Calculate your student budget

Worried about making your student loan last for the whole term? This weekly budget spreadsheet will help you plan your spending.

There's no right or wrong way to use this spreadsheet, as everyone's circumstances will be different. Some people will populate things like electricity, gas and water bills as £0, either because they are living in halls of residence where these costs are included in the rent price, or indeed because you are living at home where your rent price will likely be £0, too.

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[00:00:03] Speaker 1 Hi there welcome to this tutorial of the Birmingham City University budget spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is designed for students going off to university or to study in higher education in the coming year or so. However, it can be used before that and also has real benefit, whilst being at university as an ongoing money management tool. There is also a handy little instructions tab just here with more information should you get stuck at all whilst using this tool. We will begin then with the income tab. This is where you can log all your planned income that you think you will have while studying at university. As mentioned, though, you can still use and are encouraged to use this tool whilst at university and update it as you go along. First of all, is your maintenance loan. This can be difficult to estimate in advance of actually receiving it, but there is a useful tab down here called maintenance loan. This shows rough estimates according to your household income and where you might be studying. There are also useful websites and of course, Student Finance England themselves, which may provide more clarity. Simply begin by populating the amount you think you will receive annually in here. For this example, let's go with six thousand pounds. Now, this column is not absolutely necessary, but it can give you a good idea of when money is coming in, the maintenance loan is paid in three instalments throughout the year. Therefore, you would put something like three times per year. Next, you have things like grants, scholarships and bursaries. It's best to leave this blank when forecasting a budget, unless you are absolutely certain that you have some income from this as it can offset your budget if you plan on receiving income, when in reality you won't have anything from this. Wages can be from a part time job that you may get whilst at university or even one that you have now and will carry on with. If this is you, you can quite happily populate your wage, which will most likely be monthly in here, writing monthly in the column next to it. For this example, we will use £100 a month. Savings are something you may or may not have or know you will have when you go off to university and are unlikely to be in the same amount each month unless you budget properly. Therefore, if you know for certain that you have savings aside, then you can pop them in here, otherwise leave this blank for now and come back to it closer to the time of going to university. For this example, let's go with 500 pounds from some holiday work. This isn't something that's paid on a recurring basis. So we can leave this column blank. Family is something that you will need to have a conversation with them about and see if they are willing to help you financially. Once you have an idea of a figure for this section, you can go right ahead and put that in here, we will have 30 pounds a month for this example. Other can be anything you might be able to think of, birthday money, premium bonds paying out, whatever it may be to consider this as a source of income, too, if you know you have other sources of income. Finally, you just need to convert all these figures into weekly amounts. Therefore, we will assume that since our spreadsheet looks at a 40 term week, you can look to divide annual amounts like the maintenance loan by 40 and monthly amounts by four for the average four weeks in a month. As you can see, the form is already pre populated in the spreadsheet have done that for you. Once you finished populating your income, this will show a total weekly income here and you can move on to your expenses. Expenses is where you have to really think about how much you can spend according to your income. There are far more areas for expenditure than income. I won't go through each one with you, so I will populate the sheet with some examples. Then we can move on to using the weekly budget planner. Now you can see a load of examples from all the different areas of expenses where they're being purchased and how frequently, again, once we have all these in place, we can move onto the tab named weekly budget. Here you will see down the second column of all the different income and expenses that are on the two other tabs, as well as the different weeks running consecutively along the top. The first thing you need to do to get underway is start by populating your starting balance for the week here. This will be the same figure in cell E9 of the income tab. All you need to do is to go back into the income tab. Copy and paste, being careful to use this icon here only to bring a cost of values and not the formulas. And this will give you your total income for the week and starting balance. Then you can go back into the expenses spreadsheet and copy all of the weekly figures here, as you did from the income. And paste these using the same icon into the weekly budget. This will give you your total expenses taken away from the total income as well as your starting balance for week number two. Sometimes your income may change through more or less work or because you spend a little more, so you should account for this here too. The income and expense sheets are more for gaining an idea of the types of income and expenses available and to give yourself a rough benchmark figure to go from. Hopefully this tutorial has given you enough information to be able to use it effectively. You should now be able to go forward budgeting your money weekly. Thank you for listening.