space
 
 

You're on the UK site
change country
You are not logged in. Click here to login
 
Student Login <
Landlord Login <
Letting Agent Login <
Find Housemates Student Guides Advertise Blogs   follow us  
AFS Pinterest AFS facebook AFS Twitter AFS LinkedIn
 
 


 

Budgeting at University: The Ultimate Guide


By Simon Thompson
 
     
By Elizabeth Whittingham

University in 2018 is not cheap.

Fees are now reaching a staggering sum of £9250 whilst the average graduate is likely to be in debt by around £40,000 by the time they leave university, mainly due to university fees and student loans.

Despite these staggering sums, it is important to recognise that you will not start paying back your university fees and student loans until you have graduated and only when you are earning over a specific amount annually. Therefore, whilst at university, your biggest expense, unless covered by family, will be your accommodation, followed by your travel and then your food.

If this all sounds a little daunting, try not to worry too much.

It’s important whilst at university to focus on the present and to try your best to set aside any thoughts of student loan repayment, and instead to focus your efforts on accurate budgeting to ensure that you get the most back from your university experience.

Here’s a handy guide to budgeting effectively at university, from tips like setting up a savings account through to how to save money on your weekly food shop, ideas for a part-time job and how to make the most out of student deals.

Accommodation

Firstly, if you are paying entirely for your accommodation, it’s always important to set this money aside so that you do not spend it on anything else during your academic term.

Your largest outgoing during university will most definitely be your accommodation- renting in the UK has become incredibly popular over the past few years meaning that rent, including rent on student ‘digs’- has increased dramatically.

Starting up a savings account is a great way to set money aside to pay for your accommodation; head into your local bank to set up a savings ISA that you can easily access online.

ISAs are great because they gather high interest, meaning that you could maybe get a bit more money back from your savings efforts. Setting up internet banking is also a great idea as you can easily move money from your ISA each month into your debit account to pay for accommodation.

Although rent is always variable and differs dramatically depending on location, setting up a savings account is a savvy, responsible and rather simple way to start budgeting and being careful with your money.

When budgeting on your accommodation, it is also important to highlight your cheapest options. Whilst university halls may be a tempting option as they are usually catered and close to university, if your budget does not allow then student house shares are always an option and are almost always a cheaper alternative.

Likewise, with additional costs, it is important to look for a property with bills included. This simply means that all your bills such as electricity, water, and internet are already factored in, saving you the stress and additional charges of setting the whole process up by yourself.

For your full guide to renting on a budget, visit the Accommodation for Student’s Site here.

Weekly Food Shop

When it comes to budgeting at university, you will find that unless proper planning is taken, expenses on food can often make a large dent in your finances.

A great way to avoid this is to meal plan each week and to set aside a fixed budget to spend on food.

The average person living on their own spends around £25 a week on food, including grabbing food on the go.

Whilst eating out can be a tempting option, the cost of just one meal could be the cost of around five days of food shopping and therefore meals out do need to be rationed in order to stick to your budget.

Make sure that you avoid larger supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s and ASDA, opting instead for supermarkets such as ALDI and Lidl to save on money.

Buy frozen fruit and veg to save on forking out much more for fresh produce, place your bread in the freezer to make it last longer and make sure to bulk out main dishes with cheap carbs such as dry pasta and rice.

Make a packed lunch every evening for the next day to save on grabbing a meal deal and always carry a reusable water bottle to save on buying water and a reusable thermos cup for hot beverages to avoid the pricey cost of takeout coffee.

It’s also a great idea to hit the supermarkets at specific times to grab the best deals, for example, supermarkets tend to reduce their produce gradually throughout the day, meaning that by 8pm, you can usually pick up food that has been reduced by a staggering 70%.

There are also plenty of apps to try out that are perfect for grabbing yourself a free meal on the go, OLIO is an app that allows people to post free food which would otherwise have been thrown out, sometimes coffee shops and companies post free food on there too so it’s always handy to keep checking!

Just by making these small changes you will definitely start to see a marked difference in your outgoings and hopefully have more money to spend on leisure activities at university!

