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Matty's top five tips on budgeting at Uni
Student blog

Get top tips and advice from fellow students, in our Cost of Living students blog.

Cost of living


Advice and support to help you manage your money

Information for students at the Cornwall Campuses

We know you may be feeling anxious about the cost of living, and managing your money at University. We have lots of information and advice to help you manage your finances, and we have support available if you’re struggling.

Tell us what you think

We realise that budgeting and cost saving can only go so far, and so you can keep getting the most out of your time with us at Exeter we’re continuing to look for more ways we can help support you through the cost of living crisis. We’re working together with all our campus partners to identify more practical help and opportunities where we can lessen the impact of rising costs on our students.

If you have ideas about ways we can do this, or suggestions for areas to explore, please let us know by giving your feedback through your Students' Union representative.

Get top tips and advice from fellow students, in our Cost of Living students blog.

Monday 20 May

Eat Well Spend Less

Looking for dinner ideas on a budget? Check out Healthy Cornwall’s Eat Well, Spend Less cooking video series. Their easy, healthy and tasty recipes are adaptable, so you can also make them suitable for vegetarian, vegan, or other diets. Or you can use up whatever is already in your cupboard to avoid unnecessary food waste.

Watch the latest video, for chicken and broccoli pasta. And if you’re feeling inspired, let us know your go to low-cost recipes or top tips by emailing

Monday 29 April

Community Pantries - Penryn and Knowledge Spa, Truro

Help yourself to an item or two from the community pantries on our Cornwall campuses.

You'll find them stocked with food essentials at:

Please be respectful and mindful that it is a resource for all students. If you need longer-term help and support, speak to your SU advice team or see the details on these pages of other resources available to help you. 

Free Soup Fridays at the SU

Every Friday from 13:00 - 15:00, you can get a free vegan soup in the SU space on the Penryn campus. Bring a bowl and spoon if you can. Keep an eye on @supresidents on Instagram for updates.

Food and drink on campus

There are plenty of low-cost options for hot food and drink for breakfast and lunch at The Stannary, on Penryn Campus.

  • Breakfast starts from £2 for beans on toast,
  • Lunch prices start from £1.90 for a plain jacket potato with salad
  • Daily £2 hot pot meals Monday to Friday.
  • Halal Hot Pot for £2.95
  • Get 2 for 1 on hot drinks in the Sustainability Café, The Coffee Stop, Stannary Kitchen and AMATA Café between 15:00 and 17:00
  • £1 tea of the week at the Sustainability Café
  • Save 20p on hot drinks when you bring a reusable cup

For the latest menus, news, events and offers, follow @foodanddrinkoncampus on Instagram.f you can. Keep an eye on @supresidents on Instagram for updates.

Monday 4 March

National Student Money Week

This week is National Student Money Week, a good time to talk about the support available to help you manage your money and keep on top of your finances.

Part-time jobs

For part-time jobs to help you gain experience and earn money whilst studying, check out Career Zone. Their online Part Time Jobs Pack includes resources and ideas to help you get paid work while you study, both on the Penryn Campus and in the surrounding area, plus information on how they can support you with your job applications. 

Visit Career Zone, (Floor 0, Exchange building at Penryn Campus) and follow them on Instagram @uoecornwallcareerzone for the latest updates. They also have details of paid internships open to our students and recent graduates.

Find more job opportunities on Handshake.

Do more for less

Don’t let money get in the way of enjoying your time at Uni. There are loads of free and low-cost activities going on across our campuses – from sports sessions and quiz nights to drop-ins with free snacks. Check out the Events on campus pages and get stuck in.

And if you're looking for things to do without spending any money, check out the student blog for Gaby's top free activities in Falmouth and Penryn.

Financial worry and your wellbeing

Worries about money can be extremely stressful and affect your wellbeing and mental health – which in turn can make managing your money even harder. According to Student Space managing your emotions around finance can be an important step in taking control of your money.

If your finances are affecting your mental wellbeing our Student Support Services can offer wellbeing support and guidance including a 24 hour helpline (click and scroll down for details). If you're at Truro campus (The Knowledge Spa) email and put Truro in the title to contact your wellbeing support officer.

The Mental Health and Money Toolkit is a resource to help you understand, manage and improve your mental and financial health. You can use it to help guide conversations with your relevant healthcare worker about your mental health and money. You can also take it with you to any money or debt advice appointments you might attend.

We have partnered with SilverCloud to enable students to access a CBT-based course dedicated to financial worry and its impact. You can access this course for free.

Talking about your money worries can make a difference. The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) has teamed up with Money Supermarket to provide some advice and tips about how to have difficult conversations about finances and how to manage your money in tough times.

You can also get free, independent and confidential advice and support on a variety of issues from your Students' Union Advice service.

Struggling for money? Could the Success for all Hardship fund help you?

We give you the lowdown on the Uni’s hardship fund and how it can help you if you’re struggling with the cost of living.

What is it? The Success for All Hardship Fund is money we have set aside to help our students who are struggling financially. It is open to all our currently registered students at all levels of study, and it doesn’t need to be paid back. If you are finding it hard to meet your essential costs or have a one-off cost which you are worried about paying, then please consider applying to the fund.What costs will the fund cover? We may be able to help with contributions to your general living costs such as food, a house deposit, medication or car costs if they’re essential for your caring responsibilities or placements. If you are a parent, or if you are caring for a family member, we can also consider an application to support with childcare costs or the additional costs you are facing.

We can also help with an unexpected one-off cost, such as an emergency return trip home to see family, or help to pay for a diagnostic assessment.

What won’t the fund cover? We can’t help with non-essential costs (for leisure or holidays), any debt or loan repayments that you have, your tuition fees or your living costs after you have completed your studies.

