This page is about budgeting for university and life afterwards. First we’re going to help you imagine a point in your mid-20s with a job, and trying to afford living in the UK a few years after graduation, then we’ll ask you to work backwards to do the (much harder!) task of making life work at uni – on an even tighter budget!

First, you’ll need to open (and save your own copy of) this budgeting spreadsheet, and also this instructions link.

Scenario 1: soon after graduation

Skip steps 1-2 on LearnHereNow and instead presume you are 22ish, a graduate, and earning £19,000. Complete step 2 (your monthly income after tax) and put this into the spreadsheet. Then search for housing option near any university you are currently considering attending. Note that you’ll need to give yourself several options at this stage, chosen from between

  • living by yourself (greater cost)
  • sharing a house with others

Now use the shopping figures you got last week to complete step 5, and use the worksheet to do step 6. Note the purple “sensible spending” guidance bands on the right of the spreadsheet – how close are you to them?

Scenario 2

Now you think you know what you’re doing, here’s an extension task: work backwards to being a student.

This time, cut all the costs down to the minimum you think you can live on (even if you know your parents are going to give you free support, act as if they were not.) Reverse-engineer the spreadsheet to find out what is the real amount of monthly funds you will need in the yellow box B8 of the spreadsheet?

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