Travel

Travel is another large expense at university and can be one that does eat away at your budget without proper planning.

If you live a bus ride away from your university, then the best way to save on travel is to purchase a student bus pass at the start of the academic year.

Although they are pricey, averaging around £250-£300, once they are paid for, they cover the whole year in travel and are usually accessible for all buses in your student city, meaning that you make the money back quickly.

Of course, travel costs vary on location, if you are in based in a city like London, then you can expect to pay an average of £66 per month for travel as you will have to access the tube, whilst cities like Manchester simply run off buses and are therefore cheaper to live in.

Whichever city you choose to live in, it is always handy to factor in travel costs alongside your accommodation and bills, you could even take a lump sum each month and place it into your ISA to make sure that you have enough.

Leisure Time

When budgeting at university, it’s always important to factor in some money for leisure activities, meaning that you can spend your hard earned free time at university well.

In terms of budgeting, it’s handy to set aside a lump sum at the start of each month to spend solely on leisure; this could be anything from meals out through to clothes, alcohol, and tickets.

Keep in mind that it’s super important to spend time with friends and family during your time at university, with day trips and holidays being brilliant for your mental health and self-care.

We think that around £1000 should be taken into account when budgeting, in terms of taking this from each installment of student loan, we are looking at around £330 spent on leisure each time.

When out and about, keep a note of everything you buy on the go, writing down the item and the cost of it will help you to keep track of your finances and will also be handy to see where you are spending the most money.

Deals and Discounts

Being a student definitely has its perks.

There are countless companies, restaurants, and establishments offering student discount for you to make the most out of.

You can pick up an NUS card for multiple student discounts at large clothing shops and you can grab yourself a railcard to save up to hundreds of pounds each year on travel expenses.

It’s also helpful to always remember to have your student card on you at all times to possibly get money off on ticket prices, from cinemas through to the theatre.

The endless amounts of student discounts available can be a little confusing at times but once you’ve got your head around it you will soon be saving heaps of money each term, meaning that you can have some great days out whilst sticking to your budget.

Part-time jobs

If despite all your budgeting, you are still struggling for money, then the best option is to get yourself a part-time job that works for you and fits nicely alongside university and your studies.

Try not to be too daunted by the idea of a part-time job and remember that you are always in control and can stop at any time if you feel that the job is overtaking your commitment to your studies.

Grabbing yourself a part-time job whilst at university can be a brilliant venture as it will look great on CV, displaying to future employers that you were capable of managing both academic and work life alongside each other.

If you would like to start the academic year with a little bit more cash in your bank account then grabbing a summer job is a great idea, from babysitting through to bar work and online tutoring, there are plenty to choose from and they can be a great source of summer income to get you feeling much more comfortable in the autumn term.

 
 
Post a reply...
 
Not yet registered - click here
 
If you already have an account log-in here:
Email address:
Password:

Forgotten your password? click here

 

Student Blog
 
Welcome to our Student blog
filled with great insight and
information from our student
ambassadors.
 
Search Blog
 
 
Search by Date
 

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

November 2017

August 2017

February 2017

January 2017

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

October 2015

September 2015

August 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

December 2011

November 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
5 Fashion Branding Blunders
 

By Jordan Darlington

Is staying on trend more important than standing against morally corrupt branding?

Our recent survey found that despite more people valuing ‘design and popularity’ over ‘brand morals’, 75% of the respondents

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/03/2019 10:44:31
Read More

     
Top 5 'Brexit-Proof' Holiday Destinations
 

By Jordan Darlington What does the future hold for the holidaymakers and travellers of post-brexit Britain? With yet another parliamentary rejection, we are no closer to finding out. All that can be said is that, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Will you be able

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 14/03/2019 12:09:17
Read More

     
Brexit and the UK Student Population
 

By Jordan Darlington 

With the Brexit deadline fast approaching, an air of uncertainty

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 27/02/2019 09:21:50
Read More

     
Is Veganism just for Vegans?
 

By Jordan Darlington

The mere mention of the word vegan is often enough to make the vast majority

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 20/02/2019 11:04:26
Read More

     
What are Private Halls and why should you live in them?
 

