Budgeting and insuring your new university student

If you have a freshly-minted university undergraduate in the family who is probably leaving home for the first time, there is much to look forward to, but also much to organise to ensure a smooth transition into their university life.

Most parents have passed on the key basics of money management to their children, but this will probably be the first time they have had to manage not only their own personal spend, but also be responsible and pay for essentials such as food and utility bills, for example.


While it is impossible to be precise before getting to University, working out an outline budget beforehand is still a good idea – even a rough idea of how much money will be needed and how much is available each week might help the new student avoid blowing their budget early.

Make one list of all monthly income from student loans or any part time work, followed by one laying out every expense that can be thought of. It should include (but not be limited to) staples like rent, bills and food, books, miscellaneous fees, travel costs and laundry.

Starting out with a plan enables the student to have a clearer picture by subtracting expenses from income and being able to manage any money left over for luxuries like entertainment and clothes, for example.


Let’s not forget other costs that will arise in the event of having personal belongings stolen while away from home. Would they be covered for their laptop, phone and tablet which are usually essential items on every campus? Have they added up the total value of their belongings that might include bicycles and even cars?

According to a survey by Save the Student, 7% of students have been burgled while at university, with fresher’s week being a prime time with so many new students moving in and bringing expensive gadgets and property with them.

A first port of call would be to check your own contents insurance to see if your child’s belongings are covered away from your home. If they are not, the insurer might be able to add an extension clause which would cover them and to which your child could contribute.

If the above is not possible, the next step might be to speak to a specialist insurance broker to find the right cover. There may also be discounted deals available to students via their university – the enrolment documents and student packs supplied may contain details here.

It’s worth remembering that there will be exclusions and regardless of the quality of the cover, students must appreciate that it is their responsibility to look after their belongings. Leaving flat or house doors unlocked and not leaving a car or bike securely parked for instance, often will mean that insurance would be invalidated.


Save The Student (2022) Student contents insurance 2022. Available at: https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/student-contents-insurance.html (Accessed 22nd August 2022)