Guide to smarter budgeting for international students in the UK

Guide to smarter budgeting for international students in the UK

Creating a budget is the most important financial aspect of a student life. It is important that you plan how, when and where you want to spend your money. Learning to manage your money and learning to live within your means can reduce the pressure you might have when studying abroad. There are a few tips that you can follow and maintain your budget. You can use international student calculator by UNAID to estimate the amount of your cost.


1. Start Cooking: If you are the type of person, who dines outside mostly (4-5 times a week), then you are likely to spend more money on food. However, if you start cooking, you can quickly save more money. You can make a grocery list and stick to it. If you dine out, try to spend less money.


2. Taking a part-time job: Consider working part-time to earn some extra cash. Under Tier 4 visa, you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. You can easily find jobs in with the help of your University Student Union. Alternatively, you can also ask your professors to direct you to the concerned authorities. Universities hire students for some events temporarily where students are paid on hourly basis. For example, Cardiff University Students' Union has established a Jobshop for students who want to take temporary jobs. Registered students can get weekly job notifications and make an application through email.

3. Penny Jar: Maintain a tin box and put all your extra coins into that. You will be surprised how much money you will be able to collect. You can deposit this cash into a bank or buy something you need.

4. Sell off your extra stuff: If you have a lot of stuff that you don’t use, you can sell off it on eBay, craigslist or on Amazon. This will help you to get rid of all the extra stuff. Simultaneously, it will also increase your bank balance.

5. Entertainment: Socializing is the most important part of the student life. This part of a student life is most expensive and necessary. From Student Fresher’s week to Pub Quiz night, Birthday Bashes, movie nights, summer ball and much more. You can use websites like Student Beans, Save the Student or on Unidays to plan and avail cheaper deals for students.


6. Loyalty Cards: If you are a regular customer of some store, you can order a loyalty/ reward card to get 10%-20% discount or other regular schemes. Grocery stores like Tesco, Sainsbury, Body Shop, Holland and Barrett and many more offer reward cards to their customers.

7. NUS Extra Cards: An NUS extra card costs around £ 12. With this card, you will be able to save your money on all the things you love. Browse NUS website, to know more the companies who offer discounts.

8. 18+ Photo Oyster Card: A student studying in a full-time course is entitled to save on your travel expenses. A photo oyster card costs around  £10. You are entitled to get 30% off your travel costs and weekly/monthly bundles. You can order your 18+ photo oyster at


9. Apps: There are various apps available, which will help you keep track of your spending and saving. Mint, Level Money and Good Budget are some of the popular apps in use by students. You can manage all your accounts from one place and ensures timely payment of bills.  


By following some simple steps, you can enjoy your student life within your budget. You will discover more discounts once you are in the UK.


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