Staying on top of your finances

If you’re moving away from home for the first time, you might find managing your loans and everyday living costs a bit challenging at first. And, if you get yourself into a tricky situation, dealing with debt can make you miserable and may well affect your studies.

Staying on top of your finances means you’ll make the most of the money you have, and really enjoy your time at university.

Managing your money

It’s easy to feel quite flush in your first couple of weeks, once you’ve got your student loan. But it’s worth thinking about ways to make your money last, because it certainly won’t be around forever.

Here are our top five tips on how to save money, or avoid spending it:

1. Don’t forget to budget – know exactly what you’ve got coming in and going out.

2. Find out what you can get for free – check out websites like Save the Student for regular student freebies.

3. Shop smart – grab a student discount card and look for discounts, both on the high street and online.

4. Save on travel – get a 16-25 rail card to save a third on rail fares and check with your local authority for travel-saver deals.

5. Steer clear of commercial finance – things like credit cards, store cards and loans tend to carry higher interest rates than student loans, usually around 20%.

There is also a huge amount of useful info for students on Martin Lewis’ Money Saving Expert website. It tells you all you’ll need to know about tuition fees and loans, as well as giving essential information on budgeting, borrowing, and bank accounts. An essential read for anyone thinking of starting a degree.

Working while you study

Part-time work has become a big part of student life. Not only can you earn a bit of extra cash but it can make your CV more attractive to prospective employers in the future. You could choose to work during term time or during holiday periods.

Health warning: If you work during term time, we recommend that you work a maximum of 15 hours a week to get the work/study/social balance right.

Work on campus could include:

 Off-campus, you could look at:

  • Local jobs
  • Seasonal work
  • Transferring your job from home
  • Temping agencies.

Our careers service has a list of part-time jobs, many of which provide opportunities to practice the skills learned on your course.

On-campus specialist advisers

We have friendly and knowledgeable specialist advisers at each of our campuses that you can talk to about fees and funding opportunities relating to your course. They can also give advice on general finance and money matters and direct you to a variety of specialist resources to help you deal with practical issues and personal problems.

Useful links

Student finance

Find out how to apply for the loans, grants and bursaries available from the Government.

Money Saving Expert

Lots of information about student loans, student bank accounts and the best money-saving deals.

Money Advice Service

Free and impartial money advice.

The Student Room

Visit the Student Finance Zone on The Student Room.

Student Money Saver

This site specialises in student discounts, deals & free stuff, as well as ways to make money quickly. Plus, it tells you everything you need to know about student finance.

Save the Student

This site gives you lots of information about student loans, banking and also offers and deals.

Citizens Advice

Get free and confidential advice from Citizens Advice to help you find a way forward, whatever problem you face.


Personal finance news, money saving tips, TV, forums and blogs, and unique compare and buy comparison tools.