Updated: Tuesday, 7th July 2020 @ 8:18am

Save the student! Manchester university graduates' personal finance website clocks one million visits

Save the student! Manchester university graduates' personal finance website clocks one million visits

By Sophia Rahman

A personal finance website started by two Manchester undergraduates has clocked its millionth visit, making it one of the most popular sources of impartial advice for students.

Owen Burek and Jake Butler were studying for their first year geography degrees at the University of Manchester in 2007 when they launched savethestudent.org.

The site can now hold its own in a market dominated by household names such as MoneySavingExpert.com.

Mr Burek, now 24, who has been developing websites since he was a teenager, said: “Nowadays more than ever, young people need to understand how to handle money and our success is proof there’s a lot of demand for knowledge out there.”

Originally inspired by struggling to manage their own budgets and finances as students, their site has now mushroomed into a successful social enterprise.

The entrepreneurial pair believe personal finance acumen should be taught in schools, and even given equal priority as sex or religious education.

“It’s amazing how many of our readers aren’t even sure how to do the basics such as opening a bank account or arranging an overdraft,” Mr Burek added.

Run by two full time staff, and a 15-strong team of student and graduate contributors mainly from the university, the site has the unique selling-point of providing advice from people who have personal experience of the issues they advise on.

Mr Burek said they got quite a shock when they analysed their statistics and saw they had reached a million visits.

He added: “We went out for a few drinks to celebrate but it wasn't long before we were back in work to reach our next goal of two million!”

Developed entirely from their own resources, savethestudent.org has also just published The Essential Student Guide to Finance for 2012 which offers advice to students negotiating their way around the new fees regime.

The 80-page book covers everything from applying for student finance to choosing a bank account, and is free to students and parents to download from the website.

“The support and feedback we get from students, recent graduates, universities and parents is fantastic and really spurs us on – and we hope to go from strength to strength.”

Future plans for the company include developing a graduate advice website and expanding www.StudentMap.co.uk, a local listings directory for Manchester students.

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