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?

TheAlphaandtheOmega Sat 14-Sep-13 19:25:59

I expected my DS to get a job whilst at University, or what would he have done all summer, just loafed around for 3 months. As it is he has a part time job in a supermarket which he has managed to work 35-40 hrs a week during the hols by staying in his Uni town.

Also he volunteered at 2 large music festivals so got free entry to them and enjoyed himself very much, managed to go on 2 holidays with friends this year. None of which he would have been able to do without his job.

He's at a RG Uni doing Physics so not an easy subject and has easily managed to do his job and get good grades.

We pay his rent, we said we would whether he got a job or not and he gets his student loan so it means his job money is his own for extras so he doesn't have to live so frugally and also he enjoys his work and is all the happier for it.

noddyholder Sat 14-Sep-13 18:11:59

Once rent and bills are paid (by us) he will have loan and on top if that we will buy his clothes phone etc and an extra £100 a month So he will have 75 a week

AtiaoftheJulii I was going to ask what happens when you have two.
I always thought having my two close in age was wonderful. I will have a two year overlap. Gulp.
Perhaps this should be mentioned on those threads by young parents about the ideal gap between DCs grin

AtiaoftheJulii Sat 14-Sep-13 15:23:49

It also grates on me that if you have two at university at once, when they do the means-testing for the second one's maintenance loan, they only knock a grand off your available income. (Disclaimer - that was true when I looked last year, haven't checked recently.)

So there is a gap which they expect parents to fill, but apparently they only expect you to give your first child £1000 pa, which will not fill the gap.

I have no idea how people manage. I don't have a spare £500 a month, let alone a spare grand when dd2 goes off to uni a year after dd1. Fortunately my kids have inherited some money from their great grandfather, and that will go a long way to supporting them.

mumeeee Fri 13-Sep-13 23:30:05

DD3 has budget for about £50 a week. That is for food, laundry and going out. She will spend more in Freshers week. She only drinks a little and doesn''t do clubbing.

intitgrand Fri 13-Sep-13 22:29:57

Crikey thoseof you giving your DC £100 per week on top of hall fees!! That sounds like a heck of a lot to me. I can't afford to contribute anything like that amount!Do they really need that much?DS is starting this time, at a RG uni on an engineering degree.He is living about a mile from campus so he will walk or cycle.He isn't into clubbing or drinking.I was thinking apart from food he wouldn't have that many expenses?

CityGal29 Fri 13-Sep-13 22:29:20

I got£600pcm at uni starting 2002, ret paid and tuition fees paid. Also worked very hard all holidays and always worked during term time. Also had £6k in savings when I went.
I was wealthy by student standards but I didn't take it for granted always worked.

intitgrand Fri 13-Sep-13 22:26:08

why can't your dd get a loan at under 18?
It is not legal to lend money to under 18s

7to25 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:55:28

£250- £300 pcm

And no extras.

mumeeee Wed 11-Sep-13 13:48:38

We have helped DD1 and 2 through university by paying all their hall fees in first year which included bills. In the second and third yeasr we paid most of their rent but they paid some and all their they also paid all the bills. They got part time jobs. Once they finished uni they were expected to fend for themselves we didn't contribute towards rent or anything except for occasionally sent some bits and pieces. We will be doing the same for