The Best Money Saving Tips At Christmas

There’s less than one month until Christmas, as I’m sure you’ve noticed by all the christmas decorations and mince pies in the shops. For some people, it’s far too early to be thinking about Christmas, some are full of holiday spirit all year round, and others may celebrate Chanukah, Eid or owt.

No matter what you are celebrating, the festive season can be the most expensive time of the year. Big retail days like Black Friday in November has also encouraged higher spending in the run up to christmas. In fact, a typical UK household spends about £3,300 in the month of December to cover the cost of Christmas. According to the Bank of England, that’s about £800 more than an average month!

This means that saving money for christmas has become an even more important part of managing your finances. Going into your overdraft to afford the christmas spending can be even more expensive than borrowing money, even online payday loans. To help ensure you don’t get into the situation of having no money for christmas, read through out list of the top tips to save money. 

How To Save Money At Christmas

Pink Christmas Presents

Plan for the Festive Period

Lists are not just for Santa. Make sure you keep track of the people you need to buy presents for, the food you must have, and any decorations that are essential. Then work out your budget and see what is actually doable. Thinking about Christmas this early can help, as you’ve got time to start saving!

Do Secret Santa

Talk to your friends and family members about doing a Secret Santa this year, instead of buying everyone a gift. That way you only need to buy one present instead of loads for each of your friends. This is a great thing to do at work too.

Switch Your Bank Account

A lot of people don’t like to switch bank accounts, as they think it will be a lot of hassle. The biggest issue tends to be your current bank trying to tempt you to stay though. If you swap banks, a lot of them offer an incentive of up to £200! Some may call it bribery, we call it free money.

Enter Competitions

While this is not a sure fire way to get extra presents (for yourself or others), entering into loads of free competitions could be a good way to source smaller gifts. Even if you don’t win the main prize, you could win something, so why not give it a go?

Shop in Discount Supermarkets

While it’s common to have some treats aside from christmas dinner, it’s true that most of us buy a bit too much food at Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be from the most expensive supermarkets. Discount shops like Lidl and Aldi have much cheaper options, and often stock German festive food like stollen and gingerbread.

Check For Amazon Discounts

Items on Amazon are for the most part reasonably priced anyway, but there could be ways to save even more. The Money Saving Expert site has a great page where you can search for Christmas gifts and get up to 75% off.

Sell Old Gifts

If you’ve still got a gift from your last Christmas haul lying around, why keep it? Whoever gave it to you has probably forgotten by now, so don’t expect to see its pride of place in your living room… Selling old unused presents could raise enough money to buy half of the gifts for this year!

Order Gifts Early

Buying gifts in November means that you don’t need to pay for priority delivery – you’ve got loads of time. So you can always choose the cheapest delivery option.

Online Outlets

Although shopping on the high street can be fun, if you can stand the crowds, it can be a lot cheaper and do your Christmas shopping online. There are loads of online outlet stores if you don’t live near any outlet villages. You can even do online shopping for more expensive brands like Superdry— they have an online outlet store on eBay.

Second-Hand Doesn’t Mean Second Rate

There is nothing wrong with buying second-hand gifts if you know someone will love it regardless. Charity shops often sell things that are in fantastic condition or even new. Sites like eBay can also have great deals that will cost less. If you’ve got transport, you can even pick up things locally via Gumtree.

Buy From Abroad

Companies like Wish and AliExpress can offer you things from clothing to cameras for a fraction of the price. The only catch is that some things will take up to 6 weeks to arrive – better start looking soon if you want to get presents in time for Christmas!

Cashback Credit Cards

If you have a cashback credit card, you’ll get money every time you spend. As long as you pay back in full each month, it’s interest-free. Some credit cards pay 5% for the first three months, so you could get a lot back if you use the card for larger expenses. This may not be an option if you have bad credit.

Get Items on Sale

Almost all shops have a sale on towards the end of a season. As we enter into winter, you can probably bag a few bargains you can give as Christmas presents.

Quite a few people are thinking about Christmas in January – if you shop in the January sales this year, you can get wrapping, cards and decorations for next year! As long as you have a place to store them, and don’t forget they’re there, this is a great way to save money.

