Essential Tips for Managing a Student Budget

How to budget at University

It can be said that your student years are some of the best times of your life. So, starting university for the first time can be an exciting – and anxious – experience. Living away from home for the first time can be nerve-wracking and becoming independent means being in-charge of your finances as you study.

Here’s a handy guide on how to successfully keep on top of your finances while you study.

Student Budgeting

We’re all aware of some drastic situations when it comes to student living. Some including, students eating tins of beans or pot noodles for two weeks because they’ve run out of money after paying the rent. But this doesn’t have to be the case… Having a student budget can assist your in keeping on top of the essential costs. As well as having some left over for those night outs with friends too!

1. Working out your income

Student Budgeting | budgeting costs to save money

The very first thing you should be doing is figuring out your income. So, add up all the income you receive while at university. Some factors could be:

    • Your short term loans
    • Extra money from maintenance grants or bursaries
    • Salary from a part-time job
    • Money from your parents or “the bank of Mum and Dad”
    • Any savings you have

2. Overestimate your outgoings

Student Budgeting | food shopping at the supermarket

Make a realistic list of all of your potential outgoings, as living away from home will make you realise how much you really spend on a day to day basis. However, be sure to work out your essential expenses first before anything else. These could include:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Utility Bills (insurance, gas, electricity, water, broadband, TV Licence, mobile phone)
  • Transport (bus, train, fuel, car insurance)
  • Course Materials (textbooks, specialist equipment)

Try to make these a priority as if not, these could make your university life very tricky. Whatever you have left is your disposable income, you can spend on anything else you have going on. Such as, nights out, hobbies, clothes, holidays, hair and beauty, meeting up with friends, and gym memberships.

3. Try reducing your outgoings

Student Budgeting | student studying at desk

A top tip that we can not stress enough, is to try and reduce the amount spent on your outgoings. There are plenty of sneaky little tips for how to achieve this and here are some ideas to think about:

  • Food shopping from the ‘reduced aisle’ at your local supermarket
  • Preparing a packed lunch rather than eating out
  • Looking out for student discounts from online websites
  • Discovering low-cost ways of booking a holiday

Borrowing or saving money?

Whilst at university, there are many different borrowing options for students, including personal loans. Which can be incredibly beneficial for young people. These loans offer a quick and convenient way to get a significant amount of money fast. If you are a student in university and need money for some sort of emergency expense that has come up, this is one of the best borrowing options you have.

For more information about short term loans for students, click here.


A student budget while you’re at university doesn’t have to be difficult. After all, university isn’t just about getting a degree! If you follow these tips, you should be in a good financial position in no time.