what do you need money for in uni

What do I need money for in uni?

You will need money for a range of things during your time in University, ranging from food and travel to accommodation and uni supplies. What you need will depends on your particular circumstances, but we have created an exhaustive list to ensure you can plan ahead and save for your university experience.

Before you read our list, it is important to understand your spending habits may vary depending on the following factors:

Your student living situation

Your spending habits will vary depending on your living circumstances. If you are living in student accommodation, the likelihood is you will be paying a one off fee monthly, yearly or in installments which includes your rent and all of your utility bills. Find out what bills are included in all-inclusive student accommodation. If you are in privately rented accommodation, you will probably be paying a fee for rent and organising and paying your own utility bills such as gas, water and electricity. Or alternatively you may be paying little to no rent if you are living with family.

Year of study

Depending on your course or year of study you will have different requirements and fees. Undergraduates have different student loans to those studying masters and PhDs. Find out if you can get student finance for a master’s degree.

UK Domestic or international student

UK domestic students will be able to pack most of their belongings and plan ahead for their studies whereas it like likely international students will have to buy most of their essentials after arriving in the UK. Did you know that UniKitOut

Did you know that there is a service that package up everything you need for your university accommodation? UniKitOut is the UK’s leading & Highest Rated Student Kit supplier, and work closely in partnership with 280 Universities & Private Housing Providers. Unlike traditional retailers, UniKitOut authorised to deliver your Kit to your Accommodation before you arrive. And don’t forget to enter the discount code HOST10 at the checkout to receive an extra 10% off your order!

Now find out what it costs to create a great life for yourself at uni, including accommodation, food and bills – as well as having fun!

Student Accommodation.

student accommodation leicester

Paying rent for somewhere to live will typically be your biggest outgoing. The cost ranges depending on where you study and where you choose to live. There are multiple options for student accommodation, university halls, private halls, private renting or living at home. Bear in mind that most uni and private halls have bills included in the rent costs, so this will be a cost you will not have to consider on top of your rent.

Read our guide on how students pay for accommodation.

Student Travel.

student travel oyster card London

What you spend on travel will depend on how far away you live from your campus and essential amenities such as shops and the town/city centres. If you decide to take a car to uni, you will need to budget for car insurance, road tax, MOTs and fuel costs.

Most cities offer bus passes to students, which may be of use if you will be travelling around the city frequently. You may need to consider using a taxi service from time to time when bus and train routes aren’t available.

If you are studying in London, you will most likely be using the London Underground or bus network. You may be eligible to buy an 18+ Student Oyster Card.


Food is an expense you cant avoid, but there are many ways you can make the weekly shop affordable. Try to shop at lower priced supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi and make sure you go with a shopping list for the week. Avoid shopping at local corner shops as their prices usually incur a convenience charge.

Eating out and enjoying meals with friends or grabbing lunch on the go is also to be expected during uni, just ensure it is affordable and not a daily treat if your budget can’t stretch to it.


student bills

As previously mentioned, bills may be included in your rent. In the likelihood the bills aren’t all included, you’ll be expected to organise and pay your own water, electric and gas bills. Don’t forget extras such as TV licenses, broadband and phone bill.

Going Out.

Being social during your time in uni is important, so you’ll want to budget for going out. This may be anything from a day activity to a night out on the town. Whatever you choose to do, remember most student towns and cities have student nights and great student discount options – so always research before you go!


Aside from your studies, you will find it is essential to be able to destress and relax doing something that you enjoy in the evenings and weekends. This may be by joining a club or society or buying a gym membership. Depending on what hobbies you have, the fees vary. University clubs and societies are affordable as they are run by students for students.

Toiletries/Health & Well-being.

Deodorant, moisturiser, mascara, shower gel, vitamins… the list goes on. Keeping healthy and well during your time at uni is important and you will need to budget to be able to afford everyday health and beauty essentials.

Uni Supplies.

student accommodation graduate

Your course may give you a list of certain literature, software/hardware that will be needed during your studies. This can range from certain books, to a MacBook Pro. Be sure to manage efficiently what is expected of you by checking with your course before arriving what you are expected to supply.

Are you already starting to worry about uni finances?

Have you considered getting a part time job whilst studying? Find out more on the benefits of working part time whilst being a student.

Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! For every percent we reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by we donate to one of our nominated charities.

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