Budgeting

Whether you're a new student or returning to study at Plymouth, it's important that you have planned for the cost of studying. University costs are made up of tuition fees and living costs. 

Remember, there's a range of available support including bursaries and scholarships, help with getting a part-time job and some helpful advice on managing your money.

The Student Funding Team is available to help with financial planning, making applications for support and assisting those who find themselves in unexpected hardship.

Budgeting

It’s important to work out your student budget before you start your studies, so that you have an idea of how much money is available for you to live on. Use our living costs guide to get an idea of how much you are likely to need while studying. Once you arrive in Plymouth, update your budget with the actual amounts that you receive and spend. It will usually take a couple of months to settle in to a spending routine, so you’ll need to be careful – especially during those exciting first few weeks.

To budget effectively:

  • Work out how much money you’ll receive from loans, grants and any other funding sources such as the National Scholarship Programme
  • Add in any savings you may have, money from parents or guardians and any income from part-time work. 
  • Work out what your essential spending will be (rent, bills etc). 
  • Whatever's left is what you will have to spend on other things such as clothes and social activities.

Try to work out a weekly or monthly budget, and stick to it – good online budget calculators to look at are:

Making your budget go further

  • Remember that any grant or loan you receive is meant to last you until the beginning of the next term – just over three months usually.
  • Use online banking to help you keep track of your spending and income – this way you’ll never be caught short at the cash machine.
  • Use your free University email account to communicate with family and friends back home rather than having lengthy phone conversations.
  • Shop for food with friends and cook meals in groups – buying in bulk can save you money. 
  • Use your NUS card to get discounts at cinemas, shops and some restaurants. 
  • Use discount codes and vouchers if you’re eating out with friends.
  • If you become a little tight for cash, ask for a small increase on your free overdraft facility as opposed to signing up for credit cards.
  • Buy pre-owned textbooks from your fellow students – they’re usually cheaper than if you were to buy them from a bookshop. 
  • Get a part-time or weekend job – explore our student jobs service for ideas and vacancies.