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Living and Learning on a Budget

Put simply, budgeting involves managing your income and keeping track of your expenses. A good budget will give you an accurate picture of your finances, identifying where your money is going and whether you need to make any changes so it lasts longer.

For most students, moving away to university is the first time that they've had to budget, and it can seem quite daunting. Money Helper has put together a Beginners Guide to Managing Your MoneyLink opens in a new window which is a great place to start.

In the adjacent tabs, we will take you through planning out your budget step by step. You can keep it simple with a pen and paper, or type it up in an Excel spreadsheet. You could even print out a copy of our Getting Started with BudgetingLink opens in a new window guide to help you fill in your figures.

Alternatively, you could download a budgeting spreadsheet from Money Saving Expert- Budget PlannerLink opens in a new window to help walk you through the process (you will also find links to articles about managing your money on the Money Saving Expert website).

Quick Budgeting Tips

Apply for your funding early

Be sure that your money will be paid on time and you'll know how much you have to live on.

For more information about your funding options see our webpages below:

To supplement your funding, check out our Bursaries and ScholarshipsLink opens in a new window webpage.

Shop Wisely

  1. Always shop with a list and keep a budget in mind.
  2. Use student discounts/vouchers.
  3. Buy supermarket-own brands where you can.
  4. Shop around for the best deal on a product.

See more tips on our Food and ShoppingLink opens in a new window and our Student DiscountsLink opens in a new window webpages.

Travel Cheaper

Plan ahead and buy your tickets in advance. Invest in a termly travel pass and consider a rail/bus card for extra savings:

  • Warwick and Leamington Unibus
  • National Express Coventry
  • National Express West Midlands
  • 16-25 Railcard

Cycle or walk where you can! If you need a car, consider car sharing.

Pack a snack

  1. Save money by bringing a packed lunch or check out the Warwick Retail - Food and Drink OffersLink opens in a new window webpage for discounts on campus.
  2. If you know you are likely to buy a hot drink while out, then remember to bring your own reusable cup. Some coffee shops offer a discount if you bring your own.
  3. Some food and drink outlets offer a loyalty scheme so you may want to take advantage of these to save money.

Don't forget your course costs

  1. Remember to budget for stationary, printing and other costs.
  2. Borrow books from the library or buy them second-hand.
  3. Find out more about your course costs on the central university page, Fees and Course CostsLink opens in a new window or by contacting your department directly.

Going out

If you think you'll want to attend several events at the Student's Union, then it may be cheaper to buy an annual pass than pay as you go (Warwick SU - Ticketing FAQs)Link opens in a new window.

Many museums, art galleries, cinemas and other leisure venues offer a discounted rate for students - make sure to enquire about this when purchasing tickets and remember to take proof that you are a student.

Part-time work

Boost your income and gain some valuable experience to add to your CV.

Check out the webpages below for further information:

Make sure only to take on as much work as you can handle while juggling your studies and maintaining your mental health/wellbeing.

Banking and valuables

Shop around and choose a bank account that is right for you. Try not to be influenced by the freebies on offer as the interest-free overdraft or bank charges are likely to be much more important in the long run. See more at our Keeping your moneyLink opens in a new window safe webpage.

If you are bringing valuables to university (e.g., a laptop, phone), you may want to cover these with insurance. Find out more at our Living and Course CostsLink opens in a new window webpage.