A student guide to budgeting during the cost-of-living increases 

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Health Assured team

15 September 2022

66% of students are extremely worried about the increasing cost of living 

Rising energy bills, fuel costs and food prices are stretching students’ budgets to the limits. The soaring prices are inescapable in the news, and they’re starting to affect people across the nation. 

You might be worried about how these changes will impact your budgeting, or maybe you’re already feeling the effects of the cost-of-living crisis. 

Remember that you aren’t alone in this. There are plenty of others out there in your shoes, and there are changes you can make to manage your finances during this time. Below we’ve put together some tips to keep you on track. 

 

Finding another source of income 

Managing a job and studies can be a challenge. But it’s the best way to support yourself with a steady source of income during your time as a student. Even just a small amount of contracted hours can provide the extra cash you need to feel comfortable and enjoy socialising with friends. 

If you don’t already have a part-time job, a great option could be to enquire in your local town or city about any vacancies in nearby shops, cafés, bars or pubs. See what’s on offer and if anything suits your timetable; you never know until you try.

It doesn’t always need to be a part-time job. Some students prefer to try freelancing or doing online surveys to gain extra money. You might find that this suits your timetable more too. 

 

Setting money goals 

When you’re at college or university, it can be difficult to stay on track of your in and outgoings. They might change over the course of the months depending on how much you socialise, work, or pay out for unexpected costs. 

Though your finances may ebb and flow as the months go by, you can try to maintain some continuity by setting yourself money goals. These goals can be anything that helps you budget better. It could be setting yourself a budget for socialising each month or putting a small chunk of cash in your savings where possible. 

 

Don’t bottle things up 

If you are worried about paying the bills or not being able to afford rent or travel costs—don’t keep it to yourself. When left unspoken, financial worries can build up along with debt, leaving you in a worse position than you started.

Finances can be a taboo topic that you might not feel comfortable bringing up with friends. But having conversations with those closest to you can help you figure out a plan and relieve some of the difficult emotions you might be feeling.

If you don’t feel comfortable opening up to someone you know, reach out to your university or college’s wellbeing team. Most will have support advisors or counsellors in place so you can speak to someone confidentially about your worries and get feelings off your chest.

 

Scout for savings where you can 

If you’re willing to put in some extra effort, there are many savings to be had. It can be as simple as scouring out for student discount codes, switching to a better bank account, or changing your broadband provider.

Opt for own-brand products where you can and look for happy hour deals at your local bar. Every penny adds up, and while these savings might seem small, over a few months, they start to put you in a better financial position.  

 

What to do if you are in financial trouble 

If you are struggling, please reach out to your university or college advice service - they may be able to provide you with further support. Remember that you’re not alone; speaking up and making small changes is the way to overcome any issues you might be facing.

 

Health Assured are also here to support you. Get in touch with our counsellors via the app today—we're only a few clicks away. 

 

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