Tip 4 – Budgeting According to Your Finances

Budgeting might sound dull, but it’s a really useful way to ensure you’re not swayed by friends to spend money you can’t afford.  

If it helps, you can download a budget worksheet here and average prices here (Attach Unidosh Budget/Average cost information from in class sessions)  – or have a google to find more exact prices in the area you plan to study. Then follow the steps below! 

 (a worked example would accompany this and a worksheet for writing your own budget – potentially the one currently used in UniDosh) 

  1. Start by working out how much money you have to spend. If you’re not sure yet, it’s best to work with the minimum possible amount. You can find the minimum Maintenance Loan you’re likely to receive here in Scotland, here in Wales and here in England. Divide this amount by 3.5 for your monthly stipend.  
  1. Once you know how much money you have to spend, you should work out how much your outgoings are. It is a good idea to start by looking at your formal commitments. These are things which will not change week to week or month to month and you have to pay them on time. This would include things like: housing, mobile phone, TV licence, and utilities. 
  1. Next look at your everyday spends. This would include things like: food, transport, laundry and gym memberships, etc. 
  1. After that, think of your occasional costs. Are there any holidays or birthdays you will need to pay for? Do you want go on nights out or have a takeaway? Do you need to pay for books or supplies for one of your classes? Do you want any new clothes or a haircut? 
  1. What savings can you afford? Putting a little away each month is a good idea for unexpected costs and can help you from dipping into your overdraft. If you can afford it, put some away! 
  1. Once you have worked out all your outgoings subtract them from your income to make sure that you have stayed within your budget. 
  1. Make changes as necessary. Spent too much on a night out? Change the rest of your budget to cover the costs. For instance, if you spend too much on a night out you may wish to cut back on how much you spend next time, or cut the money you were going to spend on clothes.