This article will inform you on budgeting while you study at the University of Portsmouth.

Budgeting can be hard, especially if this is your first time away from home with financial independence, but through budgeting you can manage your finances and stay out of the red. The information below should help you to think about where you money come from and where it goes, but if you would like help to plan your budget please contact us, our advisers can sit down with you and help you go through your plans.

Income

You may receive money from different sources so make sure you know how much you are getting from each source and when it comes in.

Maintenance loans and grants from student finance are paid termly. University of Portsmouth bursaries are paid three times a year; December, February and May. Money from the NHS comes in monthly.

There are many part-time job opportunities for students in Portsmouth. The local town and shopping district already employ a number of our students and Purple Door are always on hand to help students find a job.

Bills

The average costs of utilities depends on how much you use and which utilities you pay for. Some privately rented properties include bills within the monthly rent, and halls of residence include bills in their pricing.

For a rental property, bills average at around £10-15 per person per week, however this depends on how much electricity you use and how often you have the heating on, so be smart with what you use.

Extras like a phone line or broadband will also affect your monthly bills.

Food

It‘s much much cheaper to go out once a week or so and do a big shop rather than going to the local shops or corner shops and getting little things here and there. Keep track of what you buy and how much you spend each month.

A good way to save money is to do a group shop with your housemates and share meals together.

Making lunch at home to bring into uni will also save you money, even at £3 a day, buying lunch out can really add up.

Books and Supplies

Courses may require you to purchase certain textbooks and supplies. Factor these in when doing a budget.

When buying books, it is worth bearing in mind that many books can be found online and in bookstores second hand and at a cheaper price. The library also holds a number of books in stock and is free to use.

Housing

When budgeting for housing it is key to remember that hall's charge rent on a termly basis, whereas private accommodation is usually on a monthly basis.

Private accommodation averages at £85 -£90 a week and can vary depending on which area of Portsmouth you live in.

Social

Budget for having fun and socialising with friends, this way you will never feel pressured into going out and doing something when you’re tight on money.

When going out, try to leave your card at home. Instead withdraw money and take that with you, this avoids you going over budget and spending more than you intended to.

Remember to bring your student card with you as many places will give you 10% off just for being a student.

Travel

If you live in rented accommodation or halls it is very unlikely that you will need to spend too much on travel. Most students cycle and walk to campus or use the free University bus service. When travelling by train remember students can get a 16-25 railcard which entitles you to a third off of rail prices.

Extras

Keeping in touch with friends and family at university is important, make sure you are on the right phone plan for you, check with your phone company that you are making use of all the minutes, texts and data you have. If you aren’t using it all, it might be worth changing your contract to a cheaper monthly rate.

Make sure you keep some money aside for emergencies such as medical and dental costs. If you need help with your prescription costs, fill out an HC1 form from your doctors.


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