You will have a specific budget to stick to as a student but with a few helpful hints and tips you can make your money go a long way.
Here is a basic example of how to calculate your expected income over the academic year. This is based on a 41-week academic year, including the Christmas and Easter vacations, for three-year undergraduate honours courses.
Calculate your total income
Based on a household income of £30,000 and a non-final year student living away from the parental home:
|8 hours of part-time work a week||£65.60 per week (£2,624 across 40 weeks term time)|
|Academic year total||£11,433|
|Budget for each week (40 weeks)||£285|
|Budget per term (3 terms)*||£3,811|
*Be aware that some terms have more weeks in than others, so if you are looking at a termly budget, check how many weeks are in that term and divide your maintenance loan payment for that term by the number of weeks, giving you an more accurate weekly income figure.
Calculate your essential spending
Try to be realistic and as accurate as possible when you think through your weekly spending figures. You can adjust your figures as the situation changes.
The below example of a basic student budget (based on figures from 2021/22) will help you to make an outline of things to include:
|Essential spending||Private renting weekly amount||Self-catering halls weekly amount|
|Accommodation||£92 (bills not included)||£135 (en-suite)|
|Utility bills including telephone||£25||£0|
|Contents insurance||£4||£0 (unless cover for specific belongings required)|
|Food and household goods||£50||£50|
|Essential clothes and laundry||£15||£15|
|Essential books and study-related costs||£10||£10|
|Total week incoming||£291||£291|
|Surplus from total weekly income minus total spending||+ £69 per week||+ £69 per week|
For information on useful spreadsheets and apps to help you budget visit the Money Saving Expert Student Budgeting Planner on the website.
Also see the Save the Student website for tips on managing, saving and making money.
Spending hints and tips
As a student you will have various things you have to spend your money on over the course of the month. Here's some further information on each one and how to keep them as cheap as possible.
Your rent will depend on your circumstances.
The amount you pay on rent will vary depending on whether you live in halls of residence or private rented accommodation in shared housing.
You'll need to budget for paying the mortgage or rent payments within your student income if you live in your own home. Living with your parents may have a weekly or monthly charge known as board.
Household utility bills are for electricity, gas and water.
Leeds Trinity halls of residence (and other 'halls' types of accommodation) include these utilities in your total accommodation fee.
If you live in a privately rented property or your own home, you will be sent bills from the utility suppliers. We would advise you to budget for at least £25 a week to pay all utility bills, including internet.
Living on campus
Leeds Trinity halls of residence will have minimal travel costs as you can walk to all your lectures. Students living in nearby areas such as Horsforth can benefit from our free shuttle bus service. It's worth considering as you may not have to bring your car when you're at the University.
You are likely to undertake a professional work placement or school-based training depending on the course you choose to study. Depending on the location of your placement you may have higher travel costs, so make sure to budget for these.
Travel cards and discounts
A 19-25 or Student Photocard is available to purchase to travel around West Yorkshire by bus and/or train at £26 a week or £96 a month, giving you unlimited travel on most routes.
Likewise, if you're looking to travel just by train, students can apply for a 16–25 railcard for £30 a year. You'll be able to apply even if you're over 25 years old.
Remember that your tuition fees don't cover resources such as reading list books, USB sticks, paper, pens, printing credit, hiring equipment and trips.
Make sure you budget for course resources. This can be hard, particularly at the start of the academic year, as books can cost a significant amount.
However, the University has a well-stocked library full of books and electronic resources, so make full use of this when you can.
A good starting point is to budget for £10 a week even if you have to spend some of this upfront.
Don't forget to bring your pots, pans and cutlery to university with you! This can save a lot of money.
Everyone will have to purchase some food and household goods. If you've never lived away from home before, you will have to think about buying toothpaste, toilet paper, bin bags and cooking oil as well as food.
As a guide, students are advised to budget £50 a week for a single person to include food and household goods.
Part-catered students in Leeds Trinity Halls of residence receive a food allowance to use in the catering facilities on campus.
Students, like everyone else, are required to have a TV Licence.
Parents, the University or friends in the house next door don't cover you. This applies even if you live in halls of residence.
Private rented properties will usually share one TV Licence between all the tenants.
A TV Licence costs £159 for the year. You can opt in to pay quarterly, monthly or fortnightly.
Make sure you check the terms and conditions when purchasing contents insurance.
For just a few pounds a week, you can insure all your favourite items such as an iPhone, laptop, TV or games console.
It's worth doing in case they are stolen or accidentally damaged so you can easily replace them.
The Money Saving Expert website has some handy hints and tips.