Managing Money

Top Tips for Money Management

Keep track of your spending

It might not be the most exciting task but keeping track of your spending is the best way to make sure you do not overspend.

In order to start keeping track, use an excel spreadsheet where you can input information on your income and outgoings. This will allow you to see how much you spend compared with how much money you have each month. If you then set a budget, you can start spending within your limits.

Or alternatively, there are several free apps so you can download straight to your phone:

Sticking to your limits has never been easier as now you can also check your balance at any time using a mobile banking app.

Be smart with food shopping

Food might be one of your biggest expenses, so it is worth figuring out ways to reduce your bills.  One way to do this is to buy supermarket value products rather than well- known brands. These are generally cheapest but do not compromise in quality.

In addition, you can also do your shopping in the evenings when many items are discounted.  Please be aware that you must eat them on the day.

Another idea is to do a big shop at the start of the week where you can buy everything you might need for that week. You will be saving money by making packed lunches rather than getting an expensive takeaway or a ready meal at the end of the day.

Don’t overpay for transport

If you are studying in London, you can get an 18 or over Student Oyster card. You can apply for one if you live in a London Borough during term time and are enrolled on a full- time course. You can apply online for the card and you will need to provide an active email address, student enrolment ID, London Borough address and a digital photo. Please note that there is an administration cost of £20 and the card is valid for three years.

Council tax exemption

Usually students are exempt from council tax especially those who are in full time education! Ask your student support officer how you can get a student status letter for the council.

Take advantage of student discounts

Several shops and food outlets offer student discounts.  In order to make the most of more than 200 student discounts, you would need to buy a TOTUM card from the NUS website. This costs £12 a year, £22 for two years and £32 for three years.  Savings include 30% off at Pizza express, 10% of at the Co Op, or 15% off on all artist material at WHSmith.

You can also get 6 months free Amazon Prime as a trial when you have a student email address, then it drops to half price for a year

Buy course books second-hand

It is evident that some course books can be expensive, but you do not need to purchase every item on your reading list.  You can download your books whenever you might need it from Arden’s online library which would save you money. Ask your Student Support Coordinator.

Useful Contacts


Citizens Advice 

Citizens Advice have lots of useful information and help on their website and also over the phone to help regain control of your finances: 

03444 111 444

Debt Advice Foundation

Debt Advice Foundation is a UK debt charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt: 

0800 043 40 50

The National Debt Line

The National Debt Line are a leading debt advice charity who offer free help and advice on dealing with your debt: 

0808 808 4000


Turn2us is a national charity that helps people in financial hardship to gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services:

Step Change

Step Change offer expert debt advice and fee free debt management to help you tackle your debts:

Other Related Pages

Arden iLearn