We’ve compiled a few tips and ideas to help you manage your finances effectively so you can make the most of your learning experience. With some careful planning and a little shopping around for deals and discounts, budgeting needn't be a problem.
Plan your budget
It’s worth spending some time drawing up a budget so you can work out what you can and can’t afford as part of your new lifestyle. First, add up your total income for the year — e.g. tuition fee loans, maintenance grants, personal savings, and job earnings. Then subtract all your essential out-goings, such as tuition fees, rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, food and travel costs. With what's left, you can plan your other outgoings such as text books or leisure activities.
Monitor your spending
Once you’ve planned your budget, be sure to review and update it every month and check your spending against your bank and credit card statements. This will help you keep tabs on your outgoings and remain in control of your finances.
Make your money go further
From student railcards to second-hand book sales, look out for discounts and other savings to help your money go further:
- Sign up for student discounts
There are all sorts of discounts out there designed exclusively for students. For example, spend £12 on an NUS Extra Card and you’ll enjoy discounts on everything from restaurants to car insurance. Or join UNiDAYS for free and get instant access to student discounts online and in-store from leading brands and retailers.
- Loyalty and cashback schemes
Loyalty schemes at shops like Tesco, Morrisons, Boots and Sainsburys can make groceries and household goods more affordable. And sites like Quidco, Topcashback or Swagbucks let you get cash back on your shopping.
- Save money on course materials
Little savings can make a big difference. So look out for second-hand book sales or borrow course materials from the library rather than buying them new. Sometimes you can buy them at a discount through your department too.
As a student you’re eligible for big savings on rail, bus, coach and tube travel. For example, an 18+ Student Oyster Photocard costs just £10 yet gives you 30% off London travelcard costs. And a Young Person’s Coachcard, also £10, gives you a third off all UK coach fares.
Get impartial budgeting advice
Budgeting is an integral part of student life and there are many online tools that can help. MoneySavingExpert has an excellent budgeting resource that is both informative and realistic. What’s more, you can find fantastic money saving tips, and support from others in a similar situation, on their student forums.
The Money Advice Service is another great source of impartial advice and information, and features another good budget planning tool.
We’re here to help
If at any point you begin to feel overwhelmed by your financial situation, then please don't hesitate to contact our Finance Team or request the support of our Wellbeing team
. If you're unsure whether it’s necessary to seek help, this online test
will help you assess whether or not your mental health is being affected. Contact the Finance Team
You can either drop in and see the Finance Team on campus or contact them using the details below:
Phone: 020 8003 3803
Greenwich Campus firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenford Campus email@example.com