By Jordan Darlington 

 

When w

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 23/01/2019 12:08:25
Read More

     
When should I start looking for student accommodation?
 

By Jordan Darlington 

 

The ag

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 17/01/2019 14:47:34
Read More

     
How to Socialise and Have Fun Without Breaking the Bank
 

Student life is all about studying. At least that’s the sensible version. In reality, being a student means hard study, but also a darned good party.

That can be pretty expensive though, and if you’re a social animal then having fun with your mates isn’t

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/10/2018 11:14:50
Read More

     
The 10 Best Student Eats around Manchester
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

For students who have made the unfortunate mistake of not packing a lunch from home before heading out the door to lectures, it can be tricky to find affordable yet still delicious food on the go.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/10/2018 15:25:35
Read More

     
The most important questions to ask when you're viewing a student house
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

It’s that time of the year again, and everyone is at it: house hunting. We’re here to help you along the way.

You’ve organised a million and one viewin

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 03/10/2018 14:58:30
Read More

     
The Dos and Don’ts of Getting a Student House in October
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Although the idea of organising a student house when you’ve only just moved into student halls may seem a little alarming, for some students, the sooner the house is sorted, the better.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 02/10/2018 17:16:51
Read More

     
Check out the 8 'poshest' university halls in the UK
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

When it comes to student halls, most people think of little shoe box sized, damp, cell like rooms where students can touch each wall by spreading their arms.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 02/10/2018 15:21:35
Read More

     
Your latest list of free stuff and discounts
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

If you’ve already blown that fresher’s loan, don’t panic! We have plenty of free stuff and offers to keep you happy throughout the rest of September!

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 27/09/2018 15:31:52
Read More

     
Little changes you can make as a student to save the planet
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham.

Climate change is a hot topic at the moment, no pun intended- and whilst our scorching summer was perfect for sitting outside with a few icy Strongbow dark fruits, there was a much more sinister feel to the whole affair.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 27/09/2018 14:43:30
Read More

     
How to handle your first graduate job
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

If you’ve aced your CV, got through the interview process and have been accepted into a new graduate role, you’re probably waiting with baited breath for your first day at work to roll around to your doorstep.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 27/09/2018 10:37:41
Read More

     
1 in 4 nurses drop out before graduation
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham In a new report by the Guardian, it has been revealed that thousands of student nurses drop out of their degree courses before they have graduated, the vast majority occurring in the first year of study.

With the NHS already struggling as it

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/09/2018 16:20:08
Read More

     
Plant potting and coffee socials: over 1 in 5 students do not drink alcohol
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

According to the Independent, over 1 in 5 students are completely teetotal, with the demand for alcohol-free university events growing in popularity amongst freshers this September.

Whilst the general stereotype of students tends to be b

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/09/2018 15:56:34
Read More

     
Best Part Time Student Jobs
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Juggling a job alongside your studies can be a tricky business, especially when more and more students are resorting to time consuming jobs in order to cover expenses, with student maintenance loans now being revealed as

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/09/2018 14:21:33
Read More

     
Veganism and Student Life- Things are changing
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

According to a new report from PETA, students are now six times less likely to eat meat than their parents.

Vegetarianism, veganism and even just havin

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/09/2018 12:49:05
Read More

     
HOW TO TACKLE HOMESICKNESS
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Homesickness can be hard, and can often leave you feeling distressed, isolated, lonely and upset. However, it is completely natural and should be something that is expected from your first year at university, when the fre

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 26/09/2018 09:53:39
Read More

     
Top tips to save money in Freshers week
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

by day three you will want to incinerate 90% of your previous wardrobe

Fresher’s Week is one of the best, most exciting periods of your life. You’re in a new city surrounded by new people and are (finally!)

