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How to budget your finances as a student

Rising cost of living
Rising cost of living

Daily living has become more expensive and it can cause extra stress. However, creating a budget can make you feel more confident in managing your finances.

It is difficult to budget your finances as a student, especially due to the rising cost of living. Daily living has become more expensive and it can cause extra stress. However, creating a budget can make you feel more confident in managing your finances. We have also put together some tips on the best ways you can save money as a student.

Create a budget
Create a budget list using either Excel, free Canva templates, use Money Helper budget planner or download Emma, a budgeting app. List your monthly income that you have coming in each month, this could include:

  • Student loans
  • Wages from job or self-employment
  • Parental contribution
  • Grants or bursaries
  • Benefits

First, think about how much money you need to put aside for essentials. This could be:

This will give you an idea of how much money you need to put aside for essential costs. Knowing how much you have left over, you can now think about how much you would like to save or spend on socialising, takeaways, or hobbies. Each month put money aside to your saving for unexpected costs, for example flat tyre, car troubles, replacing devices. Monzo has a feature where you can have a pot, where you can keep your money separate from your main balance and it can be hidden so you aren’t tempted to take money out. It’s important to budget for your essential costs first and set limits to how much you can spend monthly.

Apply for a student bank account
One perk of being a student is you can have a student bank account and track your spending using your banks’ online app. Student accounts usually offer discounts on cinema tickets, supermarket gift cards and travel cards. Some banks that offer good student accounts are – Santander, NatWest, Nationwide, HSBC and Barclays.

Tip: Make sure to check the bank offers a guaranteed overdraft with a designated amount as some banks offer ‘up to’ overdrafts. An ‘up to’ overdraft will only get the amount depending on your credit score. Also, check what their policy is on interest. You don’t want to pay interest until after you’ve graduated.

Check out your Student Discounts
There are loads of student discounts that you can sign up to that offer discounts on various things such as restaurants, gyms, online shopping, electronics, subscriptions like Amazon Prime, Spotify, Apple Music and much more. Sign up to UniDays, Student Beans and Totum.

Don’t buy – rent, borrow or buy second-hand
There are so many things you can rent, borrow or buy second hand to save yourself some money, such as textbooks. Textbooks can add up and become expensive, so have a look in your university library, check Amazon or eBay second hand or see if you can find a free online version.

There are many online marketplaces where you can buy good quality second hand clothes, trainers and accessories. Check out Vinted, Depop, Shpock or Gumtree.

Looking for furniture for your accommodation? Many places sell second hand furniture for a fraction of the cost like Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, eBay, or your local charity shop.

These are a few ways you can save money and budget as student. If you need more support with your finances reach out to your student support, student union at your university, Money Helper website or Turn2us.

Are you worried about someone?

If someone close to you (this might be a family member or friend) is gambling too much, it can affect your mental health, school work and life at home.

Read more here