Budgeting Whilst at University

Budgeting as a student needs careful planning, we always recommend creating a budget plan to help you manage your money.  Even if you can't keep exactly to your budget plan, it is useful to keep track of what you have coming in and going out.

When starting to put together a budget, a good place to begin is an assessment of what money you will have.


  • Most UK undergraduate (UG) students receive a lump sum of maintenance loan at the beginning of each term and may also have a weekly or monthly income from a part-time job or from parents / guardians / relatives. 
  • UK/EU Postgraduate (PG) taught students may receive a PG Masters loan in 3 instalments, one at the beginning of each term. This can be used towards the costs of tuition fees and maintenance requirements. For most PG students, the loan is not enough to fully cover both living costs and tuition fees. Students will therefore need to supplement the loan income by some further means. 
  • UK/EU Doctoral researchers without a scholarship or stipend may receive a Postgraduate (PG) Doctoral loan towards the costs of their tuition fee and living costs. For most PG students, the loan will not be enough to cover all living costs and tuition fees and it will be essential to supplement the loan income by some means. A PG doctoral loan is paid in 3 instalments each year normally for a total of 3 years. Some Doctoral researchers receive a monthly stipend for the duration of their three-year course, but if they take an optional year to write up then they face the possibility of no stipend for that period.

Supplementing your Income


Once you know your expected income figures, the next step to create your budget is to gain an idea of how much your outgoings are likely to be. Include major expenses like accommodation and tuition fees as well as day-to-day living costs throughout each term and for the duration of your course.

Do you know the cost of living in Loughborough? You can find information about living costs on our Budgeting at University page.

Creating a Budget

There are many different tools available to help you to create a budget and manage your money, including bank accounts, budgeting apps and simple spreadsheets.

  • Budgeting apps - some banks include a spending app with your account.
  • Save the Student have some recommendations for apps to help track spending and a useful budgeting spreadsheet adaptable for UK / EU / international UG & PG students
  • Use the blank spreadsheet from Save the Student to use your own figures and track cashflow through the academic year.

Setting Financial Goals both Short and Longer Term

Setting goals and getting into good habits with your money is invaluable and will help you to have a positive relationship with your money.

Online Course

You might like to join this free Open University short course about managing your money, both now and in the future. It covers quite a wide range of topics. Below is our pick of the most relevant sections for University students, but of course you can look at as many or few as you like.

  • Session 3 - Building a budget
  • Session 5 - Shared Houses and money management
  • Session 6 - Understanding Debt

How can the University Support you?

If you are worried about managing your money/need help with budgeting, you can contact the Student Advice and Support Service.

Last Updated: 2nd January 2024