Budgeting advice for students

This information is provided as a guide to average living costs (excluding tuition fees) for the different categories of student. The exact amount you need to live on will depend on your individual needs.

Living costs

The amounts provided in the table are only a guide to students in planning their expenditure throughout their studies. They should not be used as a fixed or absolute statement of costs, either by students or their sponsors.

If you are an international student and require a student VISA to study in the UK, you will also have to comply with the minimum funding required for this.

For private accommodation living costs typically aren't included.

ItemWeekly costAdvice
RentFrom £77

On-campus accommodation costs vary depending on whether you live in a standard or en-suite room. 

Private rented accommodation costs can vary.

BillsPrices vary

Rent prices for living on-campus usually includes bills.

For living off-campus, bills for electricity, heating and water aren't usually included.

Food£50Preparing simple meals at home saves money. Buying lunch and eating out will increase your weekly food costs.

One way to save money on travel is with a termly or annual discounted bus pass.

For train travel, students can buy a 16-25 Railcard which allows a third off most rail fares.

Books and stationery£10 

Course costs vary depending on your chosen subject.

The Library has a vast collection of books and journals, and students also get access to Bibliu for free digital textbooks. Many students also choose to buy, sell and swap second hand books.

Clothes£10 Guildford offers several budget clothing shops.
Insurance (contents)Prices vary

Insurance costs vary depending on cover required. Rent on campus includes some cover, please check the residents guide.

For private accommodation contents insurance typically isn't included.

TV licence£4The current cost of an annual TV licence is £159. If you watch live television in your room or use BBC iplayer you will be required to purchase a TV Licence.

Mobile phone contracts vary. Check with your provider to find out if a cheaper tariff is available.

Laundry£5This is the minimum cost to top-up a laundry card.
EntertainmentPrices varyEntertainment costs vary widely between each student and while it is healthy to have a good social life at university, it is important to live within your means and manage your money.
SocietiesPrices varyYou can sign up to as many societies as you like, but remember there may be costs to do activities and for uniforms. Explore the Students' Union to see what is on offer.

Other costs to consider


Nursery costs can vary. Registered childminders often provide cheaper by-the-hour services. Some families may be eligible for assistance with childcare or receive a certain number of hours free every week.

Some students may be eligible for a childcare grant funding by the Government.

Council tax

Full-time students are usually exempt from council tax.

NHS charges

As a student, you are liable to pay for your medical prescriptions. These are expenses you may be able to claim back from the NHS using HC1 and HC5 forms.

Ways to save money

Become money smarter

As a student you are eligible to register, through your Surrey email address, for Blackbullion, a free online resource providing education about budgeting, debt, saving, investing, start-up businesses and how to maximise your money for the future. You will also have access to Blackbullion's budget calculator.

We highly recommend the following Blackbullion Pathways:

Student discounts

Students can save money by joining UNiDAYS and getting access to the best student discounts online and in-store with all the leading brands and merchants. They provide a variety of discounts from fashion, technology and entertainment, and it’s free to sign up.

International student budgeting