Student Budgeting: Travel and Accommodation


Travelling to and from university is a part of the everyday life of students. For some it is shorter than others, as they may live on campus, but for others a big part of their day is spent just to attend their lectures.

For those who are commuting by car, petrol prices have increased a lot and it probably will be taking out a hefty chunk of monthly incomings. This is due to the recent increases in energy prices, which are affecting not only petrol, but also other necessities like gas and electricity. We will cover those separately and the way to minimise their use later in this blog.

Where car journeys are essential and petrol is unavoidable

  • My best advice is to make the journey count. Try getting to campus early and using the time on site efficiently, to get the maximum benefit of the resources.

Where car journeys are non-essential:

  • If the journey is walkable: Put on your favourite playlist and get those steps in!
  • Where possible use public transport and at the same time help the environment. Most students are eligible for a 16-25 railcard which allows you to save a third on rail fares and, if you connect it to your oyster, on the tube too (though you have to be cautious as these rates apply to off peak times mainly). It's a one-off payment for the railcard and you will almost certainly save more than how much you’ll spent on it.


This moves me onto the next topic which is accommodation costs. As just discussed, commuting can bring about a lot of cost now due to increases in prices (especially petrol) but so can accommodation. So, it’s best to take the two into account before choosing how and where you want to spend your money.

You may decide to live further but commute more (cutting away the rent) or live closer and commute less (cutting away travel/petrol/insurance costs). It’s always best to make an informed decision (Check out Unidays debating moving out VS staying at home).

For most, part of university life is living out at university. While this is a great character-building experience it can cost you a lot in rent, bills and upkeep. Things you should consider are:

  • If the university you are attending is close by, you could save a lot on rent by living from home.
  • Try and minimise energy and gas price increases you will face by:
    • Taking quick showers
    • Turning off the lights when out
    • Turning off the heating when you're not in your room/house or when you don’t actually need it.
  • Try and share the costs of things like:
    • Cleaning
    • Food shopping
    • Commuting - if the people you live with drive, carpool whenever you can.
    • Subscription based items like Netflix and Spotify which allow bigger plans for households to lower the cost per person.

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