How to manage your budget at university

Who is better to offer you advice about how to manage your budget at university than RGU students themselves! We spoke to some of our RGU student ambassadors to find out what their best tips and advice are to make that British Pound stretch a little further.

Managing your budget at university and keeping track of your costs is an extremely important part of student life, but it can seem quite daunting for students arriving at university for the first time, or for those moving to a new country. Here are some student top tips:

How to set a budget

One of the most important parts of budgeting is being prepared, knowing your incomes and any upcoming expenses. Student Ambassador Kristina explains how she anticipates her spending.


Kristina’s top tip is to keep track of your spending in a diary. At the end of every month this helps her review her expenses and plan for the next month.

Managing your budget

Keeping track of your spending is extremely important when at university. Depending on your lifestyle and living arrangements there might be additional costs to consider. It is important to plan for these in your budget where necessary.

Moosa encourages students to do some research and try a variety of different shops to find where you can get the best deals on your budget!

Where to go shopping

Food costs count for a significant part of your budget. This will vary on your tastes and dietary needs. Most major supermarket chains have stores in and around Aberdeen. Many of these are close to the central area of the city.

Aberdeen is a cosmopolitan city with many specialist and international shops and restaurants. Meat, fruit, vegetables, spices and other products from around the world can be found close to the university and throughout the city. Halal foods and Kosher foods are available from both specialist stores and some larger supermarkets. You can also find a list of international and locally sourced food shops on the RGU website.

When moving from Pakistan to Aberdeen Anil was worried he wouldn’t be able to find the food he loved from home, but there are so many options in Aberdeen that he was able to find some home comforts.

Student discounts

Aberdeen has plenty of retailers that offer special discounts and deals to students. We have 3 main shopping malls and many other shops in and around the city centre that cater to students. A lot of retailers offer student discount if you can present a valid NUS student card before paying. It’s always worth asking if a store does student discount as you could get around 10% off your total purchase!

Cherbim advises that before you spend just ask! Student discount is available in a wide variety of shops so it is always worth asking if you aren’t sure and you may end up saving yourself some money!

Budget Breakdown

Here is a guide to some items you should consider budgeting for:

  • Clothes
  • Travel
  • Sports
  • Social Activities
  • Food
  • Toiletries
  • Books
  • Stationery

Find out more about your estimated monthly costs, initial-one off costs and more on the RGU website. You can also access the Student Budget Calculator to help you manage your budget whilst at university.

If you have any questions or want to know more about how to manage your spending while at RGU, you can chat to a student ambassador or staff member who will help explain things further.

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