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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.

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.

 

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.

 

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:

 BeginnerIntermediate  Advanced  
Starting University                   Top 10 Money Tips Introduction to Investing
Budgeting 101 Credit Score Individual Savings Accounts
Overdrafts Credit Cards Mortgages 101
Savings Taking a look at BNPL                Student Loan Repayment Estimator
Scams Futureproofing Tax

 

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 advice@susu.org

 

International students are welcome to contact international@soton.ac.uk 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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