Many of you have just received your second maintenance loan payment of the year, so it’s time to work out your spending for the next few months.

Budgeting has never been more important, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you’re a little unsure, our Your Money team are here to help you create a budget that works for you.

Why should I budget?

Creating a budget means you can manage your money better by understanding what’s coming in and going out of your bank account. It doesn’t mean you have to stop doing everything you enjoy. Sure, you might have to cut back on a few things, but you can still eat out, grab a coffee now and again, and spend time with friends.

How do I create my budget?

1. Download our budget planner.

2. Input the money you’ve got coming in:

  • Divide your student loan by four to get a monthly figure.
  • Add in any monthly income (work, benefits)
  • Add in any other regular money you get (from parents or partners)

3. Input the money you’ve got going out:

Go through your statements and add up the monthly cost of everything you regularly pay. This will include things such as:

  • Rent
  • Travel costs
  • Food shops
  • Debt repayments

This bit can be tough, but you’ll thank yourself later when you can afford that extra treat!

4. Subtract the outgoings from the incomings to get your monthly budget. If you want a weekly budget, just divide it by four.

How do I use my budget?

If you’ve got money left over, this is yours to spend (or save!). Saving just £5 a week is £260 per year.

If you’re spending more than you’ve got coming in, you’re going to have to do a bit more work to balance the books. You could think about:

  • Contacting Careers and Employability to get some advice about working whilst you’re studying?
  • Reviewing your spending to find out where you can make savings. Have you got subscriptions you don’t use, or get takeaway frequently?
  • Making sure you’re means tested by Student Finance and accessing all the funding you’re entitled to.
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