We get it, budgeting sounds boring. But, unfortunately, we all have to do it!

Managing your money well is a top skill and one that you might not ever have had to put into practice before. Therefore, here we have put together a few top tips to help you ensure that all your costs are covered with enough money left to enjoy some great times with your friends.

Budgets don’t have to be boring, you just need to know what you are doing first…


Work out your incomings

Your monthly income is the amount of money you have coming into your bank each month. This amount is important as it allows you to work out what you have to play with each month.

Possible sources of income might include:


Estimate your ‘essential’ outgoings

Once you’ve established how much cash you have coming in, you need to work out how much you have going out each month. Some things like rent and tuition fees will be set amounts, however, other things you will have to estimate like groceries and your mobile phone bill.

If this is your first student budget, then speak to friends and family members to help with the estimates to ensure you are getting close to the right amounts.

Possible essential outgoings will include:


Working out your ‘non-essential’ spend allowance

Once you have all your incomings and outgoings laid out, you will be able to see a good overview of your financial status. When you subtract your outgoings from your incomings, you will be left with a figure for the month which is left over.

Depending on how high or low this figure is, it will determine the amount of non-essential spend you can make each month. This might be money to spend on…

For example, if your combined monthly income is £1000 and your essential outgoings are £550, then you know you will have £450 left over for the month. Divide this by the number of weeks in that month and you will get your weekly budget amount.


Review your statements to highlight hidden costs

Very often you spend a little money on coffee here and a few lunches there, and without realising it, you eat a big chunk out of your weekly budget. Therefore, after each month has ended, check over your online bank statements and highlight the amounts you think could have been avoided.

You may realise you are spending £30 a month on take-out coffees, when you could invest in a re-useable coffee mug for around £5 and make your own hot drink at home each day – that’s already a £360 saving each year! There are sure to be lots of other things to swop out too…


Finding cheaper alternatives for things you love

If there are items on your bank statements that you are keen to remove or lower, then it doesn’t mean you always have to cut out the fun.

For example, if your gym membership is eating up half of your weekly budget, then it’s time to think about other options to get your exercise fix. You could join a local student running club (usually annual fees are around £10) or start a weekly outdoor workout group with some friends in the park. There are also so many online resources and videos now available for HIIT training, cardio and yoga, so you really don’t even need to leave your student home to work out anymore.

When it comes to eating out, again you can find ways to save here too. Recently, we published a guide of some of the best (and cheapest) places to eat in Leeds, which offer meals to fit in with a student budget.


So, you can see, budgeting doesn’t have to be confusing or stressful. Armed with the right advice and planning, you can become a super student budget expert in no time at all!