Your living expenses will depend on a variety of things, including your accommodation choices and your lifestyle. We’ve provided some helpful advice on how to manage your money, including budgeting top tips and the additional support available here at BU.
Cost of living support
We are aware how the cost of living is increasingly a concern for prospective students considering whether to go to university or not. We are committed to supporting our students throughout the current climate. See all the ways we and our Students’ Union (SUBU) are supporting our students financially, including the SUBU Community Kitchen, Soup-er Mondays and warm spaces on campus to relax and study.
Setting up a budget is all well and good, but it can be difficult to plan properly before you’ve arrived at university and worked out how much everything costs each week or month.
The information below is designed as a guide to your living expenses at university. You will be able to calculate your own personal budget once you know your outgoings. Please note that the table below is accurate for the 2023-24 academic year and is likely to change before September 2024.
|Expenditure||Per month||Per year||Notes|
|Rent (if you are living in university accommodation, this is paid in one instalment each term)||£5,845 to £7,721||Average rent for a standard room on a 42-week tenancy. Private rented accommodation tenancy agreements are usually 11 months. You can compare BU accommodation prices for 2023/24 entry in our accommodation price guide (pdf 46kb).|
|Bills (gas, electric, water, sewerage and internet)||£0 (university accommodation)
£64 (non-university accommodation)
|£0 (university accommodation)
£768 (non-university accommodation)
|All of these bills are included in the cost of your rent if you are living in halls of residence/Unilet accommodation.
Otherwise, expect to pay around £64 per month.
|Local bus travel||£0 (university accommodation)
£25 (non-university accommodation)
|£0 (university accommodation)
£250 (non-university accommodation)
|An annual bus pass is included in your rent if you are living in halls of residence/Unilet accommodation.
Otherwise, it costs £250 for unlimited travel on specified BU and morebus routes for 90 days.
These figures are based on the Student Money Survey 2023. This figure will vary depending on the person and personal basic living costs.
|Laundry costs||£13 to £26||£156 to £312||Launderette facilities in halls of residence are coin/card operated. Unilet houses are fitted with washing machines, so this is included in the rent.|
|Insurance for personal possessions||£70||We recommend you insure your personal possessions. This can also be paid monthly by direct debit.|
|TV licence||£159||You can also pay for your TV licence in weekly, monthly or quarterly instalments. Check whether you need one at the TV Licensing website.|
|Course materials||£18 to £53||£210 to £630||For example, core textbooks, photocopying, stationery and other consumables.|
|Going out||£69||These figures are based on the Student Money Survey 2023 on the Save the Student website.|
|Takeaways and eating out||£66||These figures are based on the Student Money Survey 2023 on the Save the Student website.|
These figures are based on a 12-month period and have been gathered from a range of sources.
You may find one of the following online calculators can help you work out your budget:
Don’t forget that there are certain things you’ll need to buy when you start university, as these won’t be provided by your accommodation. They include:
- Bedding (sheets, pillows, duvets)
- Towels and tea towels
- Cups, bowls and plates
- Cooking utensils and saucepans.
You may just want to bring the bare minimum of kitchen equipment, cutlery and crockery when you start university, as you and your housemates may decide to buy some of the essentials together and split the cost.
Account for hidden costs
Top tips for saving money
Useful apps to track spending
Student vlogger Emily shares some tips to help you stay in control of your finances
Financial support available at BU
If you experience financial difficulties once you’re at university, the AskBU and SUBU Advice teams can help you find solutions to your problems. There are various types of financial support funding available from BU for UK students who are struggling financially; including the BU Financial Support Fund, Small Emergency Grant, Emergency Loan, and the Placement Opportunity Fund. You can find out more about what’s available on the Financial Support page, including external and postgraduate funding guidance.
You can also check out our financial wellbeing pages for more advice and guidance on managing your finances, so that you can get the best out of your money and find ways to make it go further.