Well it appears that some things just can’t be helped, this article will show you what budgeting at uni can look like. While an admittedly generic article, this is an issue every university student will encounter at some point so we thought we’d give you a few, crucial pointers.

Why is budgeting at uni so important?

Most students going to university will receive a sizable maintenance loan to help them with expenses, and while it seems like a lot, careful management of your money will see it extend even further. Let’s get onto the hacks…

Why not try using a budget calculator?

Budgeting at university
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Budgeting at uni can become stress-free with a budget calculator. There are dozens of websites and apps that allow you to calculate your budget, you can find a calculator at NatWest and even UCAS.

Focus on the essentials

This is arguably the most important hack for budgeting at uni.  While incredibly tempting, being able to defer gratification and unnecessary expenses really does help. Pay your bills first, get all the necessary learning material and then get the cool shoes.

Budgeting at university
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Nobody’s saying you need to lock yourself in your room but simple things like going to free entry clubs, cutting back on the takeaway and purchasing learning resources first can go a long way.

Dozens of clubs cater to university students with cracking deals and are sometimes even free entry. Check out our list of the best free clubs in London!

Budgeting at university
Source: Pexels

Meal Prep! 

Budgeting at university
Source: Pexels

This isn’t just for the bodybuilders, meal prepping is a perfect way to save money as a uni student. Going out to eat or ordering food every evening generally simply isn’t practical, a home-cooked meal is perfect for utilising food from your fridge and extending them for the entire week.  This is a great time to develop cooking skills and you’ll quickly see how much cheaper it is to cook something versus buying it readymade; getting creative with whatever’s in your fridge can be both therapeutic and cost-effective.

Prioritising the essentials can often mean deciding to cancel some of your subscriptions that are either too expensive or just unnecessary. Weigh it up, do you really need Amazon prime and Netflix? This is even more important to do when you’re living on a student budget with no income.

Prioritising what you actually need versus what you’d like is hard work but it has its benefits. If you want a more in – depth guide on how to live on a student budget click here!

Keep an eye out for student discounts

It may not seem immediately apparent but actively taking advantage of your student status can really help make budgeting at uni a breeze.  Make a habit of asking if a shop or restaurant has one, student deals are quite common and you’d be surprised at how much money you could save. Wok to walk and H&M are two of many restaurants and retailers that offer a discount.

Downloading apps such as UNiDAYS can help you save more money so be sure to take full advantage!


Budgeting at university
Source: Pexels

Having some income coming in makes budgeting at uni significantly less difficult. The disposable cash available after covering your usual expenses come in handy in several ways, you can save it for a rainy day or decide to treat yourself. Remember you’re not a robot and are not expected to save every bit of your money, breaking off a piece of your income for yourself is important and improves your quality of life drastically. Additionally, checking your eligibility for bursaries, scholarships and grants can go a long way.

Savings from work 

Part-time work is a great way to guarantee some extra income however make sure you aren’t working so many hours that you disrupt your education – that’s your priority.

Budgeting at uni is a hard but extremely rewarding practise. Doing so effectively will improve the quality of your experience while studying allowing you to shift your attention from paying bills or buying essentials to really enjoying your downtime with friends.

If you have any cool budgeting hacks we haven’t mentioned please let us know in the comments below!

For more handy ways to budget, make sure you download some of these great apps to help you save money.

Last Updated on March 21, 2024