By on September 25th, 2023



Going to university is an exciting and life-changing experience, but it can also be expensive- from weekly food shops to nights out as fresher, there is a lot to count for!

 If you’re taking out your first student loan, it’s important to make sure you’re not overspending and that you’re using your money wisely. Here are some tips to help you manage your student loan effectively.

student loan


Be sure to be aware of when your student loan payments will arrive into your student bank account. Payments are usually split into three instalments, paid into your bank account each university term.

These typically appear in the months of January, April, and September, but can alter dependent on when your course starts etc. The amount of your student loan will vary based on your financial background. For example, family circumstances and household incomes.


There are many scholarships and grants available to students that can help you pay for your education! Make sure to do your research and apply for any funding opportunities that you’re eligible for, this can range from disability allowances, exceptional academic talent and more.


It’s good to get a better understanding on your student living expenses as they can vary on each person. Student finance is usually a combination of loans and grants. Loans cover your course tuition and living fees which you will eventually need to pay back. Grants are usually paid to cover cost of living, covering things such as food, travel, and course materials. Read more on student living expenses in the UK.

PLAN AHEAD and create a budget

Before you start spending your loan, make a plan for how you’re going to use the money. Consider your living expenses, such as rent, utilities, and food, as well as any additional costs like textbooks and transportation. A good way to help plan this, is by logging into your student finance portal where you will be able to see how much you will be receiving a term at a time. From that figure, you can then work out how much you may need weekly on a food shop etc. A good suggestion would be to plan out your meals for the week and go onto a supermarket website. Add your groceries into to the virtual basket for a rough figure and you’ll be able to go off that cost per week going forward. Once you have a plan in place, create a budget that outlines your income and expenses. This will help you stay on track and avoid overspending.



If possible, try to put some money aside each month to build up an emergency fund. This can help you cover unexpected expenses such as emergency dentist appointments and so on, that can avoid taking on additional debt.

Our top budgeting tools

There are lots of different budgeting apps available with many benefits and here are some of the best budgeting apps to help you manage your money.

  • Wally: A free app that gives you a summary of all your account to help you monitor spending. You can even set budgets to help control what you spend.
  • Chip: Calculates how much money you can afford to spend, with both free and premium versions available.
  • Splitwise: This app is useful for tracking shared expenses. Perfect if you are flat sharing and need to split costs on the grocery shop and bills.

Make the most of student discounts

Many businesses offer discounts to students, so make sure to take advantage of these opportunities. From restaurants to clothing stores, there are plenty of ways to save money while you’re a student!

Be sure to check out your new cities and universities key social media channels for all the inside scoop on latest discounts and freebies. Finally, the most important apps to any student to seek great discounts are UniDays, Totum and Student Beans. Just use your university email as your log in details and you are good to go!

Don’t be afraid to put money away!

Budgeting for outgoings during freshers’ week and beyond will help you to manage your money. By setting money aside for having fun in advance, you’ll be less likely to overspend on nights out.

Most student clubs will also offer a wide variety of deals, whether its two for one on drinks or £1 shots – be sure to check these out, to help you save more money in the long run!

Saving a bit of money for non-essential purchases means you can still treat yourself and have fun with your friends without worrying about your bank balance!

Consider a part time job

For extra money, considering a part time job around your studies might be ideal for you. Most university campuses and student unions tend to offer regular part time opportunities.

Our Content Creator scheme is a great way to document your student journey by creating copy and content for our digital platforms. You can earn Love2Shop vouchers as rewards depending on the projects you work on.

Interested? Fill in this form so we can learn more about you and your interests!

By following these tips, you can make the most of your first student loan and avoid falling into debt. Remember to always prioritise your education and plan ahead for any expenses that may arise. Good luck!

Be sure to follow our MONEY HACKS

For some of the best tips and hacks to help you manage your first student loan instalment, look at Newcastle resident Natasha’s top money hack tips while at university.



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