Budgeting Tips For Starting University

Adjusting to student life can be tough, especially when you're living on a budget. We've partnered up with the Co-op to share a few tips to help you make the most of your money when starting out as a student.

Did you know that you can get 10% off at the Co-op with your Young Scot National Entitlement Card?

Whether it's everyday essentials like deodorant and toiletries or packing your cupboards full of essentials, the Co-op have you covered! They offer other deals throughout the year, but the 10% off with your Young Scot National Entitlement Card at the Co-op is year-round, so it's a great way to save on your shop at any time.

Work out your monthly budget

Spend some time making a list of all your monthly expenses (rent, course supplies, food, nights out, internet and phone bills etc.) and take that total away from what you have coming in each month through things such as your student loan or a part-time job.

This will allow you to allocate a budget to things where you may not know exactly how much you will spend, such as food, to stick within. The amount that you're left with after you have budgeted can be used to save, to treat yourself or to keep handy in case any unforeseen expenses come up.

Close up of Alan from the film 'The Hangover' deep in thoughtwith maths equations moving around the screen

Make a meal plan

Once you have set yourself a food budget, you can make the most of it by planning ahead for what you're going to eat and when. It's a great way to save money as you'll be able to buy only what you need and avoid being caught out.

Why not make use of our 10% Discount with Co-op by showing your Young Scot NEC in-store to get money off your shop?

Organising a get together over a meal doesn't need to be expensive or time-consuming and it doesn't always need to be a trip to a restaurant or a take out! The Co-op have some great recipes that you can cobble together in just ten minutes! A great reason to invite some pals around or organise a wee get together to meet some new people. 

Check out our article for some tasty, healthy and inexpensive meal inspiration.

Make use of Young Scot Discounts & Rewards

As well as saving 10% on food at Co-op, we have a massive range of Discounts and Rewards that you can access as a Young Scot NEC holder or through Young Scot Membership.

Save money on all your student essentials including travel, clothes, study resources, bills and fun days out.

Use a budgeting app

If you're feeling overwhelmed about where to start with budgeting, or just want to save some paper and keep everything in one place, there are plenty of free apps available to download which can help you with budgeting as a student.

  • Yolt – allows you to track your finances and manage your overall spending. You can use categories to see how much you're spending in different areas.
  • Cleo – works through Facebook and takes a read-only (so no one can ever move money in or out of your account) look at your spending to help you keep track of your finances.
  • Money Dashboard – categorises your spending and displays all incoming and outgoing amounts on a dashboard chart, so you can see what you spend in different areas.
  • Spending Tracker – you can choose to track your spending weekly, monthly or yearly.

Check out Iona Bain's budgeting tips

As part of our Money & Me campaign, we spoke with Iona Bain, founder of the Young Money Blog and expert in all things financial. 

Iona created a series of videos with tips for young people on budgeting, saving and housing. Check out the budgeting video below or view the entire series on our IGTV.

We're working with the Co-op to bring you exclusive offers and food inspo for student living. Visit our page for more!