How to survive on a Student Budget – Fresher’s edition

Surviving on a budget for almost 4 months is a challenge, even more so when the loan you receive is different from that of your friends. This guide should get you equipped for freshers and hopefully convince you to not blow your money on dominos every night.


The most important thing you should do is to budget and not spend more than what you physically have if necessary. You are leaving an environment where you may be financially independent for the first time away from your parents and spending all of what you have in the first week will end up becoming a massive headache. However, you can still live comfortably on a student budget. There are many apps that can be used to track your spending which can help immensely, even just using your phone notes will help, as I learned.

Aldi is your best friend

When it comes to a night out the best option as always is to pre-drink, I would recommend going to Aldi for cheaper alcohol prices but even Tesco can have good deals on for a £4 bottle of wine. If your alcohol tolerance is low, like mine, that should be enough to at least get you tipsy. Everyone is more or less in the same boat, making you feel less uncomfortable about the situation. Don’t forget you can always find free tickets to clubs with entry before 11 on Fatsoma (normally a free drink is included).

Impulse buy

Trying to control your impulses will curb unnecessary spending, also try to be creative with the outfits you wear out so that you do not have to buy a new outfit each week. Some of you will be out 3 times a week, which could become very costly if you are not reusing what you already have. Remember, you will be at the mercy of drunk hunger cravings after a night out, so instead of ordering delivery of McDonald’s when you are drunk or have a hangover, stock up on pizza and other junk food before.

Student discount

Take advantage of the student discount offers, there seems to be always 10% off in Superdrug; this is handy for a variety of items like makeup, hair dye, and tablets (for the hangover). Whilst making a purchase it is always wise to ask if they do student discount as it is better to be safe than sorry. The same can apply for most music streaming apps for the all-important pre-party music.

Find a part-time job

If in the likely circumstance your loan will not be sufficient enough to last you, there are a variety of part-time jobs available through the university as well as in the city which can provide you with a bit of extra cash. check the ‘Futurehub’ on the NTU website to find a catalog of part-time work in and out of the University that could be right for you.

Meanwhile, enjoy fresher’s and as long as you follow these tips you should be in good hands for having an awesome time and making new friends. This will be a big learning curve for most people but the lucky part is that you are all facing similar scenarios.

By Abi Trünk

Feature image courtesy of CQUnilife

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