What's your number one budgeting tip?

It’s the time of the year when students head off to university. And if you’ve ever been a student, you’ll know money can be one of the biggest stresses - especially if it’s your first time away from home!

But whether it’s getting a discount railcard or hunting down coupons - there’s always ways to pinch the pennies, no matter your age! So, we’d love to hear from you…


What’s your number one budgeting tip?


My number one tip:

"What gets measured gets done"

An old adage of an ex-coal miner of an ops manager of mine. If you can measure it, you can make it better.

In a budgeting sense, I use this to track the things that are either important to me, or I want to improve.

Example: In my budget, I generally overspend on Coffee - by having a coffee category I can better make spending decisions based on how much I will allow myself to spend on it in each month.

The same applies to savings; I use a wish farm to keep tabs on the numerous purchased based savings goals I have.

By breaking these categories down into smaller, more granular bits of info, I can track them better.

What gets measured, gets done.


Before the release of Summary, my budgeting was terrible as I would have no concept of how much I would need to keep to one side to pay my bills.

I’ve made some changes to the way I spend my money, and I find this work perfect for me. It’s quite a simple technique, and it’s most certainly been heard of before.

On payday, I take 3 weeks worth of my money for that month and put it into a pot. I determine the weekly amount by using the disposable income amount from the Summary tab, subtracting 20% off for savings which is moved into a completely different pot, and whatever is left I divide that by 4 for each week. Each week (on a Monday) I move over a new weekly amount back into my main balance and whatever was left from the previous week is deposited into my savings pot.


Monzo is my spending card. My salary is paid into another account.

Every month I send a fixed amount to my monzo card, regardless of overtime, payrises, expenses.

Every month I save a small fortune.

My biggest issue is if I see money in my account, I spend it. This way I don’t see it so I don’t spend it :grin:

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Just really simple - make a list of outgoing and incoming and work out how much you have in total and then divide by 4 for your weekly allowance.

And always pay your bills - my first year of uni - about 3 months in they stopped charging my student accommodation and I (being 17 and naive) thought they were letting me stay there for free and had a very lavish lifestyle until the start of second year when they told me I owed them £2000ish.

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Keep some aside for emergencies like a broken computer or a can’t miss gig tickets
If there’s people you get on well with in the halls consider doing a weekly food shop and cooking together. Much cheaper. Get a beginners cookbook or cheap meals book if you’re not used to cooking.


I use Moneybox app. I save a bit each week with round ups (I have round ups on Monzo too) and a set amount. Since I started Moneybox saving in March I’ve not withdrawn any.

On average I add about £50-60 a week. I also had some inheritance I added to the Moneybox savings rather than leave in Monzo account and spend it on nothing.

Student here :wave:
If you shop at Tesco, get the Tesco pay app & Tesco credit card. Extra clubcard points for just buying regular shopping.
Create a budget, I use YNAB

Helpful to see where your money is going each month. I don’t use the budget features in Monzo as I move money around savings accounts / investment accounts.

Don’t bring card to a club, bring cash.

Use an app like Plum if you really can’t put money aside.

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YNAB does this cost money to use each month? Or is there a free tier?

It does. It’s like £70 annually. Students get 1 year free :grin:

Not free but go through the link below and get 3 months free trial instead of just 1.

In my head it just doesn’t make sense to have an app that costs money to help you try and save money. Student 1 yr free yes, but otherwise logically in my head (maybe I’m just being silly) it’s not a good business model.

One off payment I can understand, even something like £9.99 but is it that good that you’re required to have a subscription?

Not hating on the app it’s probably very good, I just don’t get it.

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For me, the amount of money it saves me through the oversight it gives, makes it well worth it. Before using YNAB, I’d easily waste more than that.

Another thing often mentioned regarding YNAB and the monthly cost is that it allows them as a business to be able to pay staff costs and provide better updates. It used to be a one off purchase but £9.99 doesn’t bring in much money to keep the business going.


Nothing is free mate in the uk . Lol


As a student, you get a discounted price afterwards so it’s not £9.99 every month. I pay £35 a year, but I think tha t’s because I’m grand-fathered into it from YNAB classic :grin: Thinking the student price should be similar?

If I can piggyback on this, and bearing in mind the starting point referencing ‘pinching the pennies’, I would say this about coffee:

If you’re buying mugs of coffee from almost anywhere (Starbucks, Costa, etc) you’re overspending on coffee.

Buy a vacuum flask. Buy [a cafetiere/an Aeropress/what works for you]. Make your own.

Won’t take that long for the initial outlay to be overtaken by running savings.

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I’m a student too, currently about to start my third year. In my first year I managed to blow a lot of money, mainly on nights out with the flatmates. Maxed the over draft and spent a lot on credit card. Totally, totally, totally regret my naivety financially, but I had a heck of a fun year. Second year I discovered YNAB, and surprisingly, by the end of the year it helped me budget and save enough money that I was almost out of my bank overdraft and into the black.

So any future students, definitely look into budgeting your money and I would definitely recommend YNAB: free trial, free year as a student and then 10% off the next year. And I believe the price is worth it for the education and understanding it gives you when you’re managing every penny of your money.


Something I find immensely useful is putting money aside for ‘Irregular Expenses’. For me, it is any bills that aren’t monthly. Add them up for the year, divide by 12 and put that aside each month (Monzo Pots are useful for this). When it comes to the bill, just take the money and pay it. Really lifts the worry about bills you forget about.

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I started doing this last year and can’t recommend it enough

I would say, the biggest thing is the goal you’re trying to achieve. Be it a holiday, a fancy car or financial independence in 15 years time - if it’s exciting for you, it instantly motivates you to rationalise your spending. After all, the golden rule is ‘It’s not how much you earn, it’s how much you keep’.

I currently find Monzo app to be the best tool I’ve used so far to get my finances under control. All the committed expenditure is currently coming out of another account, Monzo is the main spending/budgeting tool.

Funnily enough, Robert Kiyosaki’s game has encouraged me to gain control of my finances and clear off the unnecessary debt (hope it’s not considered advertising and is ok to post here?):