Finance and budgeting at university

Going to university can be daunting enough without having to worry about money, too! We’ve got you covered. We have thought of everything you need to know when it comes to money and university and compiled it into a helpful little guide. All you need to do is keep on top of things, and look forward to the day you finally start!

Before university

Student Finance

Make sure that you have sorted your student finance arrangements. Hopefully by now your application for a tuition fee loan and maintenance loan (if you even are applying for these) will be long gone. If circumstances have changed, no fuss. Simply get in touch with Student Finance England to let them know of anything that might have changed.

You can even try to work out just how much you will receive from Student Finance England if you are taking out a maintenance loan. If you know how much your student loan will be, you know how much you have to spend! Check out the student finance calculator online.


Have you ever paid rent before? Ever done the weekly food shop? How much does a four-pack of Heinz baked beans cost?

Budgeting is huge, before, during and even after university. Getting a budget in place early and forecasting your spending will make your time much easier, so you’re not scraping by at the end of each month.

We’ve even put together a helpful little budgeting calculator so that you don’t need to create one yourself.

Part-time work

If you already work at the weekends or during the holidays, that’s great! If you don’t currently have a part-time job then don’t worry. There are plenty of opportunities as a student in Birmingham to pick up some work and some spare cash. However, it is advisable that you have some work around your studies to supplement the other sources of income you have. One great example is a student ambassador. Most universities have student ambassador schemes which are zero-hour roles where you work for your university and get paid to do it!

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During university


Back to budgeting again. We really can’t emphasise just how important it is to keep on top of your money.

If you aren’t the most organised person then there are plenty of great phone apps and online resources you can use to manage your money for you, for free!

Try to categorise your money into income ( including any loans or wages from work), and outgoings. Outgoings are what you really need to focus on, as there will be so many things you have never even considered having to pay for before.

If you’re living away from home, make sure you have a couple of quid for your washing and tumble drying. That means you’ll also need detergent alongside your usual food shop. What about getting to the shop to buy that food and detergent? You’ll need to factor in travel for things like socialising, lectures and anything else.

After university

Paying back your loans

Lots of people worry about paying back their student finance loans, and there really is no reason to. Repayments only kick in the April after you graduate and only when you are earning over a certain amount each year (£27,295 to be precise!).

Even when you do begin paying your student loans back, the repayments are incredibly affordable. We’ve put together a repayment calculator for you to gain an idea of how much you are giving back at the end of each month, so have a play around and see for yourself.

Grad hints and tips

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Get ready for uni: the ultimate guide

Sign up for exclusive access to our content hub to get ready for student life. There’s budgeting hacks, life skills, video tutorials, the chance to chat with current students, podcasts, quizzes and more!