Budgeting and working while studying

Money management

Managing your money at university can be a challenge. We have lots of advice, guidance and information to help you make informed decisions about your finances.

Need advice about taking control of your money? Ensure you keep your finances on track by taking part in online money management modules from Blackbullion.

Blackbullion is an easy-to-use resource designed to help you take control of your financial future. You'll develop your money management skills and maximise the value of bursaries and other financial aid.

Available free of charge to all students and staff, just register with your University of Essex email address. If you don’t yet have a University email address, you can use the University Code 'ESSEXOD'. Modules available include:

  • pre-entry
  • getting started
  • budgeting
  • debt
  • saving
  • graduation
  • credit score

Create a budget

Having the ability to create and stick to  a budget is a crucial skill that will benefit you throughout your time in university and beyond.

Using tools and apps on your phone can assist you in tacking your income and expenses.

Consider using the Blackbullion budget calculator and searching for apps on your device's app stores.

Before beginning university, be sure to establish mobile banking as it is the most convenient method of monitoring your spending while on-the-go.

Many banking apps can even categorise your expenses, providing useful insights into areas where you could cut back.

Student bank accounts

There are a wide variety of student bank accounts. Student Money Advice does not recommend any particular bank, but we do recommend looking at the following websites when choosing a bank account:

If you're interested in opening a Sharia compliant account, you can find more information on the Money Advice Service Sharia Compliant Savings page

It is important to use bank accounts responsibly by not going beyond agreed limits to avoid unnecessary charges, possible freezing of accounts and poor future credit ratings. If you encounter difficulties keep your bank informed.

Working while studying

Many students choose to work part-time to supplement their income. Working during your course can also give you excellent skills and experience to boost your CV. Our Student Services Hub can help you find part-time work. There are also many opportunities to work in paid jobs on campus.

If you're an international student, please read our information on working in the UK for international students before you start looking for a job. The country you're from and your visa type will determine whether or not you can work in the UK.

Living off campus

SU Advice can advise you about renting in the private sector, including what bills or other payments you may be responsible for. Get in touch with SU Homes if you need help finding private sector accommodation.


Coping with debt can induce stress, but it's crucial not to overlook the situation, as that can make matters worse. It's essential to talk about your situation to your creditors and discuss the options open to you. If this process becomes challenging or overwhelming, consider seeking expert help from the funding team or debt management organization Step Change. National Debtline is another potential avenue for assistance

Helpful Resources

As a student, there are lots of great websites that can provide you with information about money matters as a student:

  • The Money Charity offers invaluable advice to help you manage your money wisely while at university. Learn how to budget, reduce costs, make extra income, and avoid debt.
  • Save the Student has all the insider tips and discounts you need to master money at University.
  • NUS UK offers big savings with a TOTUM student discount card. Access exclusive deals from leading brands.
  • The British Council website has everything international students need to know about studying in the UK.

Need help?

Complete our funding enquiry form (applicants and current students only) for help and advice, if you:

  • are having problems applying for your statutory funding
  • have any questions about what you can apply for
Two woman talking at a helpdesk
Need help?

If you need any further help and advice, please contact or visit the Student Services Hub who will be happy to assist you.