Student budgeting

Find out how to budget for student life and read our top tips on saving money at university.

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Do a budget

You should check our living costs and work out how much you'll need to cover these costs and other expenses. 

This may include student loans, a part-time or seasonal job, scholarships and money from family members. 

You can then check MoneySavingExpert's Student Budgeting Planner, create a budget spreadsheet or use a budgeting tool such as the student budget calculator.

When you're here, contact our Student Funding Team for money advice, and look at services with spending notifications (like Monzo) to check you’re not going over budget.

Save money on bus and train travel

You can get discounts on:

You should also:

  • book train tickets in advance, as prices go up if you book them close to your travel date
  • look at 'split ticketing', which is where you buy two or more tickets for different parts of a train journey as this can be cheaper. 

Buy second-hand books

You can buy second-hand academic books from:

Download free software

You can download Microsoft Office for free, as well as specialist software for your course (such as Matlab, SPSS and GIMP). Check which software you can download.

There is also a range of software on our campus computers. Find out more about IT facilities on campus.

Check student bank account deals 

Many UK banks offer student bank accounts with benefits like interest-free overdrafts, free railcards or coachcards, and vouchers. To see which account would be best for you:

Banks such as Barclays and Santander also have international student accounts, and you can email international.support@sussex.ac.uk to find out about banking in the UK.

For all bank accounts, check for any charges such as if you go over your overdraft limit.

Save money on food and drink

You can save money on food and drink by:

You can also buy international food products and halal meats at an international supermarket or specialist butchers, or in supermarkets with international food aisles.

If you want to order takeaways, eat out or buy cheap food, download apps like:

  • Uber Eats (which has no minimum order amount)
  • Wriggle (which has discounts on cafés and restaurants)
  • Too Good To Go (which sells food about to be thrown out by food outlets for low prices).

Use student discounts

You can access students deals with an NUS Extra card and get discounts through Amazon, Apple and Spotify as a student.

Always check for online voucher codes as these may work out cheaper than student discounts, and sign up to the Unidays and Student Beans email newsletters.


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