Making Your Money Go Further


Making Your Money Go Further

With student loan payments received termly, it is important to ensure you make your money stretch as far as possible. In this guide, we will look at how to make the most from your maintenance loan, cut the cost of your weekly food shop, and where to find the best discounts and deals for students.

When is My Maintenance Loan Paid?

Unlike most jobs, which are paid monthly, your maintenance loan payments are usually paid in three instalments: in September, January and after Easter. This means you will have to ensure you set enough money aside to keep you going until the end of each term. When you are budgeting, consider dividing each instalment into weekly chunks.

Student Discounts

With student loan payments received termly, it is important to ensure you make your money stretch as far as possible. Thankfully, many shops and organisations provide deals and discounts for students, often through providers such as UNiDAYS, TOTUM and Student Beans. These often require a form of student ID, such as a student card or student email address. If you are likely to travel by train to get to university or college, a 16-25 railcard can help you save up to 1/3 off train travel and the London Underground.

Activity 1

Find out more about 16-25 railcards, including how much they cost at How much would you save on a typical journey to a university?

If you’re off to university soon, research how much you would save at your first choice university. If you’re not sure about university just yet, pick any city in the UK!

To calculate the saving, check the cost of a ticket without a railcard, then check again with the cost when using a railcard, and subtract the difference between the two. You can check the cost of tickets at

Saving Money on Food as a Student

One of your largest expenditures will be food shopping. However, with some preparation and a tactical mind-set, you can slash the cost of your weekly food shop. Consider buying food in bulk and batch cooking recipes which you can then freeze additional portions. Not only will this save money, but save time cooking.

Consider investing in a cook book that are aimed at students. Examples include Nosh for Students, The Ultimate Student Cookbook and The Hungry Student Cookbook. When you arrive at university, you could even cook and share meals with friends or flatmates. Not only is this a great way to save money and time, it’s a great way to make new friends.

When food shopping, consider making a meal plan before you head to the shops. This will help ensure you buy only what you need, saving you money on any impulse purchases!

Activity 2

Research, or create your own batch cooking recipe suitable for using up leftovers.

How long will it take you to create this recipe, and how much does each portion cost?

What Should I Buy for University?

Ahead of starting at university, you might need to buy a few items to ensure you are ready for your first day. Before making any major purchases, check with your university what you might need to bring. You may need to bring your own bedding, towels, duvets, and if you are in self-catered accommodation you may need to bring pots and pans. Some universities will offer
‘second hand sales’ where you can purchase previous students’ old pots and pans – a great way to save money, and great for the environment too.

Before purchasing anything for shared areas (such as kettles and toasters), why not discuss this with your new housemates to see if you could share and split the cost – saving money, and also avoiding having 8 kettles in your kitchen!

Activity 3

Save The Student has a great list of things you might consider bringing to university –

Which of these items do you already own, and which might you need to purchase?

Many of these items can be purchased cheaply at supermarkets, or homeware stores such as IKEA. Why not check with your university whether they offer ‘second hand sales’?