Man for Himself

Maximise Your Money | 5 Top Tips For Students

University is a really exciting and fun time, but it can also be really, very expensive. Follow my top 5 tips to make the most of your money as a student. This post has...


University is a really exciting and fun time, but it can also be really, very expensive. Follow my top 5 tips to make the most of your money as a student.

This post has been sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland
I know – first hand –  how expensive being a student can be. I completed an undergraduate course in Politics and History for four years at the University of Glasgow; and then I went on to study for an extra year for an MA in Broadcast Journalism at City University in London.

During my time at uni, I picked up these 5 really useful tips make the most of my money as a student.

My graduation from the University of Glasgow in 2009

1. Open a student bank account

It might sound simple, but so many people don’t have a bank account or the right kind of account.

Having a bank account allows you to keep your money in one place and – more importantly – have visibility of all of your transactions.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s student account is a solid choice, offering a range of perks and benefits for students.


2. Budget your money

Perhaps one of the hardest things to do as a student is budget. You’re quite often in a new city and are living in a very different way.

Understanding what you’ve got coming into your account and what you’ve got going out is so important.

I used to create spreadsheets (seriously retro) and then online banking came in which has been a life changer!


With The Royal Bank of Scotland student account, you can access your account through their banking app on your mobile, tablet or online.

I’d recommend to regularly (at least weekly) check into your account to see what you’ve got going out and what you have coming in.

A really fantastic feature of this account is the text alert service. Setting up a lower limit on your account will allow you to be notified when you hit this limit. It’s a really great way to stay on top of your spending and helps you to budget more effectively.

The trick is never to spend more than you have. Easier said than done, I know!


3. Prioritise your spending

We all want to have the best shoes, best dinner and best holiday, but how much of it do we actually need?

It may come as a surprise, but you’re actually at uni to study, rather than spend all your money on a perpetual shopping trip.

At the start of each term, work out what you need (new computer, study materials, rent money) and then how much you’ll have left to spend on the stuff that you really don’t need but that you really want.

How about an overdraft?

The Royal Bank of Scotland has a great interest-free overdraft. They allow for a £500 overdraft in your first term and then you can apply for up to £2,000 after that.

Overdrafts should never be used as a spending target, but give you a little bit more flexibility between the money coming in and going out.

Use them wisely and never spend out-with your own means.


4. Shop savvy

This is my favourite tip – it’s all about spending!

If there’s something that you really want to buy, see if you can wait until it goes on sale. I quite often bookmark some of the clothing I want to buy and regularly check to see if it’s dropped in price.

Also, make a point of looking for student deals and make an effort to shop early on sales. Get in before anyone else!

Travel deals

Travelling home can be really expensive.

The Royal Bank of Scotland student account has The Coach Card which gives account holders 1/3 off standard coach fares in the UK with National Express.

You can also get 10% off travel to festivals and events in the UK including Glastonbury. Not bad going!

Money saved… to spend on more clothing!


5. Review

It’s so important to review your spending.

Although you’ve been checking your online banking, I’d recommend spending an hour at the end of the month to really interrogate your finances.

Some key things to ask yourself:

  • Have I paid the correct amount on payments – rent, bills, fees?
  • Have I been paid the right amount from my job?
  • Did I spend too much on a certain thing?

If you spent too much in the month, make an effort to curb your spending into the next month.

If you underspent, it could be time to treat yourself to that leather jacket!


Spend safely, spend wisely and have a great time at university. 

Check out and apply for The Royal Bank of Scotland’s student account here