How much should parents give a 1st year undergraduate to live on?

(66 Posts)
SteveB32 Mon 09-Sep-13 12:22:41

Our daughter is about to leave us for Univ. She is living in self-catering rooms with all services provided. She does not receive any bursaries or grants. We will supply all her stationery, toiletries and a fair bit of her food. Travel costs for her will be mimimal. What does everyone think would be a fair amount to give her per month? She does not have a part time job, has no inclination to get one and has not worked over the summer. We are paying for her summer holiday in Spain next year and a two week project in Africa. What would be a reasonable amount to expect her to live on?

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 12:23:52

Not a lot. Might encourage her to get a job.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 12:25:16

Sorry, that's not helpful. No idea really as it's been 10 years since I was at uni. Does she plan to get a job while there and/or during holidays? Work it around her wage from that.

Madlizzy Mon 09-Sep-13 12:25:24

What Tallulah said, especially as she has no inclination to work as she will expect you to keep on funding her lifestyle. There's also student loans.

78bunion Mon 09-Sep-13 16:52:19

Most of them do work. Mine did particularly over the summer but sometimes also if they could get it in a restaurant on Saturday nights etc.

I paid the hall fees and university fees plus £100 a week but I could afford it. It was still cheaper than school fees (before the university fees went up). There are huge variations between what students are paid and impossible to generalise. You could look at the maximum loan plus bursary excluding fee costs, for those from less well off homes as to what the state thinks students need for accommodation, food, books etc and work around that kind of sum.

BlackMogul Mon 09-Sep-13 17:09:50

Most if them really do not work at unis outside London. DD1 does not have a single friend that works. If you are at a RG university, most will not work and there are not enough jobs to go round. We give £500 a month to DD1 to include food, bills, transport, stationery, some clothes and entertainment/going out. DD2 in London will get about the same as she as no bills but transport costs are significantly higher. She also has a shortfall of £3600 per annum between cost of self-catering accommodation and loan. DD1also has a shortfall but much smaller. We are covering that too. I expect them to work at their degrees but DD2 wants to get a job and probably will, but she is in London. Hope this helps.

Lilymaid Mon 09-Sep-13 17:10:11

Also inclined not to be overgenerous if she is not willing to work to earn a little money herself. How much pocket money do you normally give her?

twistyfeet Mon 09-Sep-13 17:16:31

my boys get the loan plus grant and after paying rent have about £1500 left for the entire year to pay all bills, food, travel, entertainment. So roughly £30 a week. They manage.
So anything from that up if you can afford it and are feeling generous. If the want more they can always get a job.

BlackMogul Mon 09-Sep-13 17:16:55

Forgot to say my DDs have taken out the full loans. We listened to Martin Lewis and it really is a no brainer to do this and the repayments are small. We may pay this so we reduce our inheritance tax commitments in the future. The full loan for living costs in London is £4990. You cannot get a hall of residence for this. Hence the shortfall. We therefore have enough money to give them an allowance. You ave to be a pretty low earner to get any meaningful sum on top of this. Paying £9000 fees each year plus £8600 for self catering accommodation will make a big dent in most people's finances, so take out the loan. It makes sound financial sense.

mumeeee Mon 09-Sep-13 17:39:51

Both DD1 and DD2 worked part time (although DD2 didn't manage to get a job until the end of first year) We paid their Hall fees bit they paid. for evetything else themselves. We are going to do the same DD3. She says she's going to try and get a job and has been working out a weekly budget, She has the basic student loan. I might send her bits and pieces occasionally but part of going ro uni is being independent and fending for yourself.

mrspaddy Mon 09-Sep-13 17:48:46

I wouldn't give too much until she gets part time work.
Maybe pay the rent and give 30 per week.
I didn't get a full grant, my parents didn't support me and I think working two jobs was the best thing ever... Helped me manage money and appreciate everything. I have hons degree, masters and two postgrads.

Several uni friends were given everything, even credit cards paid and left after their degree with no real motivation.

senua Mon 09-Sep-13 18:06:13

If you are at a RG university, most will not work.

On what is that statement based?

We didn't give DD any regular income. She survived on her SL and part-time/holiday work. I did the occasional Big Shop or slipped her some money but she mostly lived off her earnings. She still had a fab social life, though. It's amazing how frugal they can be when it is their own money they are not spending.
Personally, I would rather keep the money, to help the DC out with a deposit towards a house when the time comes, than sub their beer money.

