Starting university is an exciting time, but it also comes with new responsibilities—one of the most important being managing your finances. Balancing your budget while juggling studies and social activities can be challenging, but with a bit of planning and smart decision-making, it’s entirely achievable!

At Collegiate UK, we understand the financial pressures that come with student life. That’s why we’ve teamed up with our partner, UniKitOut, to provide you with some practical tips on how to manage your finances throughout your student journey.

1. Create a Budget

The first step to managing your finances as a student is creating a budget. Start by listing all your sources of income, such as student loans, scholarships, part-time jobs, and any financial support from family. Next, list your essential expenses, including rent, utilities, food, transportation, and study materials. Don’t forget to allocate some funds for social activities and personal expenses too.

A great tip is to use budgeting apps like Money Hub or Monzo to track your spending and stay within your limits. These tools can help you identify areas where you might be overspending and adjust your budget accordingly.

2. Choose All-Inclusive Accommodation

One way to simplify your finances is by choosing all-inclusive accommodation. At Collegiate UK, our all-inclusive rent packages cover everything from your room and utilities to Wi-Fi and on-site facilities like gyms, social spaces and in house cinema. This means you won’t have to worry about unexpected bills popping up throughout the term. When your student finance comes in each term, you can pay your rent and have peace of mind knowing that your housing costs are covered.

3. Take Advantage of Student Discounts

As a student, you’re entitled to a wide range of discounts. Many shops, restaurants, and online retailers offer student discounts, so always carry your student ID with you and look out for deals. Websites like UNiDAYS and Student Beans provide access to exclusive discounts on everything from clothing and electronics to travel and entertainment. It’s a great money saver for students!

4. Plan Your Meals and Shop Smart

Food is one of the most significant expenses for students, but you can reduce your costs by planning your meals and shopping smart. Make a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Buy in bulk for non-perishable items and take advantage of supermarket deals. Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out, and it can be healthier too.

We actually have a blog on The definitive guide to easy student meals to get you started!

5. Use Public Transport and Student Travel Cards

Transportation can also eat into your budget, especially if your university is outside of the city. Instead of relying on taxis or driving, use public transport. Many cities offer student travel cards that provide significant discounts on bus, train, and tram fares. For instance, the 16-25 Railcard in the UK offers up to a third off rail travel, making it a valuable investment if you frequently travel by train.

6. Be Mindful of Subscriptions

Subscriptions can add up quickly and strain your budget. Review your monthly subscriptions for services like streaming platforms, gym memberships, and magazines. Cancel any that you don’t use regularly. Consider sharing subscriptions with housemates or friends to split the costs.

7. Save on Study Materials

Textbooks and study materials can be costly, but there are ways to save. Look for second-hand books online or in campus bookstores. Many universities also have library copies of required textbooks. Digital versions can also be cheaper than physical copies, so explore all your options before making a purchase.

8. Move-In Packages with UniKitOut

Setting up your new home can be expensive, but our partner UniKitOut offers convenient and affordable moving-in packages. You can get everything you need, from bedding bundles to kitchen essentials, in one place. This not only saves you money but also makes the moving process hassle-free. Visit UniKitOut to explore their range of packages and find the perfect fit for your new student home.

9. Seek Financial Advice

If you’re struggling with your finances, don’t hesitate to seek help. Most universities offer financial advice services to assist students with budgeting and managing debt. At Collegiate UK, our accommodation teams are also here to support you and can direct you to helpful resources.

Managing your finances as a student doesn’t have to be overwhelming. By following these tips and taking advantage of the support and resources available, you can enjoy your university experience without financial stress!

What’s Next?

If your A-level results are not what you expected it does not mean you should stop there. New opportunities are disguised as bad endings, and this is a time to think about plan B. You may want to consider an apprenticeship, re-sitting exams or taking a gap year to travel. Just remember that there are plenty of routes to success!

So, You’ve Secured Your Place – Congrats!

Now comes the exciting chaos of preparing for university. First things first is to think about what student accommodation you would like to stay in. There is a lot of accommodation available out there; you may want to go for the accommodation your university provides, find a shared house with other students, or go for private student accommodation.

Why not take a look at what we offer at Collegiate UK?

At Collegiate UK, we are a leading provider of student accommodation with 20 locations and counting. We do our best to help our students live life to the full, offering incredible facilities such as private fitness suites, club lounges and cinemas. Click here to find out more about what we do.