This fantastic University Budget guide has been created for thousands of students up and down the country, who want to manage their finances more easily.
Going to University can be an exciting and stressful period in most people’s lives. For some it’s the first time they’ve been away from home and had to think about their spending habits in more detail.
Life at University can be easier if you receive a maintenance loan, a scholarship or other means-tested funding. This helps the majority of people pay for their accommodation, supplies, clothing, food and more.
Work Out Your Uni Budget
Typically, it’s a good idea to work out your weekly and monthly budget. This will allow you to see where you’re spending the most money and if you can make any savings.
Firstly, you need to think about how much money you’re ‘earning’ as a student, for example:
- Do you receive a maintenance loan?
- Are you getting money from a grant, award or scholarship?
- Do you have a part-time job while at University?
- Is your parents or family helping you with money?
- Do you have any savings or investments?
As you can see, there’s a few different ways, in which students may be getting money while studying. You should ‘add up’ these revenue streams to get your total amount for each month.
Once you know your monthly budget limit, you can calculate other expenses, such as:
- Accommodation rent
- Bills for gas, electricity, water, phone, TV licence and so on
- Food and drink
- University supplies – such as books and equipment.
- Any travel costs – this can include general fuel use, car insurance, rail tickets, etc.
Are you OVERSPENDING while at University?
Sometimes life can be an uphill struggle, if you’re spending too much at University you need to work out where the money is going. Are you having to many nights out? Buying to many clothes? or not keeping a handle on your money? It can be an easy thing to do!
Overspending can be a typical problem for thousands of students up and down the nation, here’s some examples of what you can do:
Reduce your spending
Although obvious, you really need to work out exactly how much you’re spending and where. We’ve got a fantastic free tool which anybody can use, it’s called the Monthly Budget Planner, simply enter in the amounts and you’ll find out where you’re overspending!
Increase your income
If it’s possible, it might be a good idea to try and find a part-time job while you’re not studying. This can be in a café, clothing shop, fast-food outlet and more. Even though you may not want to, it can make a difference to your budget and look good on a CV at the same time!
Speak to a Uni Adviser
Most Universities have a student money adviser, this can typically be found in the Student Union or the Student Support Services. They are used to helping students with money issues, so don’t feel embarrassed. It’s their job to help you, if you’re finding it hard to manage your money.
Consider looking for ‘cheaper’ nights out, such as two-for-one cinema nights, free events at the Student unions, game nights, joining student societies and more!
Remember to avoid late fees at the University Library, you should also consider other money saving tips such as printing in black and white only. If you need to purchase a book, consider a second-hand version. Typically, these textbooks are just as good as newer versions.
Is borrowing an option?
This route is generally not recommended, however if you’re truly finding it difficult, you may be able to get an overdraft with your bank. Remember, you should always use interest-free overdrafts or credit cards, otherwise you’ll end up paying a lot back in interest and banking charges.
Think About Your University Travel Arrangements – Uni Money Saving Tips and Tricks
If you’re attending a University far away from your hometown, then travelling to and from can easy increase your costs. Equally so can ‘getting around’ your university city or town, particularly if there’s more than one campus.
Some people opt to run a car, which can have large costs associated with it. Others like to use rail or buses to get around. There’s no ‘solution’ which fits all, its up to each person’s unique set of circumstances. In most cases, you’ll usually live within walking distance to your University in the first year.
There’s various student travel cards and deals which may be able to reduce your costs. This can include:
- 16-25 Railcard
- Young Persons Coachcard (National Express)
- Student Oyster Photocard (London Underground)
- yLink Card (Northern Ireland)
Of course, there’s other local transport companies, which have not been mentioned on this page. In most cases, you’ll find they offer some form of discount for students in full-time education.
If you want to run your own car while at university, you’ll need to think about the following things:
- Car Payments – If you have purchased your car on finance, you’ll obviously need to keep paying the agreed amount each month while you’re studying.
- Car Insurance – Of course, you’ll also need to budget for car insurance, in some cases this may increase if your student accommodation is in a ‘high-crime’ area. After all, the chances of your motor vehicle getting damaged or stolen obviously increase.
- Road Tax – You’ll still need to pay for road tax, unless your vehicle is road tax exempt.
- Yearly MOT – If your car is over three-years-old, you’ll need to pay for an annual MOT test.
- Repair Costs – If your vehicle has any problems or requires fixing, you’ll need to find the money for these repairs and new car parts, if applicable.
- Fuel – You’ll also need to budget for general fuel use. This may take up a larger part of your budget than you realise.