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Budgeting advice for starting at Uni

Written by: UPSU


We know that balancing your finances whilst at university can be challenging. However, we are here to help with any financial worries you might have!

Here at UPSU Advice, we can offer advice and support on a range of money matters, including Student Finance, access to funding, financial worries and hardship, banking issues, government benefits and consumer problems

When you get your funding at the start of each term it can seem like a lot of money, but making it last across the year can be hard, especially with all the added costs like books and social groups.

Here, we list things to add up in your budget. Then you can see if you are on track or if you need to cut down on anything. 

This Budgeting Worksheet will help you add in your own incomings and outgoings.

Add up your income:

  • your student loan
  • any grants, bursaries, sponsorships or scholarships you're eligible for
  • money from your parents or guardians
  • income from a job
  • any savings you're not saving for after your course

Then take off your essential outgoings:

  • tuition fees
  • rent for your accommodation
  • any house bills – internet, TV licence, water, gas, electric etc
  • contents insurance
  • any travel or car costs
  • credit card or debt repayments
  • your phone bill
  • food

Then whatever’s left you can spend on other things:

  • books or equipment for your course
  • household supplies and toiletries
  • music, films and social activities
  • clothes and shoes etc

Budgeting Apps:

  • Cleo – Works through Facebook and takes a read-only (so no one can ever move money in or out of your account) look at your spending to help you keep track of your finances.
  • Yolt – Allows you to track your finances and manage your overall spending. You can use categories to see how much you're spending in different areas.
  • Plum - Works through Facebook, a budgeting chat bot. 
  • Money Dashboard – Categorises your spending and displays all incoming and outgoing amounts on a dashboard chart, so you can see what you spend in different areas.
  • Pariti – Connects your bank accounts: you can view what you have coming in plus set spending goals. It updates automatically each day so you can see what you've left to spend.
  • Spending Tracker – You can choose to track your spending weekly, monthly or yearly.

Helpful links: