With all the pressures of sorting out your student finance and wondering how much you’ll have to spend each month on food, rent and going out, living as a student can often cause unnecessary stress and anxiety.
But don’t worry, Plymouth College of Art’s Student Support team have put together a few top tips for managing your cash at uni...
1. Get an NUS card
Don’t lose out on your student discount! Money off groceries (Co-Operative) and discounts for travel to college and days out (National Express, Megabus or railcards*) all add up. And with money off entertainment (Thorpe Park anyone?) and eating out (Pizza Hut!) saving between 10-50% on items will always be welcome when there is too much Month for your Money! Get yours now.
2. Keep your student finance documents safe
We often find students experience issues with Student Finance during the term but don’t know their login details. Keep a folder on your emails (or a literal folder somewhere safe) with this information in so you can access your account, and Student Support can help where needed.
3. Get batch cooking
Websites like Love Food Hate Waste will help you become an expert in cooking and portioning up meals to last. The site gives you recipes and encouragement from industry chefs who can inspire a good cooking session and help you save on your grocery bill. Buying a bunch of vegetables and/or meat and cooking it up in different sauces for freezing can also save time on a dreary evening when you have deadlines to meet. Try doing your shopping after 6pm on a Sunday - supermarkets tend to have discounted food that they want to sell before the next week.
4. Keep track of your income and expenditure
Yes, we know. Nobody wants to know how much those new trainers were that you got when your student loan came in, but making sure you know what’s coming in and out of your bank account is essential to survive. For inspiration on budgets and how to save, go to www.savethestudent.org and join the forums for ideas and tips from other students. You could also try an app to keep track of your spending - give Yolt a go.
5. Grants, scholarship and other sources of income
Are you eligible for a grant £500 from The Vegetarian Society? Or maybe you are a child or partner of a pharmacist, grocer or commercial traveller? If so, the Leverhulme Charity offers a bursary of up to £3,000. Check out these other unusual bursaries and see if you’re eligible.
6. Direct debit trick
Got your maintenance loan? Transfer it to a secondary account and then set up a direct debit to drip feed an amount each week to save you overspending and not being able to pay your rent.
7. Cash only
Try it. For one night, take out a set amount of cash and don’t take your bank or credit card. You’ll save a fortune! And stick a spare £5-10 in a secret pocket for your travel home, or share a taxi home with friends to get safely back.
8. Work while you study
Our in-house design studio The Agency works with students during their studies to give them paid live briefs from external clients, not only will this give you a bit of an income whilst studying but valuable experience too. We also have our Careers & Enterprise team who can work with you to help you get paid internships and build your professional cv and portfolio. Why not drop them an email once you've settled in at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop by their office on campus.
- Still struggling with your money? Drop our Student Support team an email at email@example.com or visit the Student Hub on campus.