Student Finance: Cost of Living in Sheffield

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Reem Mohamed

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22 December, 2022

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7 mins read

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Student Finance

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Overlooking the River Sheaf from which it gets its name, Sheffield is a major English city located in South Yorkshire. With over 250 parks, gardens, and open green spaces, Sheffield is one of the UK’s greenest and most environmentally-friendly cities. The city is also known for its safety and renowned for its history, culture, art, and architecture. 

Sheffield is England’s third-largest city in terms of population, 10% of the said population is made up entirely of university students. Being home to numerous renowned universities and learning institutions, Sheffield has gained a reputation as a student-friendly city that attracts a rather large number of both local and international students annually.

Living on a student budget can be a bit tricky, especially in a big city like Sheffield. This is why it’s important to be prepared, to know what to expect beforehand, and to plan your finances ahead. Join us as we break down the cost of living in Sheffield, how much you’re expected to pay for living necessities and luxuries, and how to save money while there! 

Cost of Living in Sheffield

The estimated cost of living in Sheffield for students averages around £1,412. This amount does not include tuition fees and is subject to increase or decrease depending on the student’s lifestyle. This amount should be enough to cover basic living expenses like rent, food, groceries, and transportation amongst other things. 

But how much does everything cost separately? Let us dive in and dissect the cost of living in Sheffield, one spending at a time! 

Tuition Fees

Sheffield is home to both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University, both of which are known for the high quality of education they provide students with. Several majors and disciplines can be found at Sheffield’s universities, ranging from education, history, and art to medicine, architecture, and engineering.

The tuition fees in Sheffield start around £9,000 for undergraduate courses and can reach up to £12,000 - £15,000 for postgraduate courses and degrees. Scholarships and financial aid programs are available for both local and international students, so you can make use of them to save money while there. 

Cost of Living in Sheffield

Additional Study Expenses

Unfortunately for you and your wallet, study expenses don’t just stop at tuition fees, other study expenses might make a dent in your budget. Study materials like software, textbooks, stationery, learning devices, and online materials all factor into the extra study expenses when studying in Sheffield. 

The average amount you’re expected to pay for your additional study expenses is about £40 - £60. The good news is that you don’t have to pay those on a monthly basis, they might be just once a semester, so you don’t have to worry about them every month! 

Student Accommodation Rent and Utilities

Rent in the UK is paid on a weekly basis. Considering you choose to live in a PBSA (Purpose-Built Student Accommodation), which is a money-saving and student-friendly choice, your average weekly rent will be around £120 for a single room, with your utilities included. This might be a bit more for other types of rooms like en-suite rooms or studios and would be even more expensive in private accommodation, since utilities are often not included. 

Transportation and Student Travel in Sheffield

Transportation is a huge part of the cost of living in Sheffield, especially if you do not live within walking distance of your university. The average cost of a monthly transportation ticket is around £66. Taking a taxi is always more expensive than other means of transport in any city and Sheffield is no different, a taxi trip on a business day and in basic traffic costs around £16.

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Grocery Runs

As a student living alone in Sheffield, your trips to the grocery store will inevitably be an essential part of your routine. The average grocery run usually totals around £15, which covers a variety of products ranging from eggs, milk, and cheese to potatoes, chicken, and apples. Additional delicacies like soda, beer, or a good-quality bottle of wine usually average around £6 - £10. Personal care products such as toothpaste, deodorant, toilet paper, shampoo, and medicine can total up to £12.

Food: Take out and Eating out

Some days you are too exhausted from your time on campus that you don’t have the time or energy to cook yourself a good meal and find yourself in the need of takeout. Some other days you just want to grab a bite out with friends or take something to go on the way home. You should always account for those days in your budget. 

Ann average lunchtime meal, with a drink included, usually costs around £11. A combo meal in a fast food restaurant, McDonald’s for example, is much cheaper as it costs only about £5 or even less, depending on the restaurant. Dinner, on the other hand, can cost anywhere between £12 - £22, sometimes it can go up to £60 if it’s a fancy restaurant. 

Leisure and Entertainment

Amid the studying and all the hustling you’re doing as a student in Sheffield, there should be time as well as an amount of money in your budget dedicated to your leisure and entertainment. Here are some numbers you should keep in mind regarding entertainment and leisure in Sheffield. 

