How to budget for the new uni year

Louis Hugheson 20 September 2022
Coins laid out on a table

Moving away from the family home comes with many daunting prospects, but with these simple tips, you can plan a budget and manage your money.

Uni life can be expensive, so learning to budget this September is a MUST. Whether you’re saving for something big or just trying to get by, this article contains all the ins and outs of managing your money at uni.

Here are the crucial aspects to consider when budgeting as a student…

Transport

Railcards: Buying a 16-25 railcard saves you 33% on every train fare and costs just £30 for a year or £70 for three years. For regular train users, this is without a doubt one of the best investments you can make as it will save you precious money over numerous trips. For information about buying a railcard follow this link.

TrainSplit: TrainSplit is an app that helps you to save by comparing routes and fares to get the best value through split ticketing. This is when you ‘split’ your train journey into multiple tickets, instead of buying a single ticket. 

Young Persons Coach Card: Effectively the coach card is a railcard but for buses as it also saves you 33% on every journey, costing only £12.50. It's an absolute bargain if you’re based in a city.

Food and Drink

After a long day of uni, it’s unlikely that you’ll feel like doing the weekly food shop, but, by going in the evening, supermarkets tend to reduce prices on certain products as they are due to expire soon and they need to be sold ASAP. This can lead to some absolute steals on products that are often stupidly expensive.

Another way of buying foods at reduced prices from supermarkets is by purchasing them after their best before date (not to be confused with the use-by date!). Apps like Olio or ToGoodToGo can help you find these offers.

There’s nothing like a coffee from a café before you start your day. But did you know that if you’re spending £3 per day on your morning coffee, you’re spending over £1000 per year… MAKE IT YOURSELF INSTEAD and you could buy yourself a luxury treat with the money saved. 

Nights Out

After a couple of drinks, it’s easy to start tapping away with your card and spending more than you can afford. This can be avoided by setting a limit for yourself. This can be done virtually by downloading Starling, a functional and user-friendly banking app which allows you to set limits on how much you are able to spend in a day. 

This means you could set a budget for how much you spend on all nights out in the future. A much simpler way of doing this is by only taking cash with you which will remove the ability to pull your card out. 

Extra Tips

Get a Student ID card. Student cards can get you discounts at most stores in the UK. Amazon, Apple and JD Sports are just some of the companies out there that will give you significantly reduced prices with your student card.

Buy second-hand course books. Whilst course books can come with a hefty price tag if bought first-hand, there is a whole range of second-hand online stores where students are selling the coursebooks you need for just a fraction of the original retail price.

Setting spending limits can also help and there are loads of apps that can help you do this. It can be hard to stick to your budget and the limits you put in place, so don't let it get you down if you make a mistake.

Offers and Discounts can be so useful for saving money if they’re relevant to you. Here at Student Hut we have offers for you that can save up to 90% on certain products

What plans do you have to help you save money at uni? Join our panel and let us know. You'll get 1000 reward points for signing up.

Louis Hugheson 20 September 2022