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Why Do Students Need a Budget?

Updated: Dec 14, 2023

The Importance of Budgeting for University Students

One of the biggest challenges that college students need to face is budget planning and managing their allowance. If you're a university student, you need to create a budget for your living expenses and manage it carefully to control your spending, live within your means, and avoid financial debt.

Why do Students Need a Budget Anyway?

As a university student, and newly-independent adult, budgeting can be a daunting task, especially when you are juggling classes and potentially a part-time job too. The good news is that a student budget doesn't need to be complicated and, as you will not be in class full-time, you will definitely have time to manage this!

What Are The Benefits For Students To Set Up A Budget?

Setting up a student budget can help you stay on track with monthly payments and ensure you do not run out of funds by the end of each month. It's no fun running out of money to buy food, if you've blown it on socializing and new kicks by the end of the first week of the month.

A well executed student budget will show you how much you have and what you need to spend it on.

A budget can also help you to save money for your goals or for emergencies.

How do Students Budget Their Allowance

These are some of the questions I am frequently asked by parents and students:

  • How much budget or living allowance does a student need?

  • How can you balance your expenses and still enjoy an active student life?

  • How can you avoid getting into debt?

  • How do you avoid running out of money before the end of the month?

  • How do you cope with emergencies or save for future goals?

FromHighSchooltoUni can teach you how.

notepad with pen, coffee cup and laptop

Why Is It Important To Create A Student Budget?

You need to create a student budget as an important step on your journey to financial stability and success during your time at university. It will act as your financial roadmap, helping you to make informed decisions about your spending, ensure you pay your bills in a timely manner (to avoid having your electricity or phone cut off!) and ensure you get through the month without falling into debt.

In this blog post, we'll look at why creating a student budget is not only important, but essential. You'll discover how a well-structured budget can help you manage your finances effectively, avoid the pitfalls of debt, and ensure that your university experience is financially stress-free.

What's more, by becoming a member on, you'll gain access to valuable tools such as a sample student budget and an easy-to-use budget calculator. These resources will simplify the budgeting process and set you on the path to financial success throughout your academic journey.

You'll also find a wealth of other helpful resources, such as checklists and templates, to optimize your transition to university life.

Join us as we explore the importance of creating a student budget and how it can shape your financial future and make life on campus more manageable.

What Do Students Say About Budgeting

A survey conducted amongst UK-based university students in 2020 revealed that 59% of have thought about dropping out of university, with 36% blaming it on money issues. And among those students who DID drop out, 18% said that it was due to money worries.

Yet at least 10% of them had never even attempted to compile a budget.

Don't let that happen to you!

Chapter on Budget Management from book From High School To Uni
Extract on Budget Management, "From High School to Uni" book

By following a few simple steps, you can easily create a successful budgeting plan to help you manage your finances throughout your university years.

What are the benefits of creating a student budget?

A student budget is a plan that shows how much income you have and how much you spend on different categories. You need to make your funds stretch to cover all essentials, such as rent, food, transportation, mobile phone costs to socializing.

A budget plan can help you:

  • Avoid getting into debt or running out of money before the end of the month

  • Track your spending habits and identify areas where you can cut costs

  • Enjoy your student life without worrying about money

  • Save money for your future goals or emergencies

It may be fun to go out clubbing every week, but if that means eating toast and drinking water for the rest of the month because you have no money left to buy food, was it really worth splurging on alcohol?

Or could you budget appropriately to make sure you know how much is available in your social funds each month to cover your social activities?

Even if you are lucky enough to be receiving a scholarship or student loan, this does not mean you have a bottomless pit of money. You still need to be responsible and smart with your finances.

Managing your monthly allowance

It is important to be flexible and proactive with your budget. Don't blow your monthly allowance the day you get it. Unless you're earning well with a part-time job to supplement your income, your funds have limits.

It will take you a while to get used to budgeting, but you can do it!

Adjust as necessary on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.

A man calculating his budget using a calculator and counting cash.
Every cent counts - save where you can

The most frequent comment I hear from parents and students, after they have graduated is "Why don't schools teach financial management" in Years 12 and 13? And that's actually one of the main and original reasons why I wrote the book "From High School to Uni" - to teach students the vital things they need to know to 'adult' on campus.

Read our blog on How to create a Budget in 5 Easy Steps and follow our FREE online course on Budgeting Basics to get you started.

If you need more help or guidance on how to navigate the transition from high school to university, check out our website. There you will find useful blogs, resources, and tricks for student savings such as meal planning, efficient food shopping, and tips on how to help your children survive and thrive on campus.


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