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 19/09/2018 13:20:17
Read More

     
Just graduated? Here’s 10 Ways to Use Social Media To Find a Job
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

bag a job through social media

Create Profiles

Whether you are new to social media or not, it is important to make sure that you have profiles in all the right places. Create profiles on job specific we

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 19/09/2018 11:18:20
Read More

     
Happy Fresher’s! All the best student discounts available right now
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Technology, homeware, food and travel

-Head over to Apple both in store and online to bag 10 per cent discount on all your purchases as a new student. Although it might not sound like a lot, it does make a difference and is well worth

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/09/2018 16:08:37
Read More

     
Here are the funniest stories from Fresher's so far
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

a round up of the best

First year is renowned for being a time to make mistakes, and boy did you guys prove this to be true. We spoke to Fresher’s across the country to find your most hilarious/cringe wo

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/09/2018 15:50:29
Read More

     
Everything that will happen in your second year of university
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

because going out takes a lot of effort

The time has come, you’re moving into your second year of university, and you’re pretty sure that you’re ready for the year ahead. However, whilst you may think yo

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/09/2018 14:50:08
Read More

     
How to Survive Fresher’s Week
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

accept your Fresher’s Flu fate

Happy Fresher’s Week! Here are some tips and tricks to surviving the madness.

-Firstly, be yourself. Although the pull to make new friends and share new experiences is strong, make sure th

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 18/09/2018 14:26:01
Read More

     
Decorating your student room: the essentials, some added extras and décor tips
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

The mattress topper, our saviour

It’s officially the start of fresher’s week and chances are you’ve either moved into your student accommodation, or you’re set to head off in the next few days. Whilst it’s p

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 13/09/2018 10:37:32
Read More

     
How can the student mental health crisis can be solved?
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Is prevention the best solution?

According to the Independent, the numbers of students arriving at university with an existing mental health condition is five times what it was ten years ago! Alongside this, there has also been a trebl

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 12/09/2018 16:32:28
Read More

     
Our list of student cupboard essentials
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

not harissa paste

With students around the country heading off to university for the first time, there are plenty of companies out there trying to cash in on the big event- from duvet sales at Sainsbury’s through to a back-to-unive

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 12/09/2018 15:46:02
Read More

     
Students are to declare mental health conditions before starting university
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

UCAS will now have a mental health option

In the wake of 95 student suicides last year alone, universities are stepping up the pace when it comes to mental health care within an educational and academic setting.

Under n

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 12/09/2018 10:48:22
Read More

     
Is this the poshest student yet?
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

12 members of staff?

If you thought Prince Harry’s room was a little bit extra, then you’ve seen nothing yet.

A fresher at the University of St Andrews is hiring twelve servants to assist her throughout everyday student

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/09/2018 16:36:33
Read More

     
Welcome To University: Meals to Cook on a Student Budget
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

no more pasta and ketchup

Here are some top tips on how to cook affordable meals, minimise on washing up and also make your food more exciting- whilst still sticking to that ‘Student Budget’. Although during Fresher’s Week, cooking

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/09/2018 15:44:38
Read More

     
Fresher's Got You Down? Try Out These Hangover Cures!
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

just loads of water

If, like most freshers, you’ve started at university and are therefore partying non-stop-you’re probably experiencing the mother of all hangovers right this minute.

After t

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/09/2018 11:13:56
Read More

     
GINGER SHOTS, AVOCADO ON TOAST AND INSTAGRAM MODELS: HOW HEALTHY ARE UK STUDENTS?
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

look at us health freaks

being healthy has never been cooler

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 11/09/2018 10:51:42
Read More

     
Increasing Numbers of Students are Buying Essays
 

It’s still legal

By Elizabeth Whittingham

Concerns are being raised over the numbers of university students who are buying pre-written essays online- with the government being forced to consider outlawing essay writing service sites in order to stop the pr

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/09/2018 12:46:16
Read More

     
How to Get Free or Relatively Cheap Food
 

Free food for all

By Elizabeth Whittingham

There is a viral sensation sweeping the web; YouTubers and celebrities are attempting to use just one pound a day for their food.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/09/2018 11:10:46
Read More

     
The Worst University Reputations in the UK
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Let’s spill the tea…

The worst on class equality

The University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University of Edinburgh

There are plenty of universities who have com

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 06/09/2018 09:52:05
Read More

     
The most random university societies on offer right now
 

Viking society anyone?