ExcuseTypos Mon 09-Sep-13 18:11:50

We will pay DDs accommodation costs, so she has the minimum loan to live on. This works out about £90ish pounds a week, excluding holidays. She will get a summer job to cover that period.

We did this with dd1 and it worked well. It's enough but not too muchwink so a summer holiday job is essential.

Milliways Mon 09-Sep-13 18:15:51

Same as ExcuseTypos. We pay rent and he takes the minimum loan to live on and hopefully save a bit (DD managed to save this way and it paid for her rent deposit and house set up on graduation.

DS leaves on Saturday and we send him with food/kitchen supplies to start him off. He has already applied online for jobs at Uni town (Russell Group)

cece Mon 09-Sep-13 18:16:15

My parents didn't give me any money beyond the odd tenner here and there.

Notsoskinnyminny Mon 09-Sep-13 18:40:55

Both of mine took out full loans. DS lived at home and apart from paying for his season ticket and £10 pm towards his phone bill he managed and still had money in the bank when he graduated despite not working, probably because he's not a drinker and none of the friends he made were either.

DD goes into halls at the weekend and I've paid for her accommodation and bought all the bits and bobs she needs to start her off but that will be it. She was going to buy a wristband for freshers week but decided she'd rather save the money as she doesn't drink/like clubs and will just go to a few events with her flatmates to be sociable.

BlackMogul Mon 09-Sep-13 18:44:14

Why have u assumed my girls drink their money away? If people have paid hall fees, this is often between £5000 and £7000 a year, more in London. Why in earth are people paying the rent and not giving their DCs any reasonabe level of money?What is wrong with the loan? Why do students have to live like hermits and be frugal? It is a shame when students cannot afford to do the things tha the others take for granted. Also in this day and age relevant work experience or internships can be vital for some careers and they don't pay a bean, but, the people who do them get the jobs and the training contracts. If your DCs have to work all summer they may not get the right opportunities later. You have to take everything into account when budgeting for this and telling them to get a job when none of their friends have one can be problematic. Also mine got wonderful experience by playing sport, being chair of the ball committee and president of her subject society as well as being in a choir. There is more to university than having to work because the loan has not been taken out.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 09-Sep-13 18:47:48

I haven't given mine anything after the age that cb stops.
It encourages them to work, especially if they believe you can't afford to fund their lifestyle.
They need to be able to stand on their own two feet after 16 really.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:19:30

I managed to work at uni and play sport and have a social life, and work during the holidays without missing out on anything hmm

RawCoconutMacaroon Mon 09-Sep-13 19:26:32

Morethan - well the gov doesn't expect students to stand on their own two feet! Loans (loans, not grants), are means tested for accommodation and living costs if the student has parents who earn over a certain amount. It is expected that the parents will cover the (large) shortfall.

Up until this year, my 2 DS got a living cost loan of £900 (the minimum loan in scotland) a year, this year it rises to £4500. A room in halls costs more than that, with no other costs taken into account.

One Ds is at a uni which specifically forbids students working during term time and short holidays, the other Ds is at a campus university in a city with several unis- jobs are very hard to get, though he is looking. Both have only managed to get very short term work in summer (both have done volunteer jobs for experience, no pay, costing us money).

We pay each DS £500 month, it's just about enough, when added to their minimum living cost loans.

HarlotOTara Mon 09-Sep-13 19:31:50

My dd had a part-time job and I gave her £400 per month. She did live in an expensive place, equivalent rents as London without the added allowance. I also bought her a lot of basic food at the beginning of each term eg pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes etc. which helped. She managed well but her student loan wouldn't stretch to everything and she was very frugal.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:34:48

A uni that bans students from having a job?!

timidviper Mon 09-Sep-13 19:38:45

Some unis do Tallulah. I know Oxbridge do.

Both my DCs took the full loan (just the basic, not allowed anything extra) and lived on that. We paid their accomodation costs.

TallulahBetty Mon 09-Sep-13 19:42:41

Really? I never knew that. What reasons do they give?

stephrick Mon 09-Sep-13 19:48:34

My DD is going to Cardiff uni this year, as a single parent she has the full grant and loan, so I suggest £3300 per year, that will be £270 per month. Though my DD has already secured a job of 10 hours a week, which will be another £200 per month.

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