Yellow background with the words Money Matters

Money Matters Budgeting

Being able to budget is an important part of student life and an invaluable skill to develop. Managing your finances can be challenging, especially if this is the first time you are having to budget and live on limited funds such as student loans. 

We want to provide lots of information to support you, especially considering the cost-of-living crisis, so please explore our money saving tips and advice on how to manage your money effectively.

Making Your Money Last

When approaching budgeting, it’s important to remember that your maintenance instalments need to cover the following:

Living Costs




Study Materials

Social Life

Funding For Home Students

As your student funding is paid in three instalments (in September, January and April*), it’s important to plan ahead and be realistic about your budget.

Your Maintenance Loan Entitlement letter from your Student Loans Company will break down your payment instalments, so you may use these dates to plan and set your budget in line with when your instalments are due.

*You can check specific dates with your Student Loans Company.

Funding For International Students

Your funding may be slightly different depending on your source of sponsorship, so we would suggest that you map out when you will expect to receive your funding instalments and budget around them.

For some international students that will mean that you start the year with a large sum of money which makes budgeting even more essential to ensure that money lasts you for a year.

Part-time Work

Alongside budgeting, you can also maximise your money by getting a part-time job to supplement your student income. Here at the Guild we often recruit for student staff roles, you can explore jobs with the University via Worklink and search recruitment websites for further opportunities.

Remember, any work you do needs to fit around your studies, so plan realistically how many hours you can work alongside your academic responsibilities.

Budgeting Tools

Budgeting is not only about managing your spending, but also understanding what essential costs need to be covered regularly and any extra expenses, all while factoring in money for you.

Sometimes you may have to compromise and reduce spend in some areas, whilst looking at ways to increase your income to afford additional expenses. Budgeting is all about balance.

So, making use of online budgeting tools can be beneficial to help you manage your money and anticipate any expenses. Here are a few examples of money management tools:

  • Save the Student’s student money calculator will give you an idea of what money you should be allocating to various expenses.
  • HSBC’s Budget Planner is another great option where you can employ their 50-30-20 rule to manage your money, and divide your spending into essentials, wants and savings / debt.
  • Money Helper has a budget planner and various other tools and guidance.
  • Money Lover is a simple way to manage personal finances.
  • Hyper Jar is the all-in-one money management app (This app is available only on the App Store for iPhone).
  • Register with Blackbullion, a finance platform that offers a lot of financial support to students. They also have budgeting tools that you can use!

Budgeting Tips

Here are a few tips on how to maximise your income and make your money stretch further:

Make Use Of Student Discounts

Lots of shops, restaurants and attractions offer student discounts, often reducing the full price by 10-20%. Discounts are available online and in-person, and over time these savings can really add up.

Are you looking for a birthday present on a budget? UCAS have lots of information about available discounts, or you can join Totum to enjoy lots of benefits.

Think About How You Spend Money On Food

Buying food that you can cook at home will be less expensive than ordering takeaways or going out. Supermarkets tend to offer their own non-branded foods for a similar, but less expensive alternative. Local food markets often have great deals as well.


You can consider asking your employer for a pay rise - it can't hurt and might be of benefit. Tell them why you feel that you deserve it by demonstrating your diligence, hard work, and any extra commitments you may have picked up.

Average wage

If you are working part time, please check you are not earning below the minimum wage.

Get Thrifting

Buying second hand is a great way of saving money and giving pre-loved items a new life. Explore charity shops and websites such as GumTree, Shpock, Ebay, Poshmark, Threadup to get started - there is lots of variety so shop around.

Keep Warm

Many people are worried about gas and electric bills, but one of the cheapest and most effective ways of keeping warm is by using an electric blanket, they are incredibly low cost to run and will keep you warm as winter draws on.

Sell Your Unwanted Items

Using online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace, Ebay, Vinted and Gumtree, you can give your items a new home and earn some money. Remember to always read the terms and conditions, and available information on each website before you start selling.


Setting a budget may initially feel challenging but will be extremely useful overall. This will allow you to be in control of your monthly budget, including your incomings and outgoings. You can use our budget planner to get you started.

Bank Accounts

Make sure you are using the best bank account for student rates. It is worth shopping around to see if there are any others that offer better interest rates and fee-free overdrafts.

Save On Bills

Be sure to do your research when looking at energy, broadband or insurance providers. Using comparison websites such as Save the Student, can help you to find the competitive deals.

Access Your Hardship Funds

If you are currently in financial crisis, then please consider applying for the University’s hardship Fund called the Student Support Fund. You can also apply for the Guild Hardship Fund.


Apply for scholarships and bursaries for additional financial support. Learn more about the funding options that the University offers.

Latest Student Deals