Book Tickets in Advance

People travel all over the country (and abroad) to get home for Christmas. Train tickets can be expensive if you buy them last minute, so make sure you check the prices as soon as possible. If you’re eligible for a railcard, this can pay for itself on your first trip if you’ve got a long way to go.

Look For Cheap Deals

It’s always a good idea to shop around. If you find something you like on one website, but it’s too expensive, you may be able to find it cheaper elsewhere. Google Shopping can often show you the cheapest deal.

Make Homemade Presents

Even if you’re not that creative, you can still make your own gift vouchers – perhaps promise a meal eating out, or a weekend away. You’ll have time to save a little more money if it’s a trip you need to pay for.
For those of a more artistic temperament, there are loads of great ideas to amaze and inspire on sites like Pinterest.

Don’t Post

Stamps can be expensive. This is a universal truth. So if you’re sending tons of Christmas cards each year, it’s probably costing far too much. Perhaps try sending e-cards this year instead.

Cheap Show Tickets

If you subscribe to a newsletter or mailing list, you may be able to find theatre or show tickets for discounted prices. You can also look on sites like TheatreMonkey to get the best deals.

Chicken or Turkey?

It might sound a little radical, but do you need to buy a huge turkey for Christmas? They’re often marked up due to the season, and a lot of people prefer chicken anyway. You could also go veggie this year and have a nut roast!

Use Your Loyalty Cards (Sometimes)

Many shops have loyalty cards, but we tend to forget to spend the points we save over the year. Now is the best time to cash in the points you’ve earned! You can sometimes also convert points into vouchers that you can give as gifts instead. But be cautious, read about how using loyalty cards and being too loyal to retailers can be more expensive!

The Best Free Festivals To Head To In The UK This Summer!

Can’t afford to go to Glastonbury this year? Crushed that you’re not able to go to Creamfields? This summer, forget about paying hundreds of pounds for a weekend ticket to a music festival and check out some of the UK’s top free festivals. You’ll be surprised at how many big-name acts perform at smaller, local festivals. Take a look at some of our favourite most popular free festivals to head to this summer!

Freedom Festival, Hull

28th August – 1st September


Free by name, free by nature, the Freedom Festival in Hull is one of the most diverse free UK festivals out there. Expect top notch music, amazing dance displays, street theatre, performance art and other entertainment from around the world. The multicultural Freedom Festivals celebrates inclusiveness with past artists including pop sensations Florence & the Machine, JLS, Alesha Dixon and The Saturdays, as well as incredible local talent such as Punjabi Akhara and Zagros Band.

West End Live, London

22nd June – 23rd June

Love musicals? West End Live in Trafalgar Square is a must-see! The free two-day musical theatre festival showcases songs from West End’s most beloved musicals. Previous performances include snippets from Les Mis, The Lion King, Wicked, Dreamgirls, The Phantom of the Opera and many more.

West End Festival, Glasgow

31st May – 30th June

Billed as the ‘Scottish Mardi Gras’, Glasgow’s West End Festival is not to be confused with London’s West End. It’s the second biggest carnival in the UK…and for a good reason! West End Festival is a paradise of music, comedy, outdoor theatre, children’s events, talks and street performances, as well as the main parade, street party and markets. The entire festival itself is a month long, but one of the biggest events is The Big Sunday on the 17th June, which is packed full of live music performances, food, drink, funfair rides and even a skateboard competition.

Liverpool Pride Weekend

27th July – 28th July

Sure, you could go to Brighton Pride…but unfortunately, tickets for most days are sold out now. But luckily Liverpool Pride is completely free of charge and it’s set to be an action-packed weekend! Starting in 2010, it’s one of the newer pride events but it’s one of the most popular in the UK. Previous headline acts include Katy B and Atomic Kitten, with this year’s acts soon to be announced. Liverpool Pride boasts three stages, a VIP section, a chillout area, a pride march through the city centre (of course!)  and a community exhibition celebrating local businesses.

