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Student tips on how to budget during the cost of living crisis

As a student, the only worries you should be having are what time you need to set your alarm to get a seat in the library or how much revision you can cram into the next few weeks!

So, we are here to share with you our top budgeting tips:

Calculate a weekly budget

Sticking to a budget is the most effective way to stay on top of your finances. Simply list all the money you have coming in and all the money you have going out to see what you have left for a weekly budget. It’s easier to set a weekly budget rather than a month, as it’s easier to go overboard at the start of the month, and be penniless at the end.

Use student budgeting apps to help you keep track. Banking apps like Starling Bank and Monzo group your purchases into categories, help you set budgets and even notify you when you are heading over budget!

Have a no-spend day one day a week

As the name suggests, each week set yourself a day where you spend no money at all. It is easy to spend money on non-essential small things like a coffee or lunch from a café and forget what you’ve spent, but this is how our money can quickly escape from our accounts. 

It can help you learn about any bad spending habits, help you save money and forces you to get creative – nothing to wear, why not shop your friend's wardrobe!

Standing order trick

Using this tip is a great way to only spend what you have access to, meaning you won’t overspend or stray from the weekly budget that you’ve set.

Once you’ve received your money – whether that be your student loan or other form of income - transfer it into your savings account before setting up a reoccurring payment each week to transfer your weekly budget into your normal spending account. This is simple to do with internet banking and will give you a weekly ‘payday’.

If you do need more money one week, you can still easily access your savings account to transfer more funds, but it’ll make you stop and think about what you spend.

Plan ahead

It may not be the most exciting way to live as a student, but planning for your week ahead will help ease any financial strain. Are you going out on Thursday night or heading to your friends for a takeaway? Plan your weekly budget around your upcoming plans to ensure you have enough to last the week.

Find good deals

So many companies across the UK have student deals throughout the year - you just need to keep your eyes peeled! From days out to simple discounts on your weekly shop, there is a wide range of discounts available.

Why not sign up to sites like Save the Student and receive notifications about the best deals, which include anything from a free Magnum ice cream to four months free from Amazon Music Unlimited!

Feeling overwhelmed?

Or want to learn more on how to improve your financial wellbeing?

Our IET benevolent fund, Foothold, offers a Financial Hub for all IET student members where you can access information across all areas of financial issues from budgeting, to saving, to investing in your future.

If you are also on an IET accredited course, you may be eligible for financial support from Foothold to help support you with living costs, accommodation fees or costs towards learning materials.