Budgeting is about balancing the money you have coming in against the money you have going out. When calculating the money that is coming in, make sure that you are only adding up definite income – not what you hope to receive.
When calculating what you spend, be honest about what you are going to spend, otherwise any budget plan will be of little use.
When working out your student budget you must work out your student income. Your student income will show you the amount of money you have coming in.
Student loans, grants, bursaries, scholarships, part-time work, parental contributions and savings are all your student income.
Working out a budget is important because you don’t want to spend more than you have.
Use this budgeting sheet to work out how much you have left over each month and so how much you have free to spend.
Have a look at the budgeting tips below in our poster and also follow the links below for more information. You can even use the simple budgeting tool to produce your own budget:
- Budgeting Tool from the Citizens Advice Bureau
- Budgeting Information and Budget Planner from the Money Saving Expert
Check out our Advice Service Money Saving Tips for more help with budgeting:
During National Student Money Week 2014 we collected a wide variety of money saving tips from students. We’ve share some of the best below:
- Shop at the end of the day when they are discounting items (this is about 8pm in Tescos)
- Set a weekly budget, take that money out of the bank and then lock your card away (i.e. set it in ice/steel/concrete )
- Shop on a Sunday when all items are reduced.
– If your vegetables are almost spent/out of date boil them up into soup and freeze it for when you need it.
- Always carry cash and leave your card at home.
- Buy in bulk, that way you don’t spend as much.
- Separate your cash into envelopes for everything and write down what you spent in a book.
- Think about how many meals a night out is equivalent to.
- Sometimes the best question to ask yourself is ‘do I need this right now?’ You’ll be surprised at your answer.
- Buy all your meat and vegetables from the market! More for your money!
- Make enough dinner for lunch the next day.
- Don’t throw away left over food, freeze it for another meal.
- Plan meals in advance, write a weekly menu and stick to it.
- Do not go food shopping when you’re hungry.
- Write a shopping list and shop online, you are less likely to pick up extra things you don’t need.
- Don’t be a brand snob.
– Buy fresh fruit and veg from the market and not at supermarkets, lots of cheap deals and still good quality. For example at the market you can get a big pack of unwashed potatoes for really cheap, if you buy the equivalent washed potatoes at the supermarket you’ll be surprised at how much more expensive they are!
- Buy a large pack of mince (or equivalent) and split it into portions to freeze (cheaper than buying many smaller packs).
- Shop for groceries with your flatmates, split the costs of big items which are easy to share (e.g. toilet roll, washing up liquid, washing powder, pasta, tins of tomatoes etc). Plus if you cook meals together you can split and share the whole supermarket bill AND you don’t’ have to cook every night.
- Start a spreadsheet with income, outgoings and additional expenditure. It’s good to keep track of your money and it helps you keep an eye on what’s left!
- Buy colour catchers so you can do all your washing together without separating colours. You don’t have to waste money on more washes.