearing from you.

Other support

Here at Essex we offer plenty of money advice, guidance and support that you can access at any time with the help from our support teams across the University.

Money during and after your studies

Check out our webpages and top tips to help you manage your money throughout your studies and beyond.


Everyone has mental health – sometimes good, sometimes not so good and when it comes to finances, they can cause some real anxieties and worries.

If you're experiencing distressing thoughts and feelings, there is help available at the University, take a look at the support you can access.


Check out the Careers Services Blog which covers the world of online recruitment and how we can no longer rely on CVs alone.

Also join Steve and Caroline on Episode 7 of the Careers Services Podcast where they discuss the benefits of getting part-time work. Yes, money is one of them! However there are more that might not be immediately obvious. 

External agencies support

External agencies also share useful resources that may help with your financial planning whilst at university. It is worth giving these a read throughout the week:

  • UCAS detail ten things you need to know about saving money whilst at university – from managing an overdraft, making the most of student deals to checking if you’re covered by your parents’ home insurance - these savvy tips will help you save money if you are living away from home.
  • Save the Student share a comprehensive list of 83 practical ways to save money as a student, showing how easy it is to get discounts and freebies when you know where to look.
  • The Money Saving Expert is always a good website to check for all your finance needs. This article gives advice on how to financially prepare before you go to university.
  • Read the new edition of Student Money Matters magazine with lots of tips to help you stay finance savvy.
Two woman talking at a helpdesk
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.