Student budget calculators

Need help creating a budget whilst you're at university? There are some great online budget calculators out there that will help you save money and keep track of your finances.

Why do I need to budget?

When it comes to your finances, planning ahead will help you in the long term. It’s important to know that your maintenance loan is unlikely to be enough for you to live on. 

There are different tools out there to help you budget and manage your finances. The main two types are: 

Budget calculators

Budget calculators and planners are useful if you want to estimate your costs for the next month, year or semester. Planning helps you breakdown what you're spending and plan ahead for big expenses.

Calculators can help to identify issues before they arise. For example, they might make you consider getting a part time job or highlight where you could make cutbacks.

Best budget calculators 

UCAS budget calculator

The UCAS budget calculator helps you work out your monthly income and what you'll spend. Simply select the university you're studying at and it will create a breakdown of how much you can expect to spend each month on living costs. This will help you create a realistic budget for the following year.

Budget trackers

Budget trackers give you a real-time updates on what you are spending and where. Getting into the habit of using a budget tracker takes time and effort, but it will help you save money in the long run. It will also help you to identify where you can make cutbacks.

Best budget trackers

Save money via app-based bank accounts

A lot of app-based banks allow you to set a monthly budget. Here you can specify how much you want to spend on food, rent socialising and bills. The apps will send you notifications if you are over or under spending.

Some app-based banks have features that will set you aside some money in a pot each month. This can help to save towards something big like a house deposit in the future or a holiday.

Not sure which app-based bank to use? Take a look at Save the Student's guide to app-based banks.

  1. On results day, make sure you check your UCAS Hub (previously UCAS Track) as early as possible to confirm the status of your applications. If you are eligible for Clearing, you will automatically be entered into the Clearing process. 

    UCAS state you could use Clearing in 2024 if:

    • you’re applying after 30 June 2024 for September 2024
    • you didn’t receive any offers (or none you wanted to accept)
    • you didn’t meet the conditions of your offers
    • you've paid the multiple choice application fee of £27
    • you’ve declined your firm place using the ‘decline my place’ button in your application
  2. Many courses will still have available places during Clearing but it is important to check this before you apply.

  3. Have your grades, personal details and UCAS ID (if you have one) ready as well as a pen and paper for any notes. We may ask you why you're interested in a particular course so be prepared.

    Some courses may require you to have an interview to check if you are suitable for the course. If this is the case, you will be guided through the process and told when to attend your interview (if it is not right away).

  4. Online

    You can complete our easy online application form and, if you are successful, you will receive an automatic offer via email within a few minutes. 

    By telephone

    Phone lines open early on results day so don't wait around. Make sure you contact us yourself as we will want to talk to you. We will have a chat with you about the course you want to apply for and your qualifications. We can make you a preliminary offer right there on the spot. Calls don't usually last longer than a few minutes.

  5. We will tell you if you have been accepted onto your course of choice there and then, unless your course requires interview or portfolio. ​If you applied through UCAS, remember to accept your Clearing offer. These were the steps to accept your offer in Clearing 2023:

    • Go to UCAS Hub (previously UCAS Track);
    • Go to the 'your choices' section;
    • Click 'add Clearing choice';
    • Add the course details listed in your Clearing offer email.

    The Admissions Team will then review the referral and confirm your place for you.

    You may need to send in evidence of qualifications or results to confirm your offer.

    Clearing next steps

    Applied through Clearing and wondering what happens next? We'll take you through the process on our Clearing next steps webpage. From student finance and accommodation, to preparing for uni life, we've got you covered.

  6. Our average monthly rent is the 3rd cheapest in the UK and the cheapest in the North West according to Save the Student (2023).

    Once our Admissions Team have confirmed your place, you can apply for a place in our halls of residence. We have accommodation available at all our campuses.

    Visit our accommodation page to start researching the accommodation we offer. Here you will also find information about fees and how to apply.

    Our friendly Accommodation Team are also on hand to answer any questions you may have. Email the team or call +44 (0)1772 892529.

  7. Support before you arrive
    Our mental health support was ranked 3rd in the UK in the University Mental Health Table (HUMEN, 2022). Our outstanding Support Team will be with you every step of the way. You’ll be supported from the moment you accept your place, with online sessions from 18 August onwards to help you get ready for university. 

    Get to know your classmates
    You can talk to your future classmates in your course Facebook group and get ready for Welcome Week and your induction.

    Use our welcome checklist
    Head over to the welcome portal to arrange everything from accommodation to enrolling at university. 

  8. We had regular bookable campus tours taking place at our Preston and Burnley campuses for Clearing 2023. This gives you the opportunity to see where you'll be studying and get a feel for UCLan. You will also be able to look around our accommodation.

    If you'd like to visit us our Westlakes Campus please email the team so that we can arrange a tour for you.

    If you're not able to attend campus in person, you can still explore your new home by viewing 360 guided tours and other exclusive content.

Create your own budget

If you would prefer to create your own budget calculator or budget plan, you'll need to include:

  • Income - this could include loans, wages, bursaries and grants.
  • Outgoings - this could be your rent, any bill payments or direct debits you have.
  • Variable outgoings, these are outgoings that may vary month on month. Variable outgoings include things like transport, fuel, food and socialising.

There are plenty of templates online you could follow to create your own version. Tools like excel or google sheets will help you calculate costs in an organised structure.

Useful information

  • Money saving tips

    There are some fantastic benefits to studying with us which will save you lots of money during your time at University, including all-inclusive bills at our accommodation. 

  • Make extra cash while you study

    Most of our students choose to earn some extra cash by getting a part-time job for a few hours a week alongside their studies.

  • Cost of living support hub

    We're the most affordable uni in the country according to The Times (2023). Discover how to manage your finances and explore the support available.