New Students: A Guide to Budgeting

We all know that paying for your studies and your living costs may seem a daunting prospect, but organising your finances before you arrive can make all the difference.

The Importance of Budgeting


You will be abroad and you won’t have the immediate support of family, relatives or friends, and this means that it’s extra important that you manage your money properly while at university.

The best way to prepare your budget is to make a list of your expenses to identify how much you spend on priorities and non-priorities. Obvious priorities include things like accommodation, food, tuition fees, and bills, but you should also consider the amount of money you will spend on travelling and socialising. Once you have identified your expenses you should look into allocating a certain sum of money against the different items you have listed. We suggest the that you do the following:

Bringing cash into the UK

For safety reasons, it is inadvisable to bring large amounts of cash when travelling. There are also restrictions on traveling from outside the European Union with more than 10,000 Euros (or the equivalent amount in any currency): you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs website for more information.  Remember that your home country may also have regulations restricting the amount of money you can take out.

You should make sure that you have several ways of accessing your funds in your first few weeks in Edinburgh, as it can sometimes take a couple of weeks to set up a UK bank account. The safest option is to bring a variety of means of obtaining money:  some cash, a credit/debit card from home that you are able to use in the UK, or travellers’ cheques.



It is advisable to insure your possessions against theft, loss or damage while you are here. Insurance can be arranged on arrival but, if travelling from abroad, make sure that your travel insurance continues until you have other arrangements in place.

If you are in University accommodation, contents insurance is included in the rent.

Endsleigh offer insurance that is specifically targeted at students, but you should always visit price comparisons to find out what the best deal for you is. Examples are Go, Money and

Running out of Money

Falling behind in paying rent, tuition fees or utility bills can have very serious consequences. If you are in financial trouble, we advise you to get in touch with the Advice Place as soon as possible for information and support.

If you have any questions about any of the above, please email our team:



Categories: New Students, Practical Guides

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