How to make the most of your union budget at university?

It’s no secret that student unions have seriously small budgets that have to stretch a very long way. Although they vary greatly from one university to the next, being savvy with the money you are given is essential. With a brand new university year in full swing, how can you make sure your money continues to keep students happy all year round?

Plan, plan and plan again

One of the most important things to remember with a university budget is to plan everything first. You’ll want to decide what you need to spend the money on and then allocate a set amount for every separate expense.

The worst thing you can do with the little money you have is to make things up as you go along. If you do this, you’ll risk overspending on unnecessary items and may run out of money for more important things later on in the year.

Alongside budgeting for specific areas such as merchandising and union events, it’s also a smart move to leave some money aside for an emergency fund. This ‘spare money’ can be set aside for any unexpected expenses and means that you’ll never have to pinch cash from other areas of your budget.

What’s important?

Another way to ensure your money goes further is to consider what is important to your union. Try to be a little savvier with the larger, more important, events as these will take up a bigger portion of your budget. If you can find ways to cut back without ruining the experience, you’ll be much better off financially later in the year.

Events such as freshers week are likely to be one of your most important expenses, with a need to budget for free university merchandise and leaflets. Buying t-shirts, tote bags and accessories in bulk is a great way to save money, as large orders often come with big discounts. Doing this will not only save you money but ensures that you never run out of goodies for your students.

Get the students involved

Are you spending money on events and freebies only to have your students complain about what’s on offer? If so, you might be putting your money into the wrong areas. By getting the students involved with union budgeting, you can put money towards the things that are important to them.

Why not consider an online questionnaire or suggestions page where students can input their ideas? The most popular ideas can then go to a general vote and union members can use this information to budget accordingly. Ideas like this keep everyone happy and help the university’s union and its students to bond.

Budgeting can be tough, but with some savvy planning and a keen attitude to make students happy, you can make the most of the money your union is given. If you need a good deal on printed t-shirts for your union at university, visit our website – for a quick quote.

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