Money Matters


Being at university is an exciting time but it can also be a bit daunting when it comes to the practical side of things, especially if this is your first experience of living away from home. Even if you are a more mature student, or returning to your studies and combining it with working, it can still be tough financially.

With the cost of living rising rapidly each year, it is important to manage your finances effectively. This will reduce your stress levels and allow you to focus fully on your studies, and enjoy your time as a student.

Below you will find lots of useful tips, information, and links to help you make the most of your money. Please remember that we are not responsible for the content of external websites.

Collage of 2 | Close-up of money | Woman at a cash point

Budgeting content



If you are receiving a student loan, this will be paid into your bank account in 3 instalments. With most people using their card or a payment app to just 'tap and go' it is easy to lose track of how much you are spending, and it's important to remember that money needs to last you for the whole term. If you are funding your studies by working it will be the same scenario, with your wages needing to last you the whole week or month, depending on how frequently you are paid.

Setting yourself a budget is something you should think about before term even begins. Note how much income you will have, and when, then create a list of your expected outgoings. Remember to be realistic and honest, and don't forget to include things like drinking and eating out, hobbies, and subscriptions. You may also want to include one-off costs like holidays, birthdays/Christmas, or course supplies, and save for them on a monthly basis. Also make sure to keep some money to one side for unexpected costs like car repairs or emergency travel.

Extra support content

Extra support

Extra support

Unfortunately, there may be times when you find yourself struggling financially through no fault of your own and there is additional support available to help you in those circumstances.

  • If you have no or inadequate IT equipment or internet connectivity, to help you study, you may be eligibile to apply to the Digital Support fund. This can provide equipment on a loan basis, which must be returned at the end of the academic year.
  • If you are struggling to afford food and other essentials, we've pulled together details of local Foodbanks for each of our academic partner campuses and learning centres. There is also an app, Too Good To Go, which encourages people to rescue delicious, unsold food from local businesses to save it going to waste. You can buy and collect this food for a great, significantly reduced price.
  • Throughout the academic year there are many internal and external scholarships, bursaries, and awards which you may be eligible for. Check our webpage for more details; you can filter your search by level of study, subject area, and campus, or you can click on an A-Z list.
  • If you are finding it difficult to meet the day-to-day cost of living, you may be eligible for our Discretionary Fund. You must have applied for your full entitlement of funding from SAAS and - due to the residency conditions they impose - this fund is NOT available to International students.
  • If you're concerned about managing your finances over the summer period, Student Information Scotland have a specific section on Summer Support which includes information on benefits entitlement and housing costs if you are care experienced.
  • CPAG (Child Pverty Action Group) have created a number of useful factsheets on the subject of students and benefits. You can also download their annual Benefits for Students in Scotland handbook.
Useful links and resources content

Useful links and resources

Useful links and resources

Money, budgeting and support

  • Citizens Advice Scotland - provides free, independent, confidential advice on a wide range of financial matters. They also have a Money Map section which provides sources of online support to ease the costs of daily living
  • Cost of Living Crisis - Scottish Government website providing guidance on how to manage your finances. Includes details of benefits eligibility, for those living in Scotland
  • Deals, Vouchers, and Shopping - find out the latest money-saving options, verified by the Money Saving Expert team
  • Help for Households - UK Government website providing guidance on the support available to help with the cost of living, and energy saving tips
  • Money Advice Scotland - run Financial Wellbeing Webinars and events. Vist their website to see what's on, and book a place
  • Money Helper - takes you through a beginner's guide to managing your money
  • Money Lover - an app which allows you to track your finances and manage your overall spending. Notifies you of recurring transactions before they leave your bank account
  • Money Support Scotland - provides help and support to anyone who is worried about money
  • Save the Student - the number one student money website in the UK. Contains factual advice as well as details of the latest deals, and provides free impartial advice to help students make their money go further
  • Student Checklist - 50+ money saving tips on how to stretch your student loan
  • UCAS Budget Calculator - if you don't have a smartphone, or prefer not to use an app, UCAS have an online budget calculator which provides average costs for the university where you are enrolled
  • Step Change - provide free, expert debt advice. Available 24hrs a day.


  • Student Bank Accounts - getting the right bank account is important, and many banks offer incentives and deals. Here you will find details of the top accounts

Energy, gas and electricity

  • British Gas Energy Trust - provides grants to people living in England, Scotland, or Wales who are struggling with gas or electricity debt. You don't have to be a British Gas customer to apply
  • Energy Action Scotland - national charity aiming to develop and promote effective solutions to cold, damp, expensive to heat homes

Food and recipes

  • Love Food Hate Waste - food tips and food saving recipes, to help reduce waste and your shopping bill
  • Student Recipes - details of easy, healthy recipes which won't break the bank!

Health and wellbeing

  • Cost of Living Crisis and Mental Health - tips on how to maintain your wellbeing if you're struggling financially
  • High Life Highland - being active is an important part of staying healthy. UHI have a partnership for discounted membership of this local scheme, for our students
  • Money and Mental Health - guidance from charity Mind about how to organise your finances, reduce money worries, and look after your mental health

Period products

  • MyPeriod - download the app which allows you to find free period products near you, in Scotland


Local contacts content

Local contacts

Local contacts

If you require help or have any questions regarding what specific support is available locally, you can speak to the Funding Team at the campus you are enrolled at. 

Local team contact details Dedicated webpages

UHI Argyll


UHI Inverness

Cost of Living Assistance

UHI Moray


UHI North, West and Hebrides

Cost of Living Support

UHI Orkney


UHI Perth


UHI Shetland




Sabhal Mòr Ostaig


Scottish Association for Marine Science


UHI Central (incl. Centre for History and Optometry)

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