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Living and learning on a budget

Managing your money doesn't have to be daunting. With some careful planning, living independently can be fun. Follow our tips to make your student finances work for you.

What is 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.

Where do I start?

Firstly, add up all of your sources of guaranteed income. Include student loans/grants, scholarships and bursaries, parental contributions and any wages you get from part-time work.

What about my expenses?

Next, add up all of your essential expenditure such as rent/mortgage, food, bills, transport, socialising, clothing and any debt repayments. Don't forget your course costs!

Deduct your expenses from your income. This will show you whether you have enough coming in to cover all of your costs.

I have a shortfall


I have a surplus

  • Look closely at your expenses. Are there any areas where you could cut back or make savings?
  • Look at ways to boost your income, such as part-time work or scholarships and bursaries? See our top 10 budgeting tips.
  • Use your money wisely. Why not put any extra money aside for something worthwhile, or for an emergency?

Do you have any tools to help me?

Our Getting Started with Budgeting worksheet will take you through a step-by-step guide on how to plan out your budget. It also gives you an exercise to do at the end of the term to help you get your money in shape for the next term.

The Warwick Budget Calculator

To help you budget, you can use the Warwick Budget Calculator. Available online or as a free app to download for Apple and Android devices, the calculator will help you to get an idea of how your budget will shape up over the year, providing a forecast of your cash flow.

If you need any advice on budgeting or student finance in general, contact the Student Funding team.