What is a budget?

A budget is a way of working out how much money you have and what you will spend it on.

The money you have coming in is called 'income'. As a student, your income will include:

  • Your student loan, grants and bursaries
  • Pay from part-time or holiday work
  • Any savings you have
  • Any money you get from your parents

The Student Calculator can help you to work out how much you will get in loans, and add it to the rest.

The money you spend is called 'outgoings'. As a student, your outgoings will include:

  • Rent
  • Food
  • Books and other course materials
  • Mobile phone
  • Internet
  • Socialising

If your income is higher than your outgoings, then you're all sorted. If your outgoings are higher, you need to find somewhere to cut back.

Normally, you would make a budget for a year. This gives you a broad overview of whether you'll have enough money or need to cut back somewhere. Once you've made your annual budget, though, you might want to make smaller budgets to help you plan your money by the term, the month or the week.