By Elizabeth Whittingham

So, you’ve got your university place! Freshers is nearly upon us all and to celebrate, here at Student Life Guide we have decided to explore some of the strangest societies on offe

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 05/09/2018 16:39:14
Read More

     
How to handle fresher's week without drinking alcohol
 

Soft drinks soft drinks soft drinks

By Elizabeth Whittingham

Although alcohol may seem like the ‘be all and end all’ when it comes to having the courage to chat to new people during Fresher’s Week, for some people, drinking alco

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 05/09/2018 16:09:06
Read More

     
Fit in these weekend getaways before university begins
 

Toy towns and chocolate box villages


By Elizabeth Whittingham

Ever wondered where the best place to holiday in the UK is?

Don’t worry, Vogue have compiled a list detailing all the best places to travel to, meaning that you don’t have to

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 05/09/2018 12:01:24
Read More

     
Starting University Soon? Here are the APPS You Will Need!
 

Stay up to date with these handy apps


By Elizabeth Whittingham

If you’re starting university and are unsure about how you are going to find the whole experience then a great idea is to down

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 05/09/2018 11:44:50
Read More

     
12 things that are draining your student finances
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

It’s a given that during your time as a student, you’re probably going to be pretty poor.

However, there are plenty of things that you can cut back on

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 05/09/2018 11:02:54
Read More

     
Everything you’ll experience in Fresher’s Week
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

With Fresher’s Week fast approaching- we thought we would run through everything you are definitely going to experience for your first seven days of university life- from the hangovers through to setting off of the fire a

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 04/09/2018 17:05:30
Read More

     
The UK is ‘missing out’ on International Students
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

According to a new study, it seems apparent that the UK is missing out massively on international student applications due to strict UK VISA regulations.

University leaders are calling for the VISA system to be changed in order to allow

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 04/09/2018 10:44:49
Read More

     
Stormzy is paying for two Black students to attend Cambridge
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

In the wake of A Level result’s day, grime artist Stormzy has unveiled his plans to pay for two Black students to head to Cambridge University for the start of the academic year.

Stormzy will pay for everything, including all tuition and

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 30/08/2018 13:20:12
Read More

     
The subjects with the highest IQs
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

It’s time to settle the debate.

Science students are smarter that Arts students. At least, that’s according to data recently released by ETS. They tested 26,000 students across every degree subject known to mank

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 30/08/2018 11:39:08
Read More

     
Silly Student Jobs: Professional Wingman
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

If you’re concerned about your student loan falling by the road side and heading down the drain in the first few months of your university experience, then chances are that you’ll probably be looking for a job pretty soon into the academic term.

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 30/08/2018 09:37:29
Read More

     
LOOK AFTER YOURSELF THIS FRESHER’S WEEK
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham
Freshers can be a bit of a whirlwind, emotionally and physically. From being horrifically ill with Fresher’s flu and still finding yourself in a club, to having random outbursts of fear and homesickness, it’s an emotional roller coaster. It can be
     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/08/2018 16:31:04
Read More

     
Top Tips for Fresher’s Week and Beyond: Everything You Need to Know
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

I know it’s hard to believe, but the summer is nearly over and Fresher’s Week is fast approaching!

Before you let that fear creep in, have a look at our ultimate guide to Fresher’s Week below to

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/08/2018 14:58:43
Read More

     
Everything You Don't Think of when Packing for University
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Packing for university, whilst exciting, can be a tricky experience! We’ve already gone through everything that you do not need for university, next, we’re going to let you know all the items that simply do not cross your mind when ma

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/08/2018 14:11:44
Read More

     
Heading to University Soon? Here's How to Live with Strangers!
 
By Elizabeth Whittingham

Starting university soon? A little worried about living with brand new people?

Try not to worry! Everyone is in the same boat at university and there is plenty to do in order to make the whole e

     
Posted by Simon Thompson on 29/08/2018 14:09:43
Read More


View more

 
 
Are you an existing landlord?
Click here to log into your account

Are you new to AFS, click here to find out more information

LinkedIn twitter YouTube Facebook

usa flag ireland flag australia flag canada flag france flag spain flag germany flag italy flag southafrica flag india flag russia flag japan flag china flag