• >
  • Guides>
  • The ultimate student budget planner

The ultimate student budget planner

Being a student is fun, enriching and very expensive. On top of hefty tuition fees there are countless other costs you'll need to prepare yourself for, here's a full list of what else you'll have to pay for.
Share this guide
Two women shopping for clothes

Leaving home and having the best time of your life for three or more years comes at a price.

If you don't set yourself a budget you will soon see your savings dwindle away and your debts start to pile up.

Our checklist includes all the costs you could face during your studies, with some handy links so you can work out how much you need to budget for each.

Personal checklist

Updated 10 February 2021
£Gifts for family & friends
£Alcohol at home
£Washing & laundry costs
£Toiletries & cosmetics

Entertainment checklist

Updated 10 February 2021
£Alcohol on a night out
£Pub & nightclub entrance fees
£Eating out
£Concerts, festivals & sports events
£Music, games, & streaming
£Books & stationary
£Gym membership
£Recreational clubs

Financial checklist

Updated 10 February 2021
£Bank account
£Mobile phone
£Gadget insurance
£Car insurance
£Contents insurance
£TV licence

Transport checklist

Updated 10 February 2021
£Bus pass
£Train tickets
£Tube pass
£Car running costs
£Parking permits
£Cycling accessories

How can you afford the student life?

If you want to live the university lifestyle to its maximum you need to consider where the money is coming from to fund your nights out and your day-to-day expenses.

Here are your funding options:

Your student loan gives you large sums at the start of each semester. The trick is not to blow all the money on the first few weekends or you will be in real trouble for the remainder of the semester.

If you have relatives who can help with your finances then this can be the cheapest alternative to funding your university lifestyle as you can avoid paying any interest, and if you are lucky you may never need to pay the money back.

For more information on student budgeting read our Ultimate Student Finance Guide For Freshers.

Try a test run

Try living the life of a student a few weeks before heading off. Give yourself a realistic budget, head down to the shops and buy yourself a week's worth of food. If it comes to more than you thought, just have a few less pints at the pub until you can find cheaper groceries.

Getting a budget right first time isn't easy, so play around with what is important to you on a day-by-day basis and make sure you shop around for the best deals and compare prices in all aspects of your university life.

New bank accounts are offered all the time, so compare all of the best options to make sure you get the right one for you.

About Dom James

View Dom James's full biography here or visit the money.co.uk press centre for our latest news.