Income and expenditure

Income and expenditure

Once you've worked out your budget, you may find you have a gap between what you need to spend and the money you have coming in. To make ends meet, you'll need to work out how you can increase your income.

Make sure you’ve looked at all of the different funding options available to you. Applying for loans and grants will happen after you’ve submitted your university application through UCAS, but it’s a good idea to get a head start by thinking about the following areas as early as possible:


  • Start researching loans and grants

Make sure you know what financial support you may be entitled to. Funding will depend on your personal circumstances, your course and where you’ll live when you study. Find more information from Student Finance, Your Future.

  • Find out about bursaries and scholarships

Plymouth offers a range of bursaries, scholarships and financial support which you may be entitled to. Our information on bursaries and scholarships includes details about funding for specific groups of students such as part-time students, care leavers, students with disabilities, Partner College students and our Financial Support Fund.

  • Boost your savings

Do you have anything set aside that you could bring with you to university? If you have a part-time job before you arrive at Plymouth, try to put a little away each month to boost your income.

  • Find a part-time job

Many students work a few hours a week to boost their income and support their budget, but you need to plan this around your lectures and make sure your job doesn’t impact on your studies.

Get in touch with our student jobs service – a dedicated service which allows you to register online and receive email alerts with job vacancies that match your interests.

  • Set up the right bank account

Do you get a free overdraft with your student bank account? If you overdraw past your limit you may have to pay bank charges. You should avoid credit cards that banks offer you when you open the account, as it’s likely they’ll have high interest rates for monthly repayments. See our advice on bank accounts.

  • Ask family and friends

Ask for gifts of money and vouchers to support your social life and food bills.


Even when you've worked out your budget, it's easy to spend more than you intend. Try not to make your budget so restricted that it's difficult to stick to. Aim to have a little bit of flexibility in it. Try keeping a list of all your spending over a couple of weeks and compare this to your budget so you can identify any problems early. If you do identify a problem you may need to consider cutting optional spending such as clothes, TV rental or mobile phone bills. This may be the time to cut spending on entertainment or alcohol.

Use discount vouchers and codes when eating out and your NUS card to get discounts at cinemas, shops and some restaurants. Take full advantage of the offers you get during Freshers Weeks.

Check out this money saving advice:

What about debt?

If you do find yourself in debt, don’t panic and don’t ignore it. Look at our advice on managing debt for help with what to do and where to go for help.