Godiva Festival, Coventry

5th July – 7th July

Named the UK City of Culture 2021, Coventry really is the place to be if you want to check out fresh, new up and coming artists. The three-day festival is in its 21st year and has attracted some of the biggest acts in the UK such as Newton Faulkner, Scouting for Girls, Happy Mondays, Lightning Seeds, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Darkness, The Human League, Biffy Clyro and much much more. Godiva Festival is usually made up of two sections: the main stage and a family area – making it the perfect weekend escape for everyone!

Faversham Hop Festival, Kent


31st August – 1st September

Who says festivals just have to be about the music? Kent is renowned for brewing some of the UK’s top beers and ales (way before craft ale was a glint in our eyes), so what better place to celebrate beer and music than in Faversham, a great little market town in the heart of the Kent countryside? As one of the UK’s biggest beer festivals, it’s home to plenty of rock bands, swing and jive groups, blues quartets and soul singers, not to mention street entertainment and delicious food.

Crystal Palace Festival, London

15th June – 23rd June

London may be one of the most expensive cities to live in, but it’s one of the best places if you’re looking for thrifty fun. The Crystal Palace Festival is one of the biggest free events in the capital…and it isn’t just a music festival. You’ll be treated to theatrical and spoken word performances, a huge maze, stand up comedy, wellbeing workshops, arts and crafts, talks and tours and dance acts, to name but a few!

Notting Hill Carnival, London

24th August – 26th August

This wouldn’t be a ‘top free festivals’ list without mentioning the Notting Hill Carnival! Attracting over 2 million people last year, the event celebrates Caribbean culture through music, storytelling, comedy, theatre, poetry and more. Notting Hill Carnival brings entire communities together and is easily one of the most vivid and enchanting festivals out there! Sunday is traditionally ‘family day’ and the following Monday is usually reserved for those who like more of a wilder party!

If you in need of cash quickly to cover an emergency expense, PiggyBank can help! We are instalment and payday loan direct lenders and offer £100 up to £1000 loans with flexible repayment options. If you need a loan urgently, apply for a short term loan online today!

These Simple Figures Show The True Cost Of Running A Family

Running a family is very expensive. Ensuring you’ve got enough to pay for the weekly essentials is a struggle, let alone splashing out on activities to keep the kids healthy and entertained. Trying to figure out where your money is going, and where you can cut back and save is difficult and makes quick payday loans appear like a quick fix.

Rather than applying to loan companies, we’ve gathered the statistics to show you where your money going and help you organise your finances!

budgeting with a family


These AI Powered Apps Will Help You Save Money

These days we spend more time on our smartphones than we do our computers, which means the vast majority of us will do our online banking on the go. As such most banks have their dedicated apps and services to make sure we can check our balances and manage our accounts with ease. But do these actually help us to save money?

In the last year, there has been a huge increase in the number of financial artificial intelligence to help you save money. The AI analyses your spending habits and either makes saving suggestions or automatically puts money aside for you.

This will help you build a cash reserve in case you have an emergency cost that needs paying instantly. If haven’t got the cash to afford an unexpected expense, PiggyBank offer simple, same day loans!

Unfortunately, it’s not quite as easy as this…

We’ve compiled a list of the best digital financial assistants to help you with your savings!


Plum is an automated service that analyses your outgoings and recommends how much you should add to your savings account. You must simply provide Plum with your online banking details. Plum does not have a dedicated app, it operates through Facebook Messenger and will notify on your current savings balance with fun emojis. With this chatbot you can quickly message it to “save £50” and it will transfer that amount into your savings account.

Plum screenshot on mobile

Plum also gives you the chance to invest your savings with RateSetter to earn monthly interest of around 3%. Although this investment is not without risk, so make sure you fully understand what you’re investing in!


Much like Plum, Chip is a chatbot that connects to your bank accounts and will calculate how much you can put into savings based on your outgoings. Chip has a dedicated app for both iOS and Android and opens a savings account for you to pay into whenever you like. Money is automatically transferred to this account on a regular basis and you can withdraw it at any time, making this a very flexible in case of emergency!

Chip mobile screenshot

With Cleo you earn 1% interest on a quarterly basis. Although this is less than Plum, it is without the added risk! You can also raise this interest up to a gigantic 5% if you invite your friends and family to also join Chip.