What information will I need to provide? When you apply we’ll ask for documents to help us understand your financial responsibilities, such as your bank statements and tenancy agreements.

We’ll use these documents to assess the level of funding you need to cover your reasonable essential costs such as food, household bills, and materials needed for your studies. If you live with your partner, rather than in a shared house we will also need some information about their situation. The amount we can award will vary per student and will depend on your circumstances.

I am struggling financially, but not sure whether I’d qualify for this fund. If you’re struggling to cover the costs of being at Uni, please speak to your SU advice service for more advice and guidance. There’s lots of support available to help make sure you get the most out of your time with us, and together we can help you find all you’re entitled to.

Take a look at our webpages for answers to more questions you may have and where you can also find the application form.

Monday 26 February

Worried about debt? Don’t sweep it under the carpet.

If you’re worried about debt, it can be tempting to ignore the problem and hope it’ll go away on its own. But waiting often makes things worse – so it’s best to get help sooner. We’re working with the UK’s leading debt advice charity, Step Change, to provide you with free, impartial and personalised support with your money and debt worries.

You can get help:

Online: use the online debt help tool to get advice now.
By phone: call 0800 138 1111. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm, and Saturdays 8am to 4pm. Please use their budget form before calling.

Monday 19 February

Money saving food hacks

1. Shop together

You can save money when you buy in bulk. Consider shopping together with your friends or housemates so you can make the most of 'Buy One Get One Free' deals, big value packs and bulk buying economies of scale.

2. Eat well, spend less

Check out the Eat Well Spend Less recipe videos from Healthy Cornwall.

Try a tasty curried lentil and sweet potato soup, or an easy chilli. Healthy Cornwall demonstrate a range of healthy, easy recipes that you can make at home for a tasty, low-cost meal, and can easily adapt to your own dietary choices. Let us know what you think of them, send us your pics and share your own low-cost recipes with us at

3. Batch Cooking

Make your shopping go further, reduce food waste and save yourself valuable time for when you don’t have time to cook or don’t feel like it. Cook one big dish then portion it into separate containers. Let it cool and store in the fridge or freezer within one to two hours of cooking. Find out how to store and reheat your meals safely.

4. Watch your use by dates

Don’t eat food after its use by date – cook it beforehand and freeze it for later use. Let it cool down, put it in an airtight container or sealed bag and pop it in the freezer within 2 hours. Label items with the contents and date (to avoid UFOs - Unidentified Frozen Objects). Save space by flat freezing: use a freezer bag instead of a container.

5. Love your leftovers

Reusing and reinventing your leftovers is a great way to make the most of your food. Cool and cover your leftovers and put them in a fridge or freezer within one to two hours. You can save them to eat at home the next day, or take them to campus – we’ve got microwaves where you can reheat your own food upstairs in The Stannary at Penryn, and in the Common Room kitchen at the Knowledge Spa, Truro.

Get advice and simple recipe ideas for your leftovers from Love Food Hate Waste.

Search #SafeFoodHacks on social media for more ways to save time and money and get more advice on the Food Standards Agency’s Students’ guide.

Whether you’re just starting out at University or are returning to your studies, we have some tips to help you keep on top of your money. 

1. Consider opening a student bank account. 

If you’re getting a maintenance loan you’ll need it to be paid into a bank account. Banks offer a range of different accounts with different benefits and incentives. Find out more about the types of account available at Money Helper or check out Money Saving Expert for their advice on choosing the best account for you.

2. Work out your budget

  • Look at your money and how long it needs to last you. If you’re receiving a maintenance loan it will come in 3 termly instalments.
  • Work out how much you need for all your essential contracted fixed costs, such as rent and your phone bill – make sure you can pay these first.
  • Next how much do you need to live and study – for food, books and transport?
  • Then look at what’s left for other things you want to do, and balance what you can afford.

The Money Helper Budget Planner may help you, or there are other free budgeting tools online. And the Students’ Union can help you with budgeting advice.

3. Make sure you’re getting all you’re entitled to

Depending on your circumstances you may be eligible for extra financial support, bursaries or benefits. For example, if you have caring responsibilities, need help to join a society, or need additional equipment to support your learning, there may be extra money available to you. Find out more in our Success For All Fund FAQs or ask your Students’ Union Advice Service. 

4. Look out for deals and savings

Lots of places offer student discounts and special deals. Check out Save The Student for the latest deals and freebies out there. Consider shopping together with your housemates so you can make the most of 'Buy One Get One Free' deals and bulk buying economies of scale.

5. Up your income

Consider a part time job if you can fit it around your studies. Career Zone advertise part time jobs that can help you gain experience and earn money while studying. Follow them on Instagram @uoecornwallcareerzone for the latest vacancies.

Save The Student has a whole host of other money making tips, from shopping on cashback sites to completing paid surveys.

6. Don’t be tempted to use loan sharks, illegal money lenders, or quick-money schemes that may not be legitimate

If you’re struggling you can apply to our Success for All Fund for help during your time at Exeter. 

7. Deal with your debt

Although it can be stressful, problems with debt only get worse if you ignore them. Talk to your creditors about your situation and try to negotiate an affordable payment plan. If you’re struggling with paying your tuition fees, or the rent on your University accommodation, talk to us. You can contact us through the Student Information Desk (SID).  You can get advice on managing your debt from your Student Union or Student Guild advice service, or from debt organisations such as Step Change or National Debtline.

7. Ask for help

If you’re worried about your money, or dealing with debt, don’t keep it to yourself. Please speak to your Students’ Union Advice Service. They can help find the right advice and support for you.