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Living costs

Managing your money is an important part of university life – here’s what you'll need to budget in and how to make the most out of your money.

Cost of living in Nottingham

A student wearing pink, searching through a rack of shirts and coats in a Nottingham clothing store.

Your tuition fees are a big part of the expense of going to university, but you also need to plan for rent, food, travel, and everything that student life at NTU has to offer.

Full-time home undergraduate students can apply for a government Maintenance Loan and receive up to £9,706, depending on your circumstances. That's alongside the Tuition Fee Loan. If you won't be receiving a maintenance loan, there are other ways of covering your living costs.

Managing your money can help you thrive at university and make the most of life at NTU. How much you spend depends on your own lifestyle and choices, but the below table serves as a rough guide to what your outgoings might look like as a student at NTU.

Living costAverage monthly spend
Food shopping£116
Household bills£64
Course materials£17
Mobile phone bill£18
Health, wellbeing and self-care£20
Holidays and events£25
Gifts and charity£15

Based on National Student Money Survey 2022.

Accommodation costs

A student sat reading on his blue halls of residence bed. Behind him are neatly organised shelves.

Accommodation is a big expense for most students. You’ll want to find accommodation where you can comfortably live and study for the full academic year. Here are some things to consider when choosing your accommodation.

What can you afford?

Think carefully about what you can afford. The student finance calculator shows how much student Maintenance Loan you will receive. University-run halls of residence costs cover bills, whereas some private accommodation might not.

You may also be required to pay a large instalment at the start of term one alongside your deposit, so make sure you check what payments are involved before making your decision.

Rent instalments

Rent payments are not always split into equal amounts, so make sure you know how much you owe and when. NTU accommodation usually provides 44-week contracts, while private landlords may expect a full year of rent, whether you're there or not.


Think about where the accommodation is, how close it is to the university and how much travel will cost you. If you live locally, you may be thinking about commuting. There are many factors to consider here, including the impact on your maintenance loan.

Have a look at our Accommodation guide for more information. You can also contact our Accommodation Services team for advice on fees, as well as guidance on choosing your new home.


Managing a lump sum of money for the first time can be a daunting prospect, especially when you need to make it last. It’s important to budget carefully and to be well-prepared, and we recommend starting with a weekly budget.

Follow these steps when creating your budget:

  1. Divide your income for each term across the number of weeks that it needs to last. What income do you have? When do you receive it?
  2. Set up a second bank account and transfer your weekly or monthly allowance. This helps reduce the danger of you overspending.
  3. What expenses do you have? Remember to include small costs as these can easily add up.

Download our budget worksheet for an easy way to plan your budget over the whole year.

Financial support while at university

Support is always available if you run into financial difficulty while studying at NTU, but you don’t have to be in hardship to access our services. If you want any support with managing your money or setting up a budget, you can arrange to speak to one of our friendly financial support advisors by email.

Great ways to save money


UNiDAYS is a discount website that is available for free to students worldwide.

Visit the UNiDAYS website


TOTUM offers more discounts through their card and app and is recommended by the National Union of Students.

Visit the Totum website


Nottingham’s bus routes and trams offer discounted student travel. See more on the NCTX website.

Visit the NCTX website

16-25 Railcard from Trainline

A 16-25 Railcard is a discount card that makes train travel cheaper for students.

Visit the Trainline website

Working while you study

Many students choose to work part-time while studying. Employment not only boosts your income but can provide valuable experience to put on your CV and it’s a great way to meet new people.

Any questions?

If you have any further questions, please call +44 (0)115 848 2494 or email the Student Financial Support team.