Unlike Plum and Chip, Cleo does not put your money into a savings account. Instead, Cleo gives an accurate breakdown of what you’ve spent your money on in different categories such as transport, bills, and food shops. Cleo works through Facebook messenger and again requires you to enter your bank account information. You can even see which merchant you spend your money at, so you can ascertain that it’s those Starbucks coffees that are draining your monthly income! 

Cleo mobile screenshot

You can ask this chatbot to set a target amount to save, and it will make intelligent suggestions about how much you will need to save. It will analyse your income and necessary expenses and recommend the best savings plan. Cleo also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant in case you fancy chat!

If you do find yourself short at the end of the month, our flexible, online loans could be a convenient option for you to cover an emergency cost. 

If you’re struggling to stay on top of your budgeting, perhaps these automated services can help you accumulate those all-important savings.

Don’t Let the Costs of Winter Partying Put Chills Down Your Spine!

Going out on the town these days is just so expensive. It’s only natural to want to unwind with a few drinks, have a dance with our mates, maybe some food and have a laugh. We all deserve a night out with our friends from time-to-time, but it can cost a fortune if you’re not careful.

A great night out can be achieved when you’re living on a budget however. Here, we take a look at some top tips to have a fantastic night out without spending over your budget.

Do Your Research

This might seem like it takes some of the fun out of the night, but taking a quick look around to see what offers are on at different bars and clubs, whether you’ll have to pay to gain entry to certain places (and how much it will cost), will save you hassle on the night itself. Put two or three venues to the choice of your group of mates after researching where you can get the most of a night out for your budget. If you can avoid paying an entry fee it can make a huge difference.

Cut Down on the Booze (Or Ditch it Entirely)

It is possible to have a good night out with friends without alcohol, or at least with just a few drinks instead of getting blind drunk. The fun is in the laughter, the dancing, the catching up and everything else that being with your mates is about. A few drinks to ease into the night can be great; too much alcohol can end up being a problem for your health and your bank balance. The costs are much greater where alcohol is involved, as the drinks are more expensive, the transport costs increase if you’re out later. Perhaps have a few drinks with your friends before you leave, and try not to drink for the rest of the night. Non-alcoholic options are also much better these days, so why not consider cutting down next time you’re out on the town.

Stick to a Budget

This is a hard one to commit to we know, but it is possible. After researching the entry fees and average prices of drinks, take a look at your budget and work out exactly how much you can afford to spend on the night out ahead. To ensure you are getting enough from the budget, eat at home before going out (this lines the stomach should you be drinking alcohol and ensures you’re not as likely to want a greasy takeaway at the end of the night). Another approach is to not take your bankcard out with you, relying on the cash you have in your hand.

Arrange Transport

Whether you are being dropped off and picked up by your partner, friend, or family member, or you have arranged for a taxi for either or both journeys, arranging transport before the night out can save you plenty of cash. A late night taxi can cost a lot more than a pre-booked service, and a lift with a loved one is even cheaper!

A night out doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money. It can be fun and entertaining without stretching your budget too far.

For more information on long term lending contact today.

Throwing a Fabulous New Year’s Eve Party on a Budget!

If you’re hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year, it’s only natural that you worry about the cost. With it coming hot on the heels of Christmas (often the most expensive time of the year), how do you wow your New Year’s Eve guests if you are putting together a party on a budget? Don’t worry, you won’t have to rely on an instant payday loan, here are a few handy to tips to help keep party costs low yet ensuring your guests have a great time bringing in 2019!

Utilise the Décor You Have Available

There are so many everyday items, and normally mundane features in your house that can be repurposed for use during a party. They can be used to create a focal point for the party (a simple wooden block can be used to place the main food for the party and become a centrepiece). Use festive decorations in a new way, so pinecones and Christmas baubles can be placed inside vases for a new aesthetic.

Games and Entertainment

A New Year’s Eve party is quite often deemed a success by the types of entertainment on offer, but it doesn’t have to cost you the earth to be entertaining. Old board games that you already own are always a great place to start, or even pick them up cheaply on Amazon, but simple games such as charades bring a lot of fun for everyone and only require a pen and paper to play. There are also tons of card games you can play with a deck of cards!

