Budgeting tips from a Falmouth student

02 June 2023

Three groups of Falmouth students sitting at tables at Koofi cafe
Students at Koofi cafe

One thing that’s different when you go to university is that you now must live off your own income and, at first, that might be quite hard to adapt to. Despite this, managing your money is a great way to make the most of your time at university without unnecessary financial stress.

I’ve written this blog to talk about how I handled this change and to give some tips on ways you can budget while studying at Falmouth.

Budgeting tips for students

Look at your finances

Firstly, calculate how much money you will have for each month. I think it's a good idea to always slightly overestimate how much you will spend on things like groceries and going out with friends, so that you'll have some extra income at the end of each month. 

It’s also important to check how much money you'll get from student finance. Most student loans will cover expenses such as rent, but if yours doesn’t, make sure to take that into account. Also, remember that student finance payments are made in three instalments across the academic year instead of one single payment. 

Seek out free or low-cost activities

Falmouth is a beautiful town by the sea, so there’s plenty of places to walk around and explore free of charge. There’s lots of free events for students like open mic nights, live music events, festivals, and shows. Lastly, it’s always fun just hanging out with friends at home where you can play board games, have parties or make food together.

Find a part-time job

Many of my friends and I have part-time jobs while studying. There are a lot of businesses in Falmouth who hire students and this could be an effective way to earn money and take away some of the guilt from spending money on luxuries. Another way to make some cash on the side is freelance work! As an art student, I’ve done a few commissions while at university and I think it’s a fantastic way to improve your skills in something you love while making some extra money on the side. 

Use public transport

My preferred mode of transport is the bus. All the buses from Falmouth stop at Penyrn Campus and it is only £1.50 for a day pass if you are under 19 (child ticket). There’s also a train you can take between the campuses which is about £2.10 with a railcard and £3.20 without for an open return. Please note, these are the prices I’ve encountered as of 2023 and they may change. 

Learn how to cook

When I first came to university, I had no experience of cooking for myself, but cooking at home is great for being able to eat nice food while on a budget. Going out to restaurants is a nice treat and there are some amazing ones in Falmouth, but for most students it’s not affordable to go out regularly. Plan your meals in advance, make a grocery list and it will help you to avoid impulse purchases as well as eat healthier. 

Utilise university resources

Falmouth University provides plenty of student support services that can help you save money. Take advantage of the library to borrow books rather than buying them and use university computers to access expensive software while not in class. Additionally, look into the support services available for financial help and advice if you meet any major challenges. 

University is a great environment to learn about budgeting in a supportive environment, and learning how to manage your money now will help you in later life. It can be quite hard to estimate how much you should be spending in the first few months, but after no time, you will easily get a grasp on how much you should be spending each week at uni.


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