Budgeting and money tips

The Essentials - Household bills

You are about to embark on your journey at UCLan and you need some tips. Lets start with the essentials!

  • During your first year you are likely to take a place in Halls of Residence. Your accommodation fees will include fuel bills i.e. gas and electricity. 
  • Work out your monthly expenses and set up direct debits / standing orders from your account to pay your bills.

    Download our Finance Planner (.pdf)


You're now in your second/third years and you need to pay for all services associated with living in a shared house or flat:

  • Private accommodation - agree with your housemates to set up an account in joint names to pay for shared bills.
  • Work out monthly expenses and set up direct debits / standing orders from your account to pay your bills - some providers offer discounts if you pay by this method.
  • Ask parents/relatives to purchase telephone cards or vouchers for your mobile phone.
  • There is the option to have your telephone set to receive incoming calls only - this would eliminate the chance of accruing large telephone bills and avoid friction between housemates when the bill arrives! University Halls of Residence have telephones - you can dial internally at no cost. There are 2 types of telephone cards, one can be credited with cash or by credit/debit card (up to £10.00) and one is disposable (£2.00).

Budget Planning

For other budgeting tips and advice see the following websites:

Books and stationery

  • Stock up on your notepads and stationery beforehand
  • Students may have second hand books available for you to purchase - look out for bargains by checking notice boards, book fairs and the university bookshop.


  • Student rail cards and bus passes offer cheaper travel.
  • Advertise / ask around for lifts / car sharing.
  • Save money by sharing taxis with other students where possible e.g. visits to the supermarket.

Hidden essentials

  • Hidden essentials can often catch you out. Don't forget to budget for hidden essentials such as haircuts, special occasions, birthdays etc.
  • If joining a club or society at the University, don't forget to consider any extra costs for specialist equipment or material.


  • Stock up from home with non-perishable goods - this will give you time to sort out the best place for bargains.
  • Shop around - take advantage of offers. Shop in the cheaper supermarkets.
  • Get your pots, pans and cutlery together before you arrive.
  • Apply for a University Smart Card - this can be credited with cash to pay for food at discounted prices. Bring the essential items you think you will need.
  • If you are in Halls of Residence wait until you arrive before purchasing larger items e.g. kettles and toasters as you are more than likely to end up with 6 of everything in your house/flat! Discuss with your housemates who will purchase what and share your costs out.
  • Sort out a weekly menu in advance and stick to it. It may be cheaper to make your own sandwiches than buy them.
  • Remember that supermarkets are not the only place to shop; Preston also has an excellent covered market with a wide choice of goods.

Where are the shops?

  • Aldi - caters mainly for grocery items and fresh fruit/veg is very cheap. It can be found at the bottom of Corporation Street, opposite Office World and is only a 5-10 minute walk from Foster Building. 
  • Lidl - caters mainly for grocery items and fresh fruit/veg is very cheap. You will find it on Strand Road, at the bottom of Marsh Lane.
  • Market - the indoor market is open every day except Sunday selling cheap fresh fruit/vegetables and fish. The indoor market can be found at the top of Orchard Street, opposite Squires Nightclub.

Use all the student discounts you can find!

For Financial Support Enquiries:

Telephone: 01772 892583 / Email: SFSTeam@uclan.ac.uk