How to Budget Like a Pro In Your First Year of University

The Glean Team share their top budgeting tips and money management skills for your first year of University.

Clock 2 min read Calendar Published: 15 Sep 2023
Author Sara Ahmad
How to Budget Like a Pro In Your First Year of University


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Sarah Hardy, Brand Manager

"I was never great at this when I was at uni and often ended up living on noodles the week before my student loan came in. In hindsight, I should have made sure I knew exactly how much I had to spend on weekly living costs, tracked my spending, and moved money between accounts or pots each week so it was harder to spend. 
I have ADHD which was undiagnosed during my studies, so I was prone to impulsive purchases; drawing up a budget was honestly pretty low on my list of priorities. Luckily there are loads of free budgeting apps available now (like Mint, Plum, Emma or Chip), so you don’t even need to set up a spreadsheet! A little bit of effort at the start will be worth it in the long run."



Matt Johnson, SEO and Web Lead

"A few budgeting tips from me would be to start your pre-drinking at your accommodation before going out as it works out much cheaper. Also, I’d highly recommend you try to buy books for your course second hand and then sell them on once you’ve used them."


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Anja Madhvani, Interim Marketing Executive

"Every Sunday, I write a meal plan for the week ahead and plan my food shop. I take stock of what is already in the house and try to use things in the cupboards to keep my spending down. I shop at the local market as well as supermarkets and I've managed to dramatically reduce my food waste and make some smart savings. If you can, try to collaborate with your housemates. Not only will you save money and share the workload but you could also share quality time together connecting over a home-cooked meal."


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Aneesha Aslam, Marketing Executive

"Make sure you track your spending! Keep track of what you're spending on essential costs e.g. rent and tuition and estimated expenses e.g. food, transportation, subscriptions etc so you can see where your money is going and how much you have left. I’d also recommend you make the most out of the student discounts that are available to you. Unidays and Student Beans were huge life savers for me!"


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Sara Ahmad, Social Media Executive

"Be sure to open a student bank account, it’s a great way to split your savings and student loan. Usually you’ll get an extra reward for joining such as rail card or free money! You can’t go wrong with an extra £100 in your bank account."


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Laura Barker, Customer Success Manager

"A great budgeting hack I use is transferring £1 everyday into my saving accounts! Then the month after I do £2 per day and so on… It’s really helped me put money aside for those rainy days!  I use Monzo which has a specific feature that allows you to put money into different savings pots."

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