The Ultimate Guide to Student Budgeting

Student budgeting

It’s your first time being away from home. Life is good. But with that newfound freedom comes a whole host of responsibilities. You’re in charge of pretty much everything now. Since when did everything cost so much?

No fear, let Curve guide you through all the tips and tricks to stay on top of your budget as a student.

  • Get Organised – The best way to budget is to actually sit down and plan it all out. It’s worth the extra effort, trust us. Figure out what’s coming in (Loans, parental help, earnings etc) and what’s going out (Utility bills, rent, food etc). Luckily, there are some apps that can make this process a little easier. Check out Money Dashboard.
  • Student Deals – Take full advantage of your student status. A lot of services and stores will give students a discount – just remember your uni ID. You could also get a TOTUM card (NUS Extra) for discounts at over 200 UK brand and local independents. Another great option is getting an account with UNiDAYS for free, instant access to a range of deals.
  • Put On Your Chef Hat – This is an obvious one. But making food at home and skipping on that 3rd takeout for the week can save you a lot of cash. You can find easy recipes online. Plus, it’s a lot healthier. You should also bring packed lunches with you if you have a whole day at uni.
  • Skip the Starbucks –  We know, you need coffee to make it through. But buying that latte or frappuccino every day is going to set you back quite a bit. Instead, invest in a good thermos and brew that cup o’ joe at home.
  • Shop Smart – Buy in bulk at cheaper supermarkets to save on food prices. Aldi and Lidl are both great options. Bonus tip: don’t go food shopping when you’re hungry 😉
  • More House Parties – Going out can be expensive. Pints, cocktails, club entry – it all adds up. Choose to stay home every so often and have a good old-fashioned house party. It doesn’t need to be the sequel to Project X. It’s not cost effective if people demolish your house.
  • Don’t Forget About Travel Costs – Whether it’s taking the bus to uni or the train home for the holidays, make sure you’re not paying full-price travel tickets. The railcard for 18-25 year olds is a must – you can get a ⅓ off. You can also get student cards or passes for other forms of transport across the UK.
  • Go Vintage – Textbooks are a sneaky hidden cost people often forget. Always buy used books to save a heap. Or even convince an older friend to gift you theirs. If you’re extra lucky, you might even be able to find a free PDF version online.
  • Get a Job – If you’re confident you can manage your time well, getting a part-time job is a great way to fund some of your student life. You can normally find opportunities on campus specifically for students. Getting some work experience will also look great on your CV for post-uni job hunts.  
  • Get Entrepreneurial – There are a lot of alternatives to getting a part-time job. You can still earn a little extra cash in your free time.
    • Selling old or unwanted clothes on Depop.
    • Sign up for YouGov surveys. It takes a while – but you get £50 in the end.
    • Another great survey site is Profilic, specifically for university research.
    • Sites like TopCashback offer the chance to receive cashback on everyday purchases.
    • If you know your stuff, consider tutoring on the side. This also looks great on your CV!

There’s another way to get a little extra help with your finances. With Curve, you can manage all your Mastercard and Visa cards on one simple, stylish card and our smart app. You can also earn 1% cashback on a range of top retailers (as an introductory offer for 90 days)*. You get more financial control with real-time alerts on what you’re spending across all cards. Student budgeting has never been easier.

Plus, check out our Go Back in Time feature which means if you paid with the wrong card, you can switch the card you used, for a purchase up to £1,000 and within 14 days.*  to get ultimate flexibility.

Download Curve now for free.