Food and Drink

Here’s where a lot of the budget for a New Year’s Eve party can be wasted. In the build-up to Christmas keep an eye on discounts and sale items in your local supermarket, as well as places where you can buy in bulk. Try to keep your New Year and Christmas goods separate so that you have plenty of food and drink ready in advance. A bring your own booze policy is acceptable, as long as you, as the host, provide the mixers and a selection of non-alcoholic drinks alongside it. Simple snacks to cater for the entire evening are welcome, whilst a centrepiece main meal could do the job, something easy that can be slowly cooked and cater for a large group of people, such as chilli, a Bolognese or lasagne.

Homemade Crafts and Drinks

As part of the decorations, there is a chance to get everyone involved. If you have children, perhaps ask them to come up with ideas for crafty items that can be used for decoration. You could kill two birds with one stone when it comes to the drinks on offer and the competitive nature of having friends round to play games and party – ask your guests to come up with their own cocktail concoctions, with prizes for the tastiest drink and funniest beverage name.

The Soundtrack of the Night

The easiest way to get the party started on a budget is to take some time out to create the perfect playlist for the evening. Put together some of your favourite tracks of the year, songs that you know everyone in the group loves, and those stone-cold classics that are guaranteed to get everyone moving on the makeshift dance floor in the living room!

‘Wow’-ing your guests at New Year doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a little heart, some craftiness and an eye on the sales you can ensure everyone has a fantastic night celebrating 2018 and the year ahead in 2019.

A Simple Guide To Reducing Everyday Expenses

With the rising costs of gas, electricity, fuel and food it’s no surprise many people in the UK are struggling to make ends meet. Regardless of whatever you’re earning, and even if you’ve got into the habit of saving, an unexpected expense can disrupt your budget.

As a result of this, more and more people are looking toward no credit check loans to help keep their heads above water. As PiggyBank is a responsible payday loan direct lender, we don’t believe no credit check loans are the right option. In fact, there are other simple and effective ways to get your everyday spending under control and prepare for unexpected financial emergencies.

Write down all of your expenses


Before anything else, write down all your expenses for an average day. How many times have you handed over £1 and thought, “Oh, it’s only £1,” and then repeated this same process every day for several months? Our tip is to be mindful of where you plan on spending your pennies and write down everything you spend for a whole month – you’re then able to see where you can cut costs in the future.

Drive less, walk or bike more


Not everyone can cut out driving completely, but it’s good to make reasonable compromises. If your commute to work isn’t too far away, consider biking or walking – not only will you spend less on fuel but you will get more exercise too and feel much healthier.

For a longer commute, you could consider an e-bike. These have an electric motor and battery to boost you along when cycling and making those long rides a doddle even for the non-cyclist.

For those of you who still need to use your car frequently, from now until 14th October, Halfords Autocentre will pay for your MOT if you purchase anything other than a 5p carrier bag. A great little save on motoring running costs for the year.

Take your own lunch to work

A simple yet highly effective point. It may take up a few extra minutes of your evening to make your lunch for the next day, but wouldn’t you prefer to have extra money in your pocket at the end of each month instead? Buying yourself a ‘£3 meal deal’ or something similar every day from the supermarket could be costing you nearly £60 a month, a total of £720 a year. Imagine what you could spend that money on if you took your own lunch to work?

Shop smarter


Try cutting back on your food shopping and use up what you have before purchasing anything else. When you need to make a trip to the supermarket avoid going when you’re hungry as this will result in you buying things for the sake of it. Find alternatives to those expensive brands you buy and opt for own brand items for a cheaper bill at the end.

Pay for things with cash

You should only allow yourself a certain amount of money each week to spend. Unless you’re constantly checking your finances on a daily basis, there’s no way you can keep up to date with when you’re actually spending if you keep paying for things with your credit card.

This Is How Much Money You Can Save By Going Vegetarian!

There’s a lot of hype around cutting ties with our carnivorous lifestyles: whether that’s for environmental causes, ethical causes, or simply jumping on the ‘I’m vegan’ bandwagon. Either way, there is a reason why there are now over 12.5 million vegetarians and vegans in the UK. It’s simple really — going vegetarian is cheaper, and arguably healthier, than eating meat. Here’s why!