  • An average movie ticket costs around £9.

  • A theatre ticket for a good seat is about £25. 

  • A good cup of coffee starts from £2 but can go higher or lower depending on the area.

  • A cocktail drink at a downtown pub averages around £8.

  • A beer in a neighbourhood pub falls around £4.50.

  • A one-month gym membership can come to about £25. 

Clothes Shopping 

Shopping for clothes in Sheffield can be a bit expensive, especially if you’re going for brand names or big retail stores. An average purchase of 2-3 clothing items can cost you around £100 - £120. Similar to additional study expenses, this is an amount you will not be required to pay on a regular basis, so no need to worry about it that much! 

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Saving Money in Sheffield: A Student’s Savvy Guide

The cost of living in Sheffield is affordable, however, there is no harm in trying to save money while living there. This is why you need to start noting down ways through which you can save money while studying there. 

Learning how to spend money rationally and responsibly can be a bit hard, especially when you’re a student living alone in a new city. Worry not, though, we’ve got you covered! Keeping in mind that saving money does not mean depriving yourself of the luxuries of living as a student in Sheffield, let’s dive into the many ways you can be money-savvy! 

.Cost of Living in Sheffield

1. Set a Budget

The first step towards becoming money savvy is setting a budget for yourself. Keeping the cost of living in Sheffield and all the individual expenses we’ve already established in mind, it should be easy to set a budget for a period of time, whether it’s a weekly budget, a monthly budget, or even a semester budget. 

This way, using your detailed and precise budget plan, you can manage your money and how much you spend, and even challenge yourself to remain within your budget. In case of a surplus, you can either save it or treat yourself to something nice! 

2. Travel Smart

Travelling smart is one of the most effective ways to save money in Sheffield. The best thing you can do to save money on transportation is to book student accommodation within walking distance from your university campus. 

In the event that you fail to do so, you should consider eco-friendly travel, which also happens to be money-saving! Cycling or walking from one place to another, as well as carpooling, are great ways to save money and still get to your desired destination with comfort and ease. 

3. Get a Job

With your busy schedule, it might be hard to get a job, but trust us, it will definitely be worth it! Not only does getting a job help you have more money on hand to pay for your basic living expenses and treat yourself in the process, but it also makes for a great addition to your resume and comes in handy after graduation. 

There are plenty of part-time student jobs to apply for while studying in Sheffield, including both on-campus and off-campus jobs. If you happen to be in a time crunch and absolutely can not make time for a job, you can always check those earning apps for students

4. Meal-Prep

Cooking your own food is another way to save money. You can either cook every day, or go the easy, time-saving, and money-saving way of meal prepping for the whole week. This way you can only make one trip to the grocery store, cook all your meals for the week, and store them away only to be microwaved at meal time. This saves money because you buy in bulk, help you not depend on takeout food, and you can easily include it in your budget.

5. Shop Smart

A smart shopper gets everything they need at great prices! A huge amount of the cost of living in Sheffield is spent on shopping, whether it’s for groceries, clothes, books, or university supplies. 

Shopping smart comes in many forms. For groceries, you can start shopping in bulk, going to stores where they offer student discounts or shopping during holidays or times of sale. The same applies to clothes, books, and supplies, except you can also try buying them secondhand from nearby thrift stores. 

6. Enjoy Student Discounts

Your university ID card is your ticket to money-saving land! Students are eligible for so many discounts and offers, provided they have their university IDs on hand. You can get discounts on transportation, food, drinks, groceries, books, clothes, university supplies, and so much more! Your student ID can also grant you free access to several city attractions, including museums, art galleries, and public parks, this way you can save on leisure and entertainment as well. 

The cost of living in Sheffield is affordable and within the average student’s reach, especially if you manage your finances properly. Using this as your guide to spending money in Sheffield, you can easily set a budget for yourself, pay for your basic expense, and have some leftover money to treat yourself with. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sheffield an expensive place to live?

According to the Student Living Index 2022, Sheffield is the third most affordable city in the UK. Accommodation, travel, food, and entertainment are pretty affordable and within reach in Sheffield.

Is Sheffield a good place to live?

Sheffield is a great place to live, the city is renowned for its greenery, history, architecture, culture, and art. The city is safe, affordable, tourist-friendly, and student-friendly, making it a good and ideal place to live for everyone, especially international students. 


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