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Budgeting

When choosing a university, the cost of living there may influence your decision. Can you afford to study at that university?

Creating a student budget will help you look at all likely costs such as rent, or bills. Weigh up your expenses against the money you have coming in. If they balance, you're all set. If they don't, you'll need to make savings, or find more money.

If you don't know what costs you'll have, you'll need to estimate them to begin with. See our student budget with sample costs, below. This shows a realistic annual income and expenditure summary for a student from England, not living at home. You can see the details at the foot of this page.

You can also download an annual student budget sheet (see link below). To use it, work out the right costs for where you want to study. Our page on managing your money at university will help you consider what expenses you might have, and ways you can save money.

Learn how to monitor your finances and you'll feel more in control of your money. Then you'll be free to focus on your studies and all that university life has to offer.

Annual student budget

A sample budget for 2018 entrants

Download an Annual Student Budget Sheet >
Income £
Tuition Fee Loan 9,250 
Maintenance Loan 7,500
Term time/vacation work 3,000
Total income 19,750
Expenditure £
Tuition fee 9,250
Rent* 4,500
Electricity, gas, water 250
Mobile/internet 220
Insurance 150
Food and drink 1,500
Toiletries 260
Laundry 100
Books and course supplies 300
Clothes and shoes 600
Travel and transport 500
Going out 1,000
Home entertainment 120
Sports and leisure 200
Holidays and presents 500
Emergencies 300
Total expenses 19,750
* This is for room only, shared bathroom accommodation in university residences. For an en-suite room you can expect to pay over £5,000 per year.

In this example, we have assumed that you come from England and:

  • are studying in England (but outside London),
  • are not living at home,
  • have a tuition fee loan to cover tuition fees of £9,250,
  • receive a Maintenance Loan of £7,500.

We have not considered any bursaries or scholarships you may be eligible for.

Note, some rents for university accommodation can include bills or insurance. See our university profiles, 'living here' section.