New Students

Plan your budget

We advise that you begin to estimate your future living costs, as this will help you budget for your experience during your studies.

Every budget is unique and will vary by person depending on your living situation, such as if you have any dependents, a job or are living in an off-campus flat.

Once you work out your expected income versus your expected expenditure, it’s easy to plan for what’s left - or seek help if there’s going to be a shortfall.

Your income

  • Do you have money saved for University?
  • Are you receiving any funding from anyone or an external company?
  • Are you working or planning to get a part-time job?
  • Do you know where all of your income will be coming from each month that you are at University? 

Fund your studies 

Your expenditure

  • Do you know what your fixed monthly costs will be?
  • Are you aware of all of the costs associated with studying your programme?
  • Do you know when and how you will need to pay for bills? 

Student living costs 

Managing your budget

You first need to learn about your income and spending behaviours. We would recommend that you start by using one of the budget calculator tools below to start with:

UCAS Budget Calculator 

Keeping a regular track of your spending is vital to be sure that you do not unexpectantly run out of money. You can also take advantage of many helpful expense tracker apps to record your spending. 

There is also a dedicated page with a video from our  Deputy Secretary, Students Lucy Evans and Students’ Association President Niamh Roberts talking about the cost of living crisis.

Cost of living | The University of Edinburgh

Money-saving tips

If your expenses exceed your income, you should start thinking about the difference between a 'need' and a 'want'. Consider the necessity of that purchase.

  1. Do I need it?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. Can I find it cheaper elsewhere?

There are also other ways to adapt your spending to take advantage of student discounts and offers or to purchase less expensive branded goods. 

Discount travel


Travel around the city for a discounted rate with Lothian Buses

Lothian Bus Ridacard


If you are aged between 16 - 25 years or a Mature Student you can get 1/3 off your rail price on any journey in the UK, which is a huge discount if you were traveling by train regularly. 

16-25 Railcard

Mature Student Railcard 

Buy second-hand

Buying second-hand books if much more cost-effective than brand new books, especially at the start of University:

Be eco-friendly and save yourself some cash with the trove of amazing charity shops that Edinburgh offers

Edinburgh Charity Shop and Reuse Map

Save waste, and buy only what you need

The Refillery Edinburgh 

Advice on managing your budget

The Advice Place offers one to one budgeting support and advice and has a wealth of further information about helping you to plan and manage your budget. It also provides information about how to manage if you find yourself in financial difficulties.

Budget planning (The Advice Place)

Emergency loans (The Advice Place)

Debt advice (The Advice Place)