How to Create the Right Budgeting Plan for You

student budgeting

Unless you’re lucky enough to go through university being financed by someone with unlimited resources then chances are you’re going to need to create some kind of budget to see you through without running out of cash.

Many students say they found managing their money harder than they expected and money worries can really distract you from your studies, so it’s important to make a budget even if it does seem like a pointless exercise.

Here are our top tips for creating the right budget plan for you:

Add up all of your income

Budgets don’t have to be complicated, just sit down with a pen, paper, and calculator. You can always put everything on a fancy spreadsheet later.

Your income should include: your student loan, any grants, bursaries etc. you’re eligible for, any money from parents or guardians, income from a part time job, any savings you’re using to pay for university.

Hopefully this figure will be high enough to make you feel positive about your financial situation!

Add up all of your outgoings

Remembering all of the things you need to pay for can be tough once you’ve gotten beyond the basics of accommodation and food, but make sure you don’t let anything slip under the radar.

Essential outgoings usually include:

  • Tuition fees (likely to be paid directly to your university by the Student Loan Company)
  • Rent
  • Household bills (gas, electricity, TV licence etc.)
  • Travel costs (bus, train, car etc.)
  • Food
  • Any existing debt repayments (credit card etc.)
  • Mobile phone bill

Other outgoings that students usually forget to include in their budget, but still have to pay for, are:

  • Course materials and books
  • Transport home and other non-daily transport
  • Entertainment/recreational activities
  • Insurance
  • Toiletries/household cleaning items
  • Clothes

Subtract your total outgoing figure from your total income figure

We hate to break it to you, but this figure might not be very high and it’s what you’re going to have as your disposable income to pay for everything non-essential.

This includes going out, clothes, toiletries and make up, expensive food/dining out, and anything else that you don’t absolutely have to pay for.

Give yourself a weekly and monthly spending limit

Most people would work their budget out to give them a monthly total of income, outgoings, and disposable income but it’s also useful to look at the figures weekly.

For example, having £100 a month to spend on food might seem like a lot, but that’s only £25 per week. If you’re a fan of Tesco Finest ready meals then that probably won’t get you very far.

Knowing how much money you can spend weekly, or even daily, can help you keep track of where your money is going and stop you over spending before the money runs out.

If you want to be particularly money savvy you could try to always stay below your weekly limit and put leftover money into savings or towards something like a big end of term night out as a treat.