Living in Salford and Manchester

Salford and Manchester are relatively budget-friendly areas to live, allowing you to enjoy some of the cheapest public transport costs in the UK as well as great offers on social activities and plenty of choice when it comes to filling your food cupboards.

Salford and Manchester are relatively budget-friendly areas to live, allowing you to enjoy some of the cheapest public transport costs in the UK as well as great offers on social activities and plenty of choice when it comes to filling your food cupboards. 

Rent is often your largest cost. It can be relatively cheap if you can forward plan enough to look around. How much rent you pay is your single greatest opportunity to make large savings. 

If you live within Greater Manchester, we have put together some spending suggestions to help you budget your money while studying at the University of Salford. Some of these spending habits may not apply to you and are a minimum cost per month, so please take a look at the table below to see how your spending could be affected, or different from this table. 

Estimated minimum costs for a single student who pays rent and lives in Greater Manchester* 

Likely Expenditure

Minimum cost per month

Minimum cost per year


£320 (Based on the local rental market prices 


Utilities (gas electric water)






Textbooks & Stationery



Essential Food












Refurbished Laptop



Mobile contract



Socialising expenses



Tips for living costs

  • The maximum loan for living costs for students not on benefits in 2021/22 will be £9,203. It is worth considering how much your rent will cost you annually against the loan that you will receive from Student Finance. 

  • Rent: Although the very minimum rent you are likely to find is £320 per month, there are probably not enough of these low rents to go around. It is possible to pay significantly more, even £600 per month. Many of the best deals will also be snapped up a few months before the start of an academic year. Check out our accommodation information for more tips. Students should expect to spend between £400-£600 when looking for places to live. 

  • Some Accommodation has bills included: It is always worth checking whether bills are included in your total monthly rental payment. Student accommodation tenancy agreements often include the rent and utility bills as a total amount which means you can save some money there. This is less likely with private landlords but there is the odd exception. 

  • Living with friends: This is a great way to save some money. If you are living with friends in privately rented properties you will be able to split bills like gas, electric and water that you would not be able to do on your own. 

  • Living at home can be a good way to save on costs but you will receive a lower loan for living costs from Student Finance. It is also worth noting that travel costs will be higher for those who commute further to study. 

  • Travel: If you are travelling into campus, you can by daily, weekly, and monthly bus passes for your journey. We would suggest calculating how much your daily travel costs and comparing whether buying bus passes will help you save. If you are close to campus and can walk your commute this will mean you do not need to buy a bus pass. 

  • Council Tax: All full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax. You may need to provide your local authority or landlord with a Council Tax exemption letter to prove you are a student at the University of Salford. An exemption certificate should be sent to your student email shortly after you register. If you do not receive your certificate you can request one online. Part time students do not qualify for Council Tax exemption regardless of the hours studied on the course. 

  • TV Licence: If you are in a regular property (i.e. with a private landlord) one Television Licence will cover the whole property. In university halls, each student with a TV will need their own licence. If you do not watch or record live broadcasts or download BBC i-player programmes, you may be exempt from needing to have a licence. The TV licensing website provides more information as to who needs to pay for a licence. Sometimes these are included in your rent, it is worth checking this before you pay. 

  • If you’re an international student, please do not have any living expenses or accommodation funds sent to the university from your sponsor as they cannot be transferred to you due to money laundering laws. Any money that you need to help with living costs must be paid from your sponsor directly to you. 

It’s important to think ahead and budget. There is a budgeting tool and sound money advice here.

Earning extra cash

In order to afford rent, bills, food and other expenses, you may want to consider getting a part-time job. While it may feel like a struggle to try and juggle both study and work there are several benefits to employment during university: 

  • Extra cash 

  • Increases work experience, making you more employable later in life 

  • Allows you to increase your knowledge of the working world and gain life experience 

We encourage you not to work over 20 hours per week as this may impact on your relaxation and studies. Our Careers & Employability Service can help you to search for part time work. They also offer workshops on CV improvement, interview techniques and help you to prepare through mock interviews.