Uni Talk: Budgets

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As boring as it sounds, spending a good half an hour on Excel before you head off can make all the difference in helping you to manage your money.

Whether you plan to live on £100 or £500 a month you will need go have a good idea of where your money is coming from, where it needs to go and how much.

The first step is to list all the possible things you will be spending money on such as toiletries, food, books, nights out (of course), transport ect. Look online for some sample budgets to ensure that you don’t forget anything- links below.

uni advice uni tips university college budget finance money behind the schmile

The next step is to estimate how much each of these things will cost over a certain time period ie. a week, month or term. For some things this might be quite easy such as a phone bill or gym membership as they are fixed payments; however for things such as groceries, it might be beneficial to do a ‘mock shop’ on an online supermarket for the basic necessities to help with your estimate.

Once this is done, you need to find out what your income will be, whether from a part time job, student loan or your family; and just like before, calculate this amount over a set time period. At first-especially if you are receiving a loan or grant- it may seem like you’ve struck a gold mine, but by calculating how much money you have available over short periods of time you will be able to spend much more wisely- do not splash out when that loan drops!!!

uni advice uni tips university college budget finance money behind the schmile

All that’s left is easy: put it all together! There are a range of ready made student budget templates available on Excel as well as online software and mobile apps. Remember that this is simply a guide to help you identify where you might be going overboard and in what areas you could actually save some money. When you arrive and have spent a couple weeks managing in uni alone you may have to adjust some of the numbers, but make sure you have something to work with beforehand so that you are simply tweaking and not starting afresh. For tips on cutting down on your spending check out this post.


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I hope this is helpful, good luck, Tisha x

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