Keeping on top of your finances is a vital part of university life. Whether you’re living away from home for the first time, or juggling studies with family life, it’s easy to find yourself struggling with money when you’re on a tight budget.

Student finance

calendar-icon 28 September 2017

It is really important to manage your budget and plan your finances accordingly before and during your time at university. The last thing you want is to find yourself running out of funds mid-term!

We’ve put together some simple and helpful tips to help you get started.

1. Put together a budget plan. It’s important to know where your money is coming from and where it’s going to go.

There are plenty of free budget calculators online. Be honest about how much you think you’ll be spending on supplies, food, accommodation and more.

2. Discuss your finances if you feel unsure or are in financial difficulty. Get one-to-one advice from our student finance team, who can offer advice about budgeting, help identify any potential additional sources of support, as well as guide applications to our hardship fund.

Contact student finance by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or make an appointment.

3. Get cooking! It’s cheaper than eating out or buying takeaways. It’s fun and healthy too. If you live in halls or a shared property, cooking together can save you even more money. You can split money and arrange cooking days if that works for you.

4. Grab a bargain. Supermarkets often discount their products in the evening, so it may be worth saving your grocery shop for later in the day. Tooting also has a good selection of fruit and vegetables at the market, which is worth a visit.

5. Save on travel costs. Plan any journey ahead and book in advance if you can. Take advantage of:

6. Being sociable doesn’t have to be expensive. Although Tooting and London offer great nightlife, it can be pricey. The St George’s Students’ Union is a nice alternative, offering cheaper alcoholic and soft drinks, and also runs a fun programme of activities through the year, like film nights. Include the cost of socialising in your budget and don’t overspend!

You can choose to have nights in with your flatmates to save some extra cash. Some of our students have combined saving on food and socialising by taking turns to host Come Dine with Me-style evenings.

7. Don’t be shy about asking about student discounts. Whether it’s food, drinks, shows or clothes, you won’t know unless you ask.

Discount websites such as NUS Extra and Student Beans offer deals on days and nights out, so it’s worth keeping an eye on such websites.

8. Have a careful think about which course materials you really need to buy. Have a look for second-hand books that are going at a good price, as past students are happy to sell theirs once they’re done with them.

It’s also worth heading to the library to find out which materials are stocked there, saving you from buying those particular volumes.

9. Part-time work can help in adding to your monthly income, but be sure that it doesn’t become a priority over your studies.

If you’d rather focus on your studies during term time, you can instead look for a job for during your holiday period, allowing you to replenish your accounts before you come back to university. Try and put aside a small amount each month so that you have some savings.