Do Vegetarians Spend Less Money?

A study published in the Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition researched whether eating a plant-based diet is cheaper. Based on 7 day recommended meal plan, both the vegetarian and the meaty meal plan provided 2000 calories per day and were based on the cheapest available prices of the ingredients.

The finding was that the vegetarian diet had 25 more servings of vegetables and eight more servings of fruit every week, which is hardly surprising. However, the key finding was that shopping for strictly vegetarian food cost around £550 less per year!

You may think that with a vegetarian diet that we’d surely be missing out on certain nutritional needs such as a lack of protein. But the study also found that a plant-based diet had 60% more protein in it on a daily basis.

Another study has also shown that ‘true’ vegetarians spend less money on food than those who eat meat. However, the study also found that those who claim to be vegetarian but admit to secretly eat a bit of meat on the side actually spend more than acknowledged meat eaters.

In other words, pretending to be vegetarian won’t do you any favours!

Shopping For Vegetarian Food

It’s a bit of a no-brainer really, don’t buy anything that’s got meat or fish in it. We’ve used a budget food shopping list and worked what you’re likely to be spending on meat and fish every week. On this shop, which now costs £41.78, 38% of the cost goes to buying the meat products.

Replacing these ingredients with vegetables will undoubtedly bring the cost of the food shop down.

Below is an alternative shopping list to the budget shopping list, which comes in at £32.93 from Asda.  Instead of the meat, you can buy cheaper and often just as tasty veggie alternatives! This will reduce the cost of your weekly food shop dramatically by nearly a tenner.

For fresher and cheaper fruit and veg, check what’s in season here!

Still not convinced? Over the year, this reduced food shop will save you over £450! Think of the other more exciting things you could be doing with this extra cash.

For more information on long term lending contact today.

The 5 Easiest Ways To Save Money Without A Conventional Savings Account

Saving money is never easy, it essentially involves purposely hiding money rather than spending on nice things. But fortunately, we’ve found some easy and fun ways to save other than using the traditional savings account.

Use AI To Save With Plum

Plum makes saving money simple by just doing it for you. It lives within your Facebook Messenger so there’s no need to download an app. You link your current account to Plum and then it analyses your daily transactions to learn what you’re spending your money on. It will then work out how much you can afford to save and automatically transfer a small amount into a savings account. You can also chat with the AI and ask it to withdraw funds or spontaneously save.

AI Money Saving

A new feature is the opportunity to invest your saved money to earn interest of up to 23.3% in companies like Apple and Facebook. Be careful though, your capital is at risk with investing, which means you could get back less money than you put in. You can select a risk level, to indicate how likely your investment will return as a loss.

Get A Smarter Bank Account

Image result for revolut

Gone are the days of traditional banks with no seeming incentives for using them and enter the new era of banking. Challenger banks like Revolut are not only great for using abroad without fees but are also able to help you budget better!

With Revolut you can use a vault to save your money in for a financial goal. You can either transfer a one-off amount to there, set up a reoccurring transfer or cleverly, you can choose to round up your transactions and add that to your vault. Those rounded up pennies will quickly add up!

Do A Savings Challenge

Challenges are usually a bit more fun and satisfying than squirrelling away some of your income. But what if I told you it’s possible to save over £650 in just one year by only saving pennies?

It sounds a bit crackpot but if you add 1 penny to your savings on day one, and then 2 pennies on day two, 3 pennies on day three and so forth, these will quickly add up!

It’s a simple way of saving that doesn’t feel like it hurts your wallet too much. If you need to keep track of your days, here is a handy printable calendar.

Clear Your Debt Repayments

While this seems like a bittersweet way to save money, it can be very financially beneficial in the long-term. Many people have borrowings that need to be repaid as well as mortgages, and it is well worth repaying loans early to save yourself money on interest.

As interest rates are currently so low on savings accounts, the money you save on interest is a lot better than what you’d be getting in a standard savings account.

If you can afford it, pay off your high-interest debts first before making large mortgage repayments or the equivalent. If you do want to pay off your mortgage early to save, you need to check to see if your mortgage lender allows you to overpay without incurring fees. Many lenders allow you to pay 10% over your mortgage back per year without charge.

