How To...


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It’s important that you understand the hidden costs of University and take the time to budget for these when you arrive to make sure that you don’t run out of money and quickly eat through your student loan!

half of you worry about money on a daily basis, dont fall into the black hole (image)


Here are a few costs you should be aware of to help you budget for the first term:


1. Course expenditure including trips, books, equipment and printing costs – estimated average £10 per week

2. Travel (buses/taxis/trains) – estimated average £7 per week

Invest in a travel pass or rail card – after you’ve forked out the initial cash, one of these will save you loads of money in the long run.

3. Signing up to societies (£3-£5 on average) and sports clubs (£120-£150 on average)

4. Stash – estimated average £20

5. Laundry (£2.50 Washing Machine, £1.10 Dryer) is this just in Halls – if so what is it privately?

6. Weekly food shopping –average p/person is £25 per week. Compare price per unit when food shopping, that way you can make sure you are getting the most amount of food for the smallest price! Also check out your local supermarkets ‘Reduce to Clear’ section and freeze the food, you can find some real bargains here!  Also, avoid food shopping when you are hungr as you will end up buying more food… instead make a list for the week, so that you’re not tempted to buy anything else!

Also download our free Recipe Guides to help you live well for less and cook delicious meals on a budget!(link to Recipe Guides on ‘Living together page’)

7. Socialising (alcohol/nights out/eating out) - estimated average £13 per week. Try to avoid eating out too often and be aware of your weekly coffee treat…it all adds up! Making your own lunch and bringing it on to campus is really cost effective.

8. NUS extra Card (for student discounts!) – £12

Make the most of your NUS extra card and other student discounts – Save the Student have loads of deals listed just for students.

9. Joe’s Plus discount card - £1

10. Deposit for next year’s house – normally equivalent to one month’s rent

*Prices stated above subject to change

11. Be savvy with what you spend your money on - make sure you shop around before you buy, so you know you’re getting the best deal. Money Supermarket is a good place to start!

Withdraw your week’s money at the start of the week – that way you can track how much you’re spending across the week & stay within your budget. Budget Planner Tool (link ‘student budget worksheet’ here)

12. For those of you with access to smart phones there are a range of apps on the market to help you get better at managing your money. Here are our top 5 (Add in doc on top 5 apps)

13. Lastly, if you are feeling a bit short of cash, consider selling old text books and clothes, this will also help to de-clutter your student room! Ebay and Gumtree are useful sites.


…Energy around the home…


Living room

  • Keep blankets handy near the sofa to snuggle in!
  • Turn off appliances at the plug when not in use and at night  – things on standby still use a lot of power (average household spends £50-£90 per year on standby!)
  • Use rugs if you have hard floors... they keep a room warmer


  • Do a full load in your washing machine every time and wash with cold water/low temperatures
  • Only boil what you will use in the kettle
  • Use a microwave rather than your oven – the oven uses far more electricity than any almost any other appliance
  • If you have an Economy 7 meter, try and put your washing machine on early in the morning/late at night
  • If using the oven: cook in batches, fill all the space, keep the oven door closed, turn it off 10 minutes before the end of cooking time – it will keep its heat for that long.
  • Cut food into smaller pieces so it cooks faster and therefore uses less fuel.
  • Keep lids on pans
  • Keep your cooker clean
  • Use correct sized pans and put on correct sized rings on the hob


  • Showers use less water than baths and so use less energy to heat the water


  • Heat bedrooms less than living space

Throughout your home

  • Stop draughts! – Block up any gaps around windows/doors, use draught excluders for doors and your letterbox.
  • Close your curtains when it gets dark, and tuck them behind your radiators to keep heat in the room.
  • Use energy saving light bulbs and turn off lights every time you leave the room
  • Turn your heating down by 1 degree
  • Use radiator foil behind radiators to deflect heat back into the room
  • Bleed your radiators regularly
  • Don’t dry clothes on the radiators

Top 3 things in the home that use energy

  1. Fridge
  2. Tumble Dryer
  3. Oven

Visit Uswitch ( ) to switch your Tariff or Supplier to get a better deal!


Contact Us

Comm. Wardens - 0121 415 8968

Guild Advice - 0121 415 8965

Guild Lettings - 0121 415 8376

Student Mentors - 0121 415 8967

Global Buddies - 0121 415 8984






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