How to Budget as a University Student


How to Budget as a University Student

Are you a student worrying about how you are going to afford living and essentials during university? Do not let this fear take over your thoughts. Thousands of students around the UK will have the same concerns as you.  

We know that being a student can be difficult at times when it comes to finances, especially during the cost-of-living crisis the country is currently going through. However, there are many ways in which you can budget your money and ensure you don’t have to go without or live a restrictive lifestyle.  

In this blog we are going to take a deeper look at budgeting, identifying the best ways for students to save money, enjoy themselves and reduce the stress of going without. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get into it! 

How you will receive financial support 

If you are worried about being left in the dark with no financial help when you start university, you shouldn’t be. As a student in the UK, you will be entitled to tuition and maintenance loans. This may be different if you are an international student (click the link here to check). This means that: 

- Your yearly tuition fees; which will be a maximum of £9,250 unless you are an international student, will be taken directly from the loan by the university so you won’t ever see that money 

- You will get maintenance loans 3 times during the academic year. The amount you get will vary depending on multiple factors; follow the link here to find out how much you may be entitled to 

- You will begin to pay the loan back in small amounts when you start earning the minimum wage required to start paying back, find out more here 

So, as you can see, you will receive support during your studies. Some students may even be entitled to grants, bursaries or scholarships! However, the maintenance loan usually comes in a large amount meaning that students can often get tempted to spend more than what they can afford. This is why budgeting is important because students only get three instalments each year that are supposed to last three to four months. 

How to budget 

To budget you need to consider the essentials such as: 

- Rent towards your accommodation – figure out how much you have to pay in rent from when you receive your current instalment up to your next instalment 

- Utility bills – your utility bills may be included in your accommodation agreement, however, if they are not, you will need to set aside money for them 

- Weekly food shops – the average weekly food shop for a student is around £25 to £40 

- Course-related costs such as books – this could vary, some months you may not need to invest in any course-related costs, especially when studying with us as we supply many useful facilities and resources for our students to use 

- Transport costs – your accommodation might be quite a distance from the campus meaning you may need to travel to the university. If this is the case, look at monthly or weekly bus/train passes to see how you can save money on transport 

- Any other responsibilities you have – majority of the time, students are paying for their own phone bills or subscriptions; so, it is important you take these into consideration as well when budgeting 

Once you have figured out how much you need to set aside for your essentials, you can see how much disposable income you have to spend on personal things such as: 

- Clothes shopping 

- A night out in the town 

- Fun activities with friends, for example, going to the cinema, a restaurant or bowling 

- Days out 

- Sports games  

- New reading books

Make money while studying 

This is a great way to have more access to doing the things you enjoy. Making your own money while studying, even if it is a small amount, will help out a tremendous deal. A few ways you can make money are: 

- Getting a part-time job 

- Selling clothes  

- Tutoring 

Having a few extra pennies to spare is always nice, especially when you are a hard-working student. You deserve to treat yourself! 

What if I still need support? 

We take pride in constantly trying to provide a #UniAsItShouldBe experience for all our students. That is why we make sure to offer the best support we can when students seek help.  

We also know that even after calculating your budget, you could still be left without enough to get through the months and also enjoy your university experience, so we’re here to help. You should never feel ashamed to reach out if you do find yourself in a difficult position. Many others will be going through the same problems as you.  

To help students we provide a Student Services and Life Lounge system that can support you, no matter your concern. Click the link to find out more about how we put students’ needs first. 

You may also be able to find support by checking out our Student Life section or our cost of living page, dedicated to many relatable problems that students may face. Never suffer in silence, always reach out for help when you need it. 

So, what are you waiting for? #UseYerLoaf and choose #UniAsItShouldBe, we’re here to help. For any further information contact us at or call us on 01204 903903. 






Related articles


Download the app for your smartphone from:

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant

Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant