National Student Money Week – Becoming financially fit as a Student:

(Credit – ‘Alexander Grey’ at Unsplash)

For many students like me, starting university comes with a feeling of being lost in a  money maze – how much do I need to budget each week? What am I going to be spending money on? Is my student loan going to be enough to live off? These are common questions that most students find themselves asking at one point or another Let’s break it down together! 

Financial fitness isn’t only about keeping a count on what you have and what you spend. It’s about being confident in managing your personal finances and achieving long-term stability and security. I’ve broken down what financial fitness is to me into three key concepts to help keep you on track. 


Crafting a realistic budget that suits your style and preferences is the first step. It might be difficult if you are just heading off to uni, as you might not have a full grasp of everything you’ll be spending money on just yet. KCL Student support services [insert link here] have some great articles on things you’ll probably be spending money on, such as food and transport (and bills if you’re living somewhere without them being included!). 

There’s no one size fits all way to budget your money, everybody is different and there are a bunch of different tools to show your ingoing and outgoing spending! I like to use an excel sheet (there are loads of set templates out on the internet!) but have been increasingly using smart online banking apps such as Monzo to give me a quick breakdown of where the money I’m spending is going, for example, ‘social’, ‘food’, ‘bills’ and ‘transport’. 

Blackbullion has been a fantastic website for me to learn how to budget, they have courses and articles on a ton of different relevant ways to budget, save and invest your money! 


Spending money is great fun, but when it runs out and you start going into your overdraft it can start to become really stressful. Making sure you have enough money for essentials such as food and rent and then knowing how much you have left over to save/ spend is a crucial part of managing your money.  

The way I save a lot of my money is by going to cheaper supermarkets such as Lidl or Aldi instead of fancier (and more expensive!) shops like Marks&Spencer. I also like to buy in bulk where you can make big savings, especially for proteins which are already very expensive. This of course, all depends on what shops are available to you nearby – it might be worth taking the bus or walking down to a larger/cheaper supermarket compared to going to your local cornershop, as these smaller shops actually tend to have higher prices and less choice available in comparison. 

Financial Literacy  

    I try to stay up to date on the important money related news. This doesn’t mean I have 5 screens in front of me always displaying stock markets and the FTSE 100 or anything, I just occasionally browse the news to see if there’s anything key I’ve missed out on. Having a grasp on financial world events might not seem that useful right now, but when you start  earning and want to properly invest your money for long-term growth, having an idea of historic financial trends will be really useful. 

    When I think about financial literacy as a student, I look more towards funding opportunities (bursaries, grants etc.), student discounts (Unidays, Blue Light Card) and other ways to make the most out of my money.  

    Being financially fit is a journey, not an end goal, and it doesn’t necessarily happen straightaway. Being in the mindset of constant learning and growth is one way in which you can help to create the best opportunities in your future. It’s all about discipline and commitment  

    All the links below are things I’ve used when starting my journey for financial literacy, and I really recommend checking them out. If you’re short on time, Blackbullion offers quick courses that are only a few minutes of the really key parts of managing your money! 

    Top tips on managing your money during your studies 

    Top tips on shopping as a student 

    What are the fees and funding options available for undergraduate study? 

    Samuel Landells
    King’s Student Money Mentor
    Part of Money & Housing Advice

    The King’s Student Money Mentors blog shares our students’ personal experiences and thoughts on money-related topics. Any reference, opinions or recommendations on a particular company/brand are only the views of the student(s) who wrote the blog post. King’s College London, the Money & Housing Advice service and the Money Mentor project do not share the views in the blogs nor endorse any of the companies mentioned. Readers should conduct their own research before using any companies mentioned in our blog posts.

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