Budgeting and living expenses

How to budget effectively as a student and living costs you need to consider.

Budgeting and managing your day-to-day living costs are important life skills to learn.

Getting started with this may feel overwhelming, especially if this is the first time you have been entirely responsible for managing your finances. However, there is support available.

Budgeting calculator and planner

Create your budget with our student budget calculator (Office document, 47kB).

Enter the money you have coming in and estimate your outgoings to get an idea of how much money you could have left over.

Our budgeting planner breaks down expenses into the categories that students typically spend money on.

You will have some essential costs, such as accommodation, bills, food, travel and course costs. Other costs are more flexible and include hobbies, entertainment and clothing. With a budget, you will know how much you can afford to spend on these non-essential expenses.

Living costs in Bristol

Accommodation will be one of your biggest monthly expenses. Find out the fees for different types of university halls and private rented costs and what you need to budget for including rent, council tax and bills. 

Living costs will vary depending on individual circumstances.

Private renting expenses

Budgeting tips

Save money for special occasions and unexpected costs

Save a little each month to help with special occasions, such as Christmas or birthdays, or unexpected costs like your laptop breaking.

Keep your spending money and savings in separate accounts.

Once you know how much you have to spend each week, you can transfer this money to a separate account from your savings. This will prevent you from accidentally spending the money you need for essential items.

Choose an app-based bank account for help with budgeting

Many app-based bank accounts allow you to set spending goals and categorise your spending.

Read about the best app-based banks for budgeting by Save the Student.

Use online or mobile banking

Manage your finances online to track your spending patterns and monitor your bank balance.

Always open your post

Deal with bills and statements straight away. If you miss a regular direct debit payment, this can affect your credit rating. Contact your bank or the relevant company immediately.

Money management resources and support

Money saving tips

Follow these money saving tips to cut down on costs and make the most of your money.

Advice for international students

Got a question about the cost of studying in the UK?

Contact the International Office.

Money advice drop ins

If you have a funding worry or query, join an online drop-in Monday to Friday.

No need to book, select the link of the drop-in you want to attend, and an adviser will be with you shortly.

Or you can contact us by email: money-advice@bristol.ac.uk.

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