As a student, you’ll need to manage your money carefully. We strongly recommend that you create and follow a budget to avoid financial difficulties.

How to create a budget

1. Work out your income

List your income over a specific period, for example:

  • The academic year (37 weeks on average).
  • The accounting year (52 weeks).
  • A calendar month (4.33 weeks).
  • A financially difficult time.

2. Work out your expenses

List your anticipated expenses during this time. Ensure you are honest and realistic.

3. Balance your budget

Either increase your income or decrease your expenses.

4. Adjust to your budget

Learn to live within your new budget.

Budget worksheet
Use this worksheet to calculate your income and expenses. (59.4 kB, EXCEL)

Tips on money management


Sorted.org.nz is a good budgeting and money management website. It has lots of great tips, budget calculators, articles and resources.

Tertiary bank accounts

Banks offer fee-free tertiary accounts to students. View their websites for more information.


Buy the essential textbooks first. Look for up-to-date editions of second-hand books or share expensive textbooks. Most textbooks are also available for use in the University Library


Carefully plan your insurance for your car and items such as computers, cameras and musical equipment essential to courses. 


A StudentCard gets you great discounts on everyday items like pizzas, DVD rentals and movie tickets, as well as your power bill and gym membership.

Money and flatting

Flatting is usually a lot more expensive than living at home. You'll need to budget very carefully to meet all your expenses.

Create a realistic budget to manage your money, and always allow an amount for any unforeseen expenses.

You can find information and forms for tenants on the Department of Building and Housing website.