Money can be a big worry for a lot of students. While we are unable to offer specific financial advice, we can try to point you in the right direction. If you get loans and funding at the start of each term it can seem like a lot of money. But making it last across the year can be hard, especially with all the added costs like books and social events to think about.
Getting comfortable with planning and sticking to a precise budget will make your University life a lot easier.
Start by adding up all your incoming money from student loans, parents/guardians, jobs etc and then deduct all your essential outgoing money for tuition fees, rent, bills, food etc. The total you’re left with is what you have budgeted for socialising and buying non-essential things you want - like your fancy dress outfit for the Headingley Mile! If you’re on a budget remember that being sociable doesn’t have to be expensive, think nights in with housemates, free events at the Union or days in the park!
Why not try a budget planner template or browse apps that may work for you.
Shop smart and save
Utilise your student discount wherever you are, whether in shops or online. If you’re living in a student house you’re automatically exempt from paying council tax and could be entitled to free medical prescriptions too so be sure to find out what else you don’t have to pay for as a student.
Something as simple as switching your utilities supplier could save you pounds each month which can be used instead for that much needed text book or new pair of trainers! Discount cards like the NUS TOTUM will guarantee you’ll get money off in most places and the 16-25 railcard will give you a third off your train fares, handy if Leeds isn’t so close to home.
You don’t have to live on baked beans
It’s not that difficult to eat well on a student budget if you plan your meals in advance and stick to your shopping list when you head to the supermarket. You can even decide a weekly menu with your housemates and save money by eating together.
Batch cooking and freezing your meals is a quick and easy trick to avoid wasting food and can be a life saver during exams when you have no time to prep but need good food to keep you going. Having stock in the freezer is also great as a back up plan for when the cupboards are bare! Check out more information in our Healthy Eating section!
If you are struggling with your finances, please don't go it alone. Whether you need a helping hand or if you just need some advice get in touch with the Student Welfare team.