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The University of Southampton
The Student HubMoney matters

Making the Most of Your Money

Having a budget – a basic financial plan that helps you manage your everyday costs – is essential to your financial wellbeing. A written budget gives you a sense of control, helps you focus on your goals and track your spending, makes it easier to prepare for emergencies and provides an opening to talk about money. Whether you’re new to budgeting or just looking to revise your current plan, there are a few simple steps you can take: 

Choose a format that works for you

List your income

Income includes your maintenance loan, savings, parent contributions, wages, bursaries, grants, scholarships and any other money you expect to receive during the year. Online budget calculators can convert your income into monthly or weekly figures.

  • Students with home fee status can apply to Student Finance (UK) for a household income assessment to get the highest maintenance loan for which they’re eligible. (A household income assessment is required for home students applying to the Student Support Fund.)
  • If you believe that your household income for the current tax year (2023-24) is at least 15% lower than the details you provided to Student Finance (UK) (typically 2021-22), then you can apply for a reassessment.
  • If you do not receive the full Student Finance maintenance loan, there is an expectation by the government that you will source other income, which might include support from parents, savings and part-time work.
  • Remember, your SF maintenance loan is meant to provide 52 weeks of support, so this includes the summer months, unless you are final year.
  • See if you can increase your income through part-time employment.
  • Check with your faculty about course-specific funders, such as the Royal Medical Benevolent FundBMA Charities and the NHS Bursary Hardship Grant for Medicine students, and the NHS Exceptional Support Fund for Health Science students. Also visit the Scholarship Hub.
  • Lots of banks offer student accounts with benefits like an interest-free overdraft. An overdraft can help you manage unexpected costs, and you typically get up to two years after graduation to repay it. Find the top student bank accounts at
  • We strongly recommend that you do not take out pay day loans or pursue other high risk schemes

List your expenses

Your expenses are your everyday costs such as housing, phone, travel and food--as well as one-off costs like birthday gifts and charitable donations. Online and spreadsheet budget templates (like those above) will walk you through the common expenditure categories. Be honest about how much you spend and look over your last month of bank statements to ensure your budget is accurate.

  • Find average living costs for University of Southampton students on our Cost-of-Living webpage.
  • Accommodation will be your biggest expense. If you are in University Halls and are struggling to pay for your accommodation, then talk to the Student Hub about your options. If you are in private halls or a privately rented flat, we recommend speaking to SUSU’s Advice Centre before you consider a new contract elsewhere.

Adjust for surplus or shortfall

Does your income equal more than your expenses? Brilliant, that means you have a surplus and you can set aside money for savings. Or is your income less than your expenses? In that case, you have a shortfall, and you will need to boost your income or make some cuts.

  • Visit Save the Student for money-saving tips for everything from food shops to dating apps
  • Consider opening a student bank account. Offered by a lot of high street banks student bank accounts come with benefits like an interest-free overdraft. An overdraft can help you manage unexpected costs, and you typically get up to two years after graduation to repay it. Find the top student bank accounts at

Check your bank statements regularly

Review your bank statements and budget every month to make sure your spending is on track. This way, you’ll stay in control of your finances. You’ll gain peace of mind and have the confidence that you can deal with anything unexpected that comes your way.

Get a finance freebie

Become a better money manager with Blackbullion (registration is free!). If you’re new to uni, you can explore basic personal finance concepts like budgeting and saving. If you’re more experienced, check out current topics like NFT’s and Buy Now Pay Later. Blackbullion promotes online events throughout the year, where you can win great prizes while keeping your finance skills on track. We recommend the following modules:

Starting University Top 10 Money Tips Introduction to Investing
Budgeting Open Banking Explained Credit Score
Scams Credit Cards Futureproofing
Savings Taking a look at BNPL Student Loan Repayment Estimator

Still need help?

Make an appointment with the Financial Support Team to discuss your situation, or apply directly to the Student Support Fund to be considered for a non-repayble grant to help with living costs.

Contact SUSU’s Advice Centre to make an appointment for one-to-one budgeting support. They can be reached at 023 8059 2085 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm) and at

International students are welcome to contact for guidance, information and support. The international team would be happy to have an informal chat or discuss your situation in more detail.

I know my budget is working, because of how I feel.

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