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The budgeting and living expenses pages go hand in hand to help you create a realistic budget - you will need to use the information from our uk living expenses pages and the information you have gathered on your own and follow our guide on how to create a useful and attainable budget.

The best place to start with any budget is to get a pen and paper, or an excel spreadsheet and list out all the expenses you can think of - those that you have taken from our living expenses pages, plus also put down things you pay for in your home country as you will probably want those things when in the UK.

Step 1 - List your expenses

The things you need to think about are:

Housing & Bills

  • Accommodation
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Electricity
  • Landline Phone
  • Insurance
  • Health Insurance
  • Internet
  • Mobile Phone
  • Credit Cards

Day to Day

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Stationary
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Hair cut
  • Make-up
  • Medication
  • Cigarettes
  • Contact Lenses
  • Tuition
  • Sweets/Candy


  • Car
  • Fuel
  • Car Insurance
  • Car Tax
  • Bus Pass
  • Rail Card
  • Subway Pass
  • Car Repairs


  • Pub
  • Cinema
  • DVD Rentals
  • Eating out
  • Gym
  • Music Lessons
  • Sporting Events
  • CD's
  • Magazines

You will want to write down what you think you will need either on a weekly or monthly basis for the items above. Of course not all will apply to you but it’s a good starting point - remember to also think about your specific requirements. For example if you are on an art course, you will need to factor in art supplies.

Step 2 - Add it all up

Your list might be pretty long by now but don't let that deter you - add all the values up to come up with a monthly or weekly figure for what you think you will be spending.

Step 3 - Cut back

Now that you have a figure, go back to your expenses and see where you can cut back on things and make notes of how you are going to make those cut backs.

Some money saving tips are:
  • Don't buy magazines or newspapers but look at them online. It not only save the environment but also saves you money!
  • For guys,buy some clippers if you have short hair and cut your own hair – it’s easier than you think and can be fun!
  • If you want to party try to go to student places as they are often much cheaper.
  • Turn your heating down!

As with all personal budgets - they do not really work if you stick to them rigidly. You will want to have some room to buy extra things here and there, but where possible try to keep to it and you will be fine!

Once you have done a budget you may be a little down-hearted as the sight of how much it will cost you. But do not let this deter you - and check out our other financing pages for more information on how to pay for this!

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