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Financial wellbeing

Wellbeing image - financial planning

Financial wellbeing is about having freedom to make choices for you and your loved ones and being able to cope with emergency or distress purchases. However, despite the best plans, financial worries can happen at anytime. 

The current cost of living crisis is taking a toll on the mental health of many people. Natasha Portman, a psychologist with Relate, agrees. “Money is notoriously difficult for people to speak about openly,” she says. “That’s because money worries are connected to lots of complicated feelings and emotions, such as guilt, shame and embarrassment, and feelings of not being good enough. For some people, it goes right to the root of their identity.”

Find out how our University discounts and benefits can help support your financial wellness.

University benefits and discounts

As a University employee, you have access to a wide range of benefits that can help you save money and support your financial wellbeing.

We've highlighted some ways to make your money go further, plus a host of other hints and tips to maximise your income. 

Vivup cost of living

Cost of living guide

Discover how your Vivup benefits can provide the support you need, when you need it, in all areas of life

Hints and tips to help you save money



  • Visit our A-Z of UniDiscounts, many of whom are local businesses and suppliers. Many offers available, including 10% off at bookshop Blackwell's, 15% off at Cotswold Outdoors, plus exclusive appliance discounts through the Hotpoint Privilege Club. 

Childcare or other caring responsibilities


  • Our 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Employee Assistance Programme can provide money and debt support, as well as structured counselling, free of charge.
  • Our Counselling Service offers one-to-one support and workshops, both in-person and online.
  • Find out more about our University GP surgery at Robert Darbishire Practice (2022-23 pilot).
  • Purchase an NHS Prepayment Certificate - The certificate covers all your NHS prescriptions for a set price. You will save money if you need more than 3 items in 3 months, or 11 items in 12 months. The prescription charge in England is £9.35 per item. A PPC costs £30.25 for 3 months or £108.10 for 12 months (can pay over 10 months via direct debit)
  • Staff are allowed reasonable time off with pay to attend medical appointments, i.e. appointments should be made for the beginning or end of the working day, or wherever possible outside of working hours. Reasonable time off will not be classed as sick leave.

Making a Will

Mental health and your finances

According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, financial difficulties are a common cause of stress and anxiety. Stigma around debt can mean that people struggle to ask for help and may become isolated, and the impact on people’s mental health can be particularly severe.

Financial difficulty drastically reduces recovery rates for common mental health conditions. People with depression and problem debt are 4.2 times more likely to still have depression 18 months later than people without financial difficulty.

People in problem debt are three times as likely to have thought about suicide in the past year. There is rarely one single factor that drives people to take their own life. Instead, typically, a range of social issues, life events, cognitive and personality factors are combined. However, there is a strong link between problem debt and suicide, and more than 100,000 people in England attempt suicide while in problem debt each year.

If you are currently experiencing any mental health concerns:

  • Do not delay contacting our Employee Assistance Programme. Their trained advisors can offer confidential money and debt support. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – you’ll always be able to speak to someone who can help. Calls are confidential and what you say will never be shared with anyone at the University.
  • Our University Counselling Service can offer face to face counselling and has online resources
  • The charity MIND gives information about the relationship between money worries and mental health, with suggestions on how to address them.
  • Coping with financial worries (NHS)

External sources of support

We've highlighted external support services that could help with financial planning, or if your circumstances change and the unexpected happens. 

We've chosen sites that offer free, impartial advice but we cannot be responsible for the content of external sites, and these may contain affiliate links. 

Getting external help or advice


MoneyHelper provides free, impartial help that’s quick to find, easy to use and is backed by the UK government.

Open to everyone, MoneyHelper is helping people to clear their debts, reduce spending and make the most of their income. MoneyHelper brings together the support and services of three government-backed financial guidance providers: Money Advice Service, The Pensions Advisory Service and Pension Wise. 

Housing issues

Childcare or other caring responsibilities

Your pension



  • Purchase an NHS Prepayment Certificate - covers all your NHS prescriptions for a set price. You will save money if you need more than three items in three months, or 11 items in 12 months. You can get a certificate for three months or a 12-month certificate (pay over 10 months via direct debit).

Mental health concerns

Working families support

The cost of living is affecting many working parents and carers across the UK. If you’re struggling to make ends meet the following guidance on financial support from Working Families might help.

Debt support

  • Did you could get up to 60 days' respite from interest, fees, and court action to reduce stress and give you time to deal with your debts. Breathing Space, officially called the Debt Respite Scheme, is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt.
  • Step Change has a team of debt experts that help hundreds of thousand of people a year to deal with their debt problems. With nearly 30 years experience, their team can provide practical advice and support you need to achieve long-term financial control.
  • The Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt. If you need to talk to someone in confidence about your options, there’s no need to wait or book an appointment, their free advice helpline is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm on 0800 043 40 50.
  • The Citizens Advice website has a lot of useful information and resources. You can also speak to a Citizens Advice debt advisor who will offer you free, impartial and professional advice.

For colleagues supporting students

If you have a job role that may involve giving financial support to students you can direct them to our student support pages. Our student communications team has set up a cost of living hub which is being regularly updated. 

Credit Unions

A credit union is a financial co-operative which provides savings, loans and a range of services, such as a Christmas Club, to its members. Membership is restricted to persons who fall within a common bond such as where you live. Unlike banks, credit unions are not for profit. They are owned by the people who use their services, so the emphasis is not on maximising profits but on providing the best service to members. Like high street banks, they are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Credit unions appeal to those who want to benefit their community or are looking for ethical financial services.

Two local credit unions for staff living in the Manchester area are:

If you are interested in signing up with a Credit Union based near your home location, The Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) has a Find Your Credit Union website. If you'd prefer, you can call ABCUL on 0800 015 3060.

You can access guidance and support on managing your money via

Martin Lewis's free site saves you money. Beat the system on credit cards, shopping, special offers, mortgages, council tax, interest rate payments and more. You can also receive the latest deals, guides, tips 'n' tricks directly from Martin Lewis and the MSE team by signing up for their weekly email.