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.

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

  • UCLan students chatting and shopping in Preston Market

    From free sports centre membership to all-inclusive bills in our accommodation. There are some fantastic benefits to studying with us which will save you lots of money during your time at University. 

  • student-ambassador-helping

    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.

  • students in the market

    Cost of living support hub

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Studying is one of the biggest investments you can make towards your future. We're here to make the fees and finance side of university as easy as possible to understand.