Budgeting as a student

Put your saving on a schedule

Start by figuring out your monthly income (from student loans and/or wages) then prioritise your essential expenses. These should include rent, utilities, travel, food and anything else you regularly spend money on.

Whatever is left over is your 'anything extra' budget for the month. However, it's smart to put part of that amount aside for longer-term saving. It could be £5 a month or £50 - every little helps.

If you use mobile banking, it's easy to fix a certain day in the calendar to transfer your money into a savings account. You might want to do this as soon as you get paid every month to make sure you aren't tempted to spend too much. Alternatively, if you don't want to manage multiple bank accounts, a regular old piggy bank will do the same thing!

Set goals for yourself

Sometimes, circumstances change and an unforeseen big expense can take a chunk out of your savings. While you can't predict the future, you can plan for it by aiming to always have a certain amount of money put aside for emergencies.

It doesn't need to be huge, just enough that something like a flat tire or a visit to the dentist won't wipe out your account.

Similarly, when you know you'll be spending more than usual one month, incorporate that into your budget ahead of time. For example, in the months leading up to a holiday or event, put a little more aside in your savings than normal so you have spending money ready to go!

Our student said...

Going out every night will have consequences on your physical and mental health, as well as your bank account - sometimes a night in is essential!

Charlie

4th Year

Shop at a discount

Student discounts are widely available and a life-saver for shopping on a budget. Your student ID is a ticket to getting money off your favourite brands in-store - just remember to ask for a discount at the till!

Shopping online is often the best way to hunt around for a bargain. If you sign up to third-party services like UNiDAYS and Student Beans, you'll get access to discount codes for clothing, tech, beauty, homeware, and even your Friday night pizza.

If you're doing the weekly supermarket run and can't use your student card, consider buying off-brand to pay less for certain things on your list.

Upskill to cut bills

Finding a new hobby or picking up something new won't only make your spare time productive but could cut down your spending too.

Learning to cook good food will make you less reliant on takeout. Taking up cycling will help reduce your travel costs and could be an alternative to a gym membership. If you know how to sew and repair clothes, you may be less tempted to buy new items.

Make choices for what works for you. Maybe there's something you pay for now that you've already thought "I could do that myself!". Try swapping out one expensive habit for a DIY alternative and decide if it's worth it.

Financial Support at Edinburgh Napier

Our students have access to a range of loans, grants, bursaries and scholarships to help support their learning at University. Visit our Fees and finance pages to determine your eligibility for things like living costs grants, young student bursaries and childcare funds.