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Managing the cost of living as a student

Trying to figure out how to balance your finances between your studies and the rising cost of living? We’ve got some top tips and tricks to help you manage your money.
<p dir="ltr">As a student, managing the cost of living can be a challenge. Between living expenses, art materials, and housing, costs can quickly add up. On top of that, the cost of living has been increasing over time due to inflation, making it even more difficult to make ends meet. However, with some planning and smart financial strategies, you can stay on budget and still enjoy your uni years. Here are some tips to get you started:<br /></p>
<p>The first step is to create a budget. Figure out how much of your student loan will stretch month by month, week by week and day by day, to figure out how much you have to spend. List all your fixed expenses (eg. rent, bills, transport) then estimate how much you’ll need for variable expenses such as food or entertainment, then compare the expenses to your income and adjust your spending as needed.</p>
<p>Now you know how much your outgoings are, you can consider some areas to reduce your expenses without sacrificing your quality of life. For example, you can save money on food by cooking at home instead of eating out and choosing budget supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl instead of the more expensive supermarket brands. You can also save on transport by biking or walking instead of driving or using public transport. These small changes can really add up over time and help you stay within your budget.</p>
A blond haired student wears and bright orange Students' Union tshirt and talks to a group of four people at the annual Freshers Event

By working as a Student Ambassador, you can represent Arts University Plymouth at events and make some extra cash during your studies!

<p>Although your main focus will be your studies, you can earn extra income from a part time job. Most universities (including Arts University Plymouth!) offer Student Ambassador roles to their students, where you get to represent the university at events such as open days, careers fairs, workshops and more. Alternatively, you could get yourself a part time job that fits alongside your studies, or even sell your creative work online and at art fairs for a bit of extra cash.<br /></p>
<p>One of the perks of being a student is a student discount. Most businesses and shops offer discounts for students, usually around 10-20%. This is a great way to help budget your money and save as much as you can. Once you’re enrolled, you can sign up for <a href="https://www.myunidays.com/GB/en-GB" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">UNiDAYS</a> to find student offers online as well as get your <a href="https://www.totum.com/campaigns/nus-extra-is-totum?gclid=CjwKCAjwqIiFBhAHEiwANg9szusGZu1WCIcDmppDm0VezqY0pE2p4MeqVCvnEXHdrs2GidF2SlZh7xoCFgEQAvD_BwE" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">TOTUM</a> card, which offers student discounts used in a huge range of stores and online.</p>
<p>If you're struggling to make ends meet, consider applying for financial aid. Arts University Plymouth offers a hardship fund for students experiencing unforeseen, financial hardship. Scholarships, grants and loans are also available to students, but make sure to research all your options and understand all the terms and conditions before accepting any money.</p>
Tristan Manco, Illustration lecturer and Jake Williams, graduate, sit in a cafe chatting

Our Student Support team can help you if you're struggling with your finances

<p dir="ltr"></p> <p dir="ltr">With some smart financial strategies, it’s possible to stay on top of your finances during your studies. If you’re still struggling with money, drop our Student Support team an email at <a href="mailto:studentsupport@aup.ac.uk">studentsupport@aup.ac.uk</a> for more help and advice.</p>