Money saving tips

How to cut costs as a student and make the most of your money.

Create a budget

A budget can help you prioritise your spending and avoid future financial difficulties.

Use our helpful student budget calculator (Office document, 47kB) to plan your finances.

Visit our budgeting and living expenses page for help managing your money.

Shop and save

Student discounts

Many shops offer discounts to students, so it's worth asking before you pay.

Register for a TOTUM card and always take it shopping with you.

Student discounts and deals can be found on:

Food shopping

  • Make a meal plan for the week and use this to create your shopping list. This can help you avoid making impulse purchases.
  • Sign up for supermarket loyalty cards to get cheaper member prices.
  • Buy in bulk and share essentials with your housemates.
  • Try supermarket own-brand products for the best value.

Clothes, books and more

  • Buy secondhand university books from outlets like Unidbooks.
  • Shop for secondhand clothes, furniture and anything else you might need. Check charity shops, kilo sales, local Facebook groups, Facebook marketplace and Gumtree for the best prices.
  • Arrange a clothes swap between friends or look out for clothes swap events in Bristol.
  • Get your hair cut by a trainee at a salon or at the local college.

Travel for less

Go green

Walk and cycle when you can to save money, keep fit and reduce your carbon footprint.

Learn about hiring or buying a bike.

Use public transport


Most students in University-allocated accommodation receive a free bus pass for use on the Unibus U1 service.

Discounted student bus tickets are available on the First Bus app.


Enjoy 1/3 off standard fares with a National Rail 16-25 railcard. This is also available to mature students of any age.

The best time to check for cheap trains is 12 weeks before you want to travel.


You can get discounted Megabus coach travel with a TOTUM card.

You can also buy a Young Person's Coach Card (available to full-time students of any age) for discount coach travel with National Express.

Booking your coach tickets in advance will save you money.

Save money at home

Keep energy bills down

  • Do full loads of washing every time. This will save money on energy bills or at the launderette. 
  • Wear extra layers of clothing instead of turning the heating on.
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room and don’t leave laptops and mobiles on charge.
  • Only boil as much water as you need in a kettle.

Avoid food waste

  • Love Food Hate Waste has resources to help you reduce food waste, including recipes and ideas for using leftovers. You can also find out which surprising foods can be frozen.
  • Use apps like Too Good to Go and Karma to find discounted surplus food from shops and restaurants. You can rescue food that otherwise would be wasted and get yourself a bargain.
  • Cook extra dinner to give yourself leftovers for lunch the next day. The University has microwaves on campus you can use to heat food.
  • Cook in batches and freeze in portions.
  • Freeze food that's close to its use-by date to eat another day.

Money management resources

For advice and support with managing money, explore these resources. We are not responsible for the content provided by external websites.

Funding enquiries or money worries

Money advice queries:

Call our Student Services:
+44 (0)117 428 3000

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:

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