Location:

See map

University Name:

See all universities

Managing your money

Course budget

Money is likely to be tight and it is important that you know how you are going to spend it, rather than just let it trickle through your fingers. It really is worth working out an income and expenditure budget for each year of the course, including any period spent overseas.

You should expect the costs to go up as you progress through your course: in the second year most students move out of university accommodation (so costs may go up); and in the final year you will need to devote more time to your studies (more fast food, less time for a part-time job).

When you work out your expenditure, be realistic about how many weeks/months it covers: will your rent be for 30, 40 or 52 weeks? Will you go home (so free food and no electricity bills) each vacation?

Look at the range of prices given in our university description and there is good information on many university websites; talk to friends and siblings already at university.

Here is a blank form to get you started. You can then add up your three or four annual budgets to get an idea of your financial position at the end of the course. Then you can decide whether you need to add to your income (get vac work, apply for an overdraft or whatever) or prune your spending.

Your course budget form

Income
(Annual is probably easiest)

Student Loan for Fees£
Savings/Cash in bank£
Maintenance Loan£
Parental Contribution (actual)£
Grant (if any)£
Any special benefits (eg DSA)£
Any other income eg bursary£
Vacation earnings (net)£
Term-time earnings (net)£
Expenditure
(Monthly is probably easiest)

Tuition Fees
£
Exam fees£
Rent£
Gas/electricity£
Telephone£
TV licence£
Insurance£
Council Tax (if any)£
Food£
Car/motorbike/bike£
Rail card/Bus pass£
Fares£
Field Courses£
Lab or other course costs£
Vacation travel home£
Books£
Stationery£
Equipment£
Clothes£
Laundry£
Leisure (booze, societies contraceptives/etc)£
Other (eg childcare)£
Interest (on eg overdraft)£

TOTAL ANNUAL INCOME£
TOTAL MONTHLY EXPENDITURE£
MULTIPLIED BY THE NUMBER OF MONTHS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING YOURSELF GIVES
TOTAL ANNUAL EXPENDITURE£
LESS TOTAL ANNUAL INCOME£
BALANCE£


back to top

Monitoring the amount you spend

To stop your expenditure getting out of control, you usually need a more detailed exercise.

Estimate your weekly outgoings and check (at least once a month) how closely your actual expenditure corresponds to your estimates. You can estimate your costs over a week, a month, a term or a calendar year – depending on how your bills come in and what you do in the vacations.

back to top

Banking

You will definitely need a student-friendly bank or building society which offers preferential terms to students, eg free banking and overdrafts. You do not get student packages automatically – you have to ask for them (and maybe open a new student account, even if you already have an account). Banks tend to offer attractive freebies to lure you in; a generous interest-free overdraft is likely to be more use to you.

Get yourself a bank account before you start your course, so the money for you to live on can be paid into it (and you will have loads else to do once you get to university). You don’t need to choose a bank that is represented on your university campus - the ATM machines should work whichever UK bank you use,

Take a four- or five-year view of your banking arrangements – from when you first apply for your student support, to the time you graduate with or without a job. Between those dates, you will probably face a succession of cash crises and need a bank overdraft to see you through (eg to pay a deposit in July to secure your accommodation for September).

Always keep the bank informed, especially if you know that you will face a financial crisis; most banks will try to help you through it, so long as they know what is going on.

Basic bank equipment is a cash/debit card and a monthly statement which tells you where you are. You might find a credit card useful for emergencies, but beware of the ferocious interest.

back to top

Cash to start with

However well organised you are, don’t assume that the system will be too. Make sure you have enough cash in the bank to survive for a few weeks at the beginning of term, in case your student loan has not been paid in. You need to eat as well as settle in.

back to top

Featured Universities

Canterbury Christ Church University
Canterbury Christ Church University

Location: Canterbury

Students: 19105

View Profile
 
Liverpool University

Location: Liverpool

Students: 21875

View Profile
© Student Book 2017