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CC_finance, 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 studyingFor example, higher bill payments, increased food costs and travel costsWe can help you to take charge of your spendingWe 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?

    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.  Changing habits can be challenging but the savings can be rewarding, the Money Saving Expert ‘Demotivator’ is a fun tool to help you cut back and save.   

    If you are not sure where to begin, have a look at the online budget tools from the Money Saving Expert website or Save the Student which includes a thorough budget planner and guide. 

  • 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 (

    Check your Broadband and mobile phone costs, using an online comparison tool, this could save you hundreds each year. Save the Student have produced a student-focused broadband guide to help you find the best deals.

  • Save Money on your food shopping

    It may not be obvious, but your food expenditure is a key area where it’s really easy to spend more than you realise. As we all have to eat it may seem an impossible task to try and take better control of that outgoing cost, however there are loads of ways in which you can not only spend smarter when it comes to food but also eat better. 

    Reduce spending on your weekly food by checking the Save the Student or Money Saving Expert shopping guides.  According to Love Food Hate Waste, the average home can save £60 per month by reducing food waste.  Find leftover food recipes here. 

  • Transport

    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. 

    Examples include: 

  • Health Costs

    If eligible, the NHS Low Income Scheme could help you to pay for prescriptions.  If you are not eligible for this and regularly pay prescription charges, a prescription prepayment certificate (PPC) could save you money.

  • Dealing with Debts

    If your debts are causing you to worry. You can access free impartial advice on how to effectively manage your debts through organisations like National Debtline, Citizens Advice or Step Change.  A debt adviser can help you check to see if there are any additional benefits that you are entitled to. They can give you information about effective ways of dealing with your debtsUse 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:

    The Money Advice Team are available to give you additional support, information and guidance.  Visit the Money and Finance pages on My.Cumbria or contact the team using the Student Enquiry Point.

  • Your Wellbeing

    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.

    What is Financial Wellbeing?

    Financial wellbeing is about feeling secure and in control of your finances, both now and in the future. It’s knowing that you can pay the bills today, can deal with the unexpected, and are on track for a healthy financial future.

    People who experience financial wellbeing are less stressed about money. This, in turn, has positive effects on their overall mental and physical health, and on their relationships.

    It’s more important now than ever to help your colleagues and community to build financial wellbeing

    Financial wellbeing isn’t about how much money you have!

    Mental Health and Wellbeing team

    The University have a Mental Health and Wellbeing team that are available to support you.  

    Need urgent help?

    Talk to us
    Samaritans works to make sure there’s always someone there for anyone who needs someone. Read more.
    Urgent support - Every Mind Matters - NHS
    Urgent support. If you are having thoughts of suicide, are harming yourself or have thought about self-harm, it's important to tell someone. These thoughts and feelings can be complex, frightening and confusing, but you do not have to struggle alone.
    Urgent and emergency care services - NHS
    Services the NHS provides if you need urgent or emergency medical help
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