Creating a student budget, using an online budgeting tool or app will help you to keep track of your income and outgoings. Work out how much you spend and create a list of wants and needs. This will help you to prioritise your essential costs and look at ways to reduce your spending on non-essential items such as memberships or subscriptions.
Take care of your financial wellbeing
The rise in the cost of living has been in the news a lot recently, along with the pandemic, many students may be feeling anxious about how this will affect them whilst studying. For example, higher bill payments, increased food costs and travel costs. We can help you to take charge of your spending. We have focussed on some key areas, as well as providing other useful information to help you make your money go further.
What is your financial situation?
Look at ways to cut the cost of your household bills
The Energy Saving Trust has lots of ideas on how to lower your gas and electricity bills, some small changes could have a big impact on your bills.
If you are struggling with utility costs, there are independent charitable trusts set up to help support people with their energy bills no matter which energy company you are with. Have a look at the British Gas Energy Trust or Charis to find out more.
There is more information about the financial support available if you are struggling with energy bills. Read the guide What to do if you're struggling to pay your energy bills (moneysavingexpert.com)
Save Money on your food shopping
You need to include travel costs in your budget for travel to Uni or traveling back home for the holidays. There are various student travel cards and deals to reduce costs, check with the transport company and book in advance for additional savings. You may be able to obtain a free student railcard with your student bank account.
Dealing with Debts
You can access free impartial advice on how to effectively manage your debts through organisations like Citizens Advice or Step Change. A debt adviser can help you check to see if there are any additional benefits you are entitled to. They can give you information about effective ways of dealing with your debts. Use the free debt advice locator to find someone near you, online or on the phone.
The MoneyHelper website has a range of different digital tools and guides that can help those feeling cost of living pressures to find a way forward:
Other advice and support available
If you are experiencing financial hardship there are additional grants and awards available, such as:
- UoC Student Support Funds for current students experiencing financial hardship.
- NHS Exceptional Support Fund for healthcare students experiencing financial hardship.
- Turn2us Grant finder tool a database of charitable grants and trusts.
- The Household Support Fund is a government scheme available across the UK, including Cumbria and Lancashire to help with the rising cost of living. If you live outside of these counties or do not know the name of your local council, then you can find yours here before you search for the additional support on offer.
- Help for Households - Get government cost of living support see if you’re eligible
- The Trussell Trust operate a network of foodbanks, please call Help through Hardship, for free to talk confidentially to a trained Citizens Advice adviser on: 0808 208 2138
- Save the Student a student friendly website for student discounts, top tips and advice
- 90+ ways to make savings Get help with the cost of living - MoneySavingExpert
- MoneyHelper's cost-of-living campaign
Mental health charities have reported a rise in demand for their services from people who say they are struggling to cope with the hike in the cost of living.