Go Cash Only

People generally pay for everything on their cards and even their phones, tapping away small purchases every day. However, studies have shown that people spending with their cards shell out up to 18% more than if they use cash.

It is easier to pay with that little plastic card as it physically has no monetary value, whereas cash does. For example, if you lost your card, not a problem, phone up the bank and cancel it. On the other hand, if you’ve lost cash, it’s gone and you cannot replace.

Next time you go shopping, withdraw what you think you need in cash and leave your card at home. This way you have a tangible amount of money you can use that you can’t go over.

We hope these handy tips help you save for a rainy day. If you have an unexpected expense that your savings can’t fully cover, that’s where PiggyBank can help.

We are a payday loan direct lender and can help if you fall into a tricky financial situation. We offer short-term payday and instalment loans and have helped secure loans for people with bad credit. If you require a short term loan, apply today!

An Ultimate Guide: The Cost Of Living At University

So, you’ve got your place at university sorted and you’re ready to join thousands of other students for at least the next three years. But for many students living away from home, the cost of living is tight, even with the aid of student finance. Here, we’ve broken down the average cost of living away from home at university!

We’ve done the maths using to work out an average of how much you’re likely to spend on a monthly basis. We’ve ordered these facts into the most to the least expensive, so you’ll be able to see what is likely going to be the biggest monthly expense.


Rent will almost certainly be the biggest outgoing each month, and the average cost will vary depending on where you are studying. In your first year, you will more than likely be in halls managed by the University. For example, Teesside University’s accommodation can be as cheap as £232 per month, whereas rent in UCL’s halls can be upwards of £1000 per month.

In second and third year the majority of students move into private houses, which again will vary in price. Bristol’s rent prices are likely to be up to £600 per month, in comparison, Sheffield could be as little as £200 per month.

Fortunately, full-time students are exempt from paying council tax in rented property, which will save a student household thousands of pounds.

Recreation and Hobbies

Budgeting for socialising and pastimes obviously depends on your habits. Based on the average spending calculated by the ONS, the average person spends £128 a month on recreation. This includes things like the cinema, sports admissions, books, video games and even pet care.

The ONS found that an average adult spends £15 a month just on alcohol but for many students nights out form a big part of their social life so this is likely to be a lot higher. You then have to take into account the price of entry for nights out and potential taxis and the late night takeaway afterwards! These costs can all add up if you’re planning in going out out frequently.

It’s important that you don’t stop spending money on hobbies any sports as this is an opportunity to meet new people and take your mind off of life’s stressors. Just be mindful that excessive recreation will add up!


According to the Office for National Statistics, you’re likely to spend £80 a month on transport. This will obviously depend on the university you attend, for instance in a larger city like London you might need to get on the tube, but in a smaller city like Plymouth, a bike would suffice.

Travel costs are more likely to rise after you move out of halls after first year, as you need to travel to campus to attend lectures. Consider getting a 16-25 railcard, which only costs £30 and will save you a third of the cost of rail fares!

This average includes students who take a car to university, in case they want to drive home on weekends.

Food Shopping

According to the ONS, you’ll spend £67 a month on food, but it’s far more realistic to expect to spend around £80, not including alcohol. Food shopping is one of the costs that you can easily be cut by regretfully avoiding Waitrose and express stores, and buying non-brand items. Check out our blog for more great tips on saving money on food shops!

Utility Bills

Utility bills are often included with the price of rent, especially in halls. But if you pay for water, electricity and gas separately then it’s likely going to cost you around £40 per month. Staying on top of bills can be a bit of a challenge, fortunately, there are now many apps and services like Onedox that will help you keep on top of it all.

Use comparison websites to make sure you get the best deals!

Keep in mind…

Though the figures may seem scary, a maintenance loan can help you cover most of your university fees. Your maintenance loan is usually paid in instalments around the beginning of a new term. The amount you receive depends on which university you attended and your parent’s household income. You can also ask your parents to loan you money if you’re running short one month or look into alternative forms of borrowing such as short term loans or credit cards.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics