How to get started

The Student Calculator will take you through these steps one at a time,

Work out your entitlements

How much money you can get depends on your circumstances, and especially your household income. The Student Calculator will give you an estimate of your student loan and grants.

You might also have access to other sources of funding, such as scholarships from your university. The Student Calculator can't calculate these for you, but you can fill them in separately.

Add up your other income

Put together your income from part time work, savings and anything you get from your family.

If you are using savings, remember not to include the full amount in your annual budget if you intend to make it last a number of years.

You might not know exactly how much you'll be able to get from work - try to make a realistic estimate. You can reassess your budget when you know what you'll be earning.

Add up your spending

Put together all your spending, whether it's big things like rent or small things like socks.

Working out how much you will spend can be very difficult: there will probably be lots of things that you forget about, or which add up to more than you expect. If you're making your budget in advance, try to overestimate rather than underestimate - at least that way the surprise you get will be a pleasant one.

It's also worth including some emergency money in your budget, to cover any costs you haven't thought of.

Check the total

Once you've written everything down, take your outgoings away from your income to get your total. If it's negative, you need to think about where you can cut back on spending. If it's positive, that's great - but make sure you haven't underestimated your spending.

The Student Calculator will show you at a glance what your balance is: on the balance screen, the background will turn green if your balance is positive and red if it's negative.

Keep track

However you build your budget, it won't do you much good unless you use it. Keep a copy of your budget somewhere you can refer to it, and keep track of how much you spend on what to see how it matches up. Find out about some easy ways to stick to your budget.