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The University of Southampton
Student Services

Balancing your budget

It is important to keep a budget during university to ensure that you have sufficient money to cover your costs.

We have teamed up with Blackbullion, a digital learning platform committed to improving financial literacy.

You can register with Blackbullion here if you would like to access information on budgeting whilst at university.

If you are an undergraduate student and in receipt of a maintenance loan from Student Finance to cover your day to day costs, this will be paid to you termly. It is therefore important that you manage your money so that it will last until the next payment is received.

You will need to write down your yearly income and your anticipated yearly expenditure. This will give you an idea of whether you will have enough money to support yourself during your time at university, or if you need to take steps to improve your income or reduce your expenditure.

Make sure that you include all of your income for the year, this can be in the form of Maintenance Loan, savings, parental support, employment etc. Details of what you may  need to include as expenditure can be found here

Hopefully your budget will balance but if not we have provided some ideas that you could consider implementing. Look at areas where you can make savings

Depending on your study schedule you may be able to take on part-time work during term time or the vacation periods.

If you have explored all avenues, but are still worried about your financial situation then you may want to consider applying for the Student Support Fund. This is a pot of money the university provides to assist students who are considering withdrawing from university due to their financial situation. 

Please be aware that all support from the fund is discretionary and cannot be guaranteed.

If you would like to speak to an advisor regarding your situation please either email stufunds@soton.ac.uk or attend one of our online Drop-ins.

 

Utilities

Can you save on gas and electric by changing energy tariff or your service provider-check comparison websites to ensure you are getting the best deal. If you are going to move into private rented accommodation then more information can be found here.

Comparison websites can also ensure you are getting the best deal with your mobile phone and broadband

Food

Swap branded products for supermarket own brands or buy in bulk and then freeze meals. Check out special offers and make a shopping list and stick to it, avoid impulse buys. Make lunch at home rather than buying it out.

Course costs

Check whether you can buy course books second hand or borrow from the library, but remember to return any books on time to avoid late fees. There are excellent facilities around the campuses which are available to use.

Bank accounts

Student bank accounts usually have an interest free overdraft. These are useful in an emergency and should be considered as a buffer. Only borrow what you are able to repay make sure that you do not go beyond your authorised overdraft as charges might apply.

Have a separate bank account for direct debit commitments such as rent and utilities and one for day-to-day spending. Remember that you need to balance both accounts.

Set up direct debits for bills so that you do not run the risk of being charged late payment fees.

Check to see whether you are paying for a service that you no longer use such as gym membership.

Savings

As a student there are many products and services that you are eligible to receive a discount on. You may also be eligible for a discount when travelling. Information on the student railcard can be found here. Booking in advance rather than leaving it to the last minute can also save money.

If you are looking to save either to have a buffer against an unexpected bill or you are looking to make a purchase, the Money Advice Service provides a calculator to identify how much and for how long you will need to save

Debt

If you are worried about your level of debt then contact SUSU as soon as possible for advice and support. Information on SUSU Advice Centre can be found here  

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