Money matters

Student Cost of Living in Preston

Manchester is not only an amazing place to be a student, it is also one of the more affordable places to study. To let you know the average cost of living in Manchester for students and how much to expect to pay while you’re here.
Student Cost of Living in Preston
Published on: 23 Oct 2023

Accommodation is likely going to be your largest expense after course fees.

According to UCLan’s own data, halls cost from £83 per week and private accommodation for your second or third year costs approximately £112 per week, which won’t include bills.

Alternatively, Sanctuary Students Moor Lane Halls cost from £65 per week including bills!

In return, you get high-quality accommodation that’s warm, well-maintained, a common room with TV, security, CCTV, a kitchen, laundry amenities and spacious private rooms.

Household bills

Household bills will be part of your life forever so you may as well get used to them.

Bills typically include gas, electricity, water, council tax, insurance and optional extras like TV and internet.

You don’t need to pay council tax as a student but the rest you may have to pay.

We recommend budgeting around £120 per month for bills. Yours may be less, especially if you live in an HMO with others. Otherwise, plan for around this amount.

Unless you stay with Sanctuary Students that is.

Stay with us and there are no bills.

Rents are fully inclusive of gas, electricity, water, security, cleaning of common areas, kitchen, laundry, Sky TV and other amenities. The rent you see is the rent you pay. No bills, no hidden fees, no added extras and no crazy rent hikes part-way through the year either!


Travel costs are much harder to estimate as we will all have different lifestyles.

Live in halls and you’ll have very low travel costs in your first year as you’ll be on site. The campus is close to the city centre, so you’ll be able to walk to most places.

Stay with Sanctuary Students in your second and third years and your travel costs stay low.

Our buildings on Moor Lane and Walker Street are also close to class and the city centre, so transport is optional.

Preston does have good public transport should you need to use it. Buses are reliable and fares reasonable. Preston has its own train station linking it to regional and national stations too.

Mobile phone and internet

Preston is a relatively low-cost city to live in but bills such as phones and internet are priced nationally, not locally.

That means you’ll pay the same for your phone or internet here as you would anywhere else.

If you live in a good coverage area, you could combine phone and internet with a contract with decent data allowances.

Otherwise, the internet will cost upwards of £30 per month depending on the speed. You can then divide that by how many of you are in the house.

If you stay with Sanctuary Students internet and WiFi are included in the rent.

You get access to superfast speeds but don’t have to pay extra for it. How convenient is that?

Leisure and entertainment

Any calculation of the cost of living in Preston for students wouldn’t be complete without considering leisure and entertainment.

How much you spend will be entirely up to you. Preston puts on a great night out and it can cost far less than other cities.

But it will depend entirely on what you do, where you go and how often.

UCLan recommends budgeting £51 per month on leisure and entertainment, but we think that’s very conservative.

We all know we could spend that in a single night, let alone make it last a month!

Be smart about entertainment, use campus bars, go to student nights, drink sensibly and be mindful of what you spend and you could spend £100-150 per month on enjoying yourself.

Plus, there are plenty of free things in Preston to do as a student!


Food will be a significant part of the cost of living in Preston for students, as it would be anywhere.

You’ll need to feed yourself for all your student years, in halls, in our Preston student accommodation or in an HMO.

We usually tell our students to plan to spend £50-60 per week on food.

That will increase with inflation of course, but if you can learn to cook some basic dishes and shop savvy, you should be able to eat well and reasonably healthily for that amount.

Of course, that doesn’t include eating out or having food delivered.

If you do that, you can expect to spend a lot more on food!

Study costs

Study costs factor in books, stationery and consumables rather than course fees. You already know your course fees and will have to pay them upfront so they are largely irrelevant for budgeting.

We tend to recommend £40-50 per month for study costs.

You may spend more, you may spend less, but if you budget for that and don’t use it, you can use the money elsewhere.


UCLan halls have laundry facilities you can use whenever you like so laundry costs will be modest. Basically, the price of laundry detergent.

Once you’re out of halls, much will depend on whether there’s a washing machine in your student accommodation or not.

If there is, it should cost around £7-10 per month for laundry detergent and some water and electricity for the washing machine.

If there isn’t, plan for between £5-15 per week for a service wash at a launderette.

Sanctuary Students offers laundry amenities at all our buildings that can cost as little as £3 per wash.

Gym membership

Gym membership is an optional cost of living in Preston for students. Many of you will regard it as one of life’s essentials while others won’t.

UCLan has the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre and Sports Arena. Membership and use are completely free while you’re a student here so there’s no need to pay for a gym.

If you do want to go elsewhere, plan to spend anywhere between £30 and £55 per month for gym membership.

The cost of living in Preston for students

The cost of living in Preston for students is lower here than for many studying elsewhere in the country.

The experience is just as good though, which is the most important thing!

If you budget well, plan for expenses and be savvy with your spending, you should be able to get the most out of your student years without running out of money.

If you stay with Sanctuary Students, you can enjoy a high quality of life for even less. All while staying in private, ensuite rooms, being warm and safe and never having to pay a utility bill during your stay.

If only everything in life was so simple!

Accommodation prices accurate as of July 2023.