Living on a budget


When you get your student loan, don't think you're loaded! While it might look like a lot of money, remember how long this has got to last you and what it needs to cover.

Don't go on a big spending spree at the start of term! Use the Budget Planner to set yourself a monthly budget and stick to it. Before making a purchase, pause for thought. Try waiting for a few days as it gives you time to compare prices elsewhere, come up with an alternative or even to decide that you do not need or want it.

Joining our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages will offer you discounts, money saving tips, competitions and announce events across campus.


Eating on a budget

Plan meals for the week ahead and buy food accordingly. Always use a shopping list so that you are not tempted to buy unnecessary items. Try to buy supermarket own brands as they are much cheaper than the more well known brands.

Look out for special offers, but do not buy things that you'll never eat just because it's cheap. Watch the sell by dates as you shop. You do not want to throw away food which you bought cheaply but cannot use in time. When you go to the supermarket, check out the reduced item shelves (usually at the end of an aisle) to see if there is anything you could use.

Learn how to cook! Get a student cookbook which will have numerous nutritional but low cost recipes. A useful website to help budgeting for food is Student Recipes. It's got everything from learning how to boil an egg to finding inspirational vegetarian recipe ideas.


Socialising on a budget

It's worth investing in a NUS TOTUM Card so you can take advantage of discounts, which lots of shops and restaurants offer to students. On average, students save over £500 a year by using their TOTUM Card. 

Some useful money saving apps available to students are:

Going to the cinema with a few friends can be an expensive outing. Take a look at Save the Student! for lots of ways to save money. You may also find the following websites useful:

Amazon Prime offer a membership discount to students which can save you money, especially when buying books and other equipment relevant to your course. You can also watch movies, TV shows, read books and listen to music! 

If you are travelling to university or just for leisure, and are aged between 16 and 25 or a mature student the 16-25 Railcard is just for you. Some students may be eligible for a 30% discount on weekly and monthly Travelcards and bus passes by buying a special Student Oyster Photocard for £25.00. 


The MSE's Academy of Money is provided by the Open University and Money Saving Expert. You may find this free course useful to help you master your finances.


For more information, feel free to contact Financial Wellbeing who also offer 1 to 1 budgeting sessions.