The best budgeting tips for students

Gabrielle Martin·18 February 2024·6 min read
The best budgeting tips for students

Living away from home can be a big adjustment, especially having to manage your own finances for the first time. University is such an amazing experience, and there are definitely ways you can make incredible memories and still keep costs down.

The 4 main things you will be spending your money on at university are food, accommodation, bills and of course, lifestyle. Here are our top tips on how to budget as a student:


Cooking for yourself can seem scary, and so can the supermarket prices, but there are ways to tackle both issues! Our easiest tip for how to keep to a budget for food is to plan your meals in advance. Have you ever been to a supermarket, forgotten what you came in for and just purchased whatever you felt like and you saw on the shelves first? Don’t worry, we have ALL been there! Coming prepared ensures that you only buy what you need, reducing waste and overspending.

You may have also noticed that a lot of things aren’t sold in amounts that suit a single serving. That is why batch cooking and meal prepping can be a good idea. Picking a meal you can make a couple of portions of, that can either be kept in the fridge or freezer and reheated when needed. Another win is you will have less washing up - Perfect!


Accommodation is something you might need to think about in advance. Student housing prices vary from city to city, but there will be a variety of price options available near your university. When choosing who to live with, it is a good idea to have a chat and discover what everyone’s budget is. That way, you can find people that work with your price point and there won’t be any disagreements down the line. It is also important to think about what is important to you. Often, distance to campus makes a difference on pricing, as well as things such as number of bathrooms and size of rooms. Have a think about what your priorities are and go from there.

For more information on choosing accommodation, check out our blog here!

At Accommodation for Students, we have a variety of housing options and even a tool to filter by price to make it that little bit easier for you - check it out here!


Unfortunately bills are one of those necessary evils that we all have to deal with… However, there are some simple ways to lower your costs along the way. The easiest way to lower your bills is by being more energy efficient. This is anything from turning off the lights, to taking shorter showers. Whilst it can take a while to remember and get into a habit of this, it is the simplest way to lower the costs. For these colder months, heating can cause a real spike in cost. Because of this we have put together some tips for using less heating specifically - have a look here.

Another important step to take that could benefit your bill amounts later on is really researching your providers. There are comparison sites available or you can have a look yourself, but you may just find a better deal for yourself by digging a little deeper.


For some of you, this might be the hardest part of budgeting! And that is okay, one of the hardest things about uni can be the culture and the FOMO. But we are here to tell you that you absolutely can have a good time whilst on a budget. Here are some of our top tips:

Use every discount you can! Sign up for UNiDAYS, Student Beans, TOTUM and anything else. The discounts are normally around 10-20%, which may not seem like a lot, but it will make all the difference. A lot of independent restaurants and bars also do a student discount for look out for information on their social media and websites, or if you are feeling brave, just ask!

What is better than discounts? FREE things! It is likely that your University will host free events such as socials or classes, that can be a great way to meet new people and try something new. This is the same for non-University affiliated groups too. Search up in your city things such as ‘free events in *Insert your city here*’ or something more specific like ‘free running groups near me’. You will be amazed by what you find!

We understand that budgeting can be hard at university and can be overwhelming at times. We encourage you to look after yourself, your health and your wellbeing and do whatever you can to keep costs low and happiness high! Not only that, but these budgeting hacks will help you graduate with not just a degree but also a set of valuable financial skills that will last a lifetime.

Happy budgeting!

To find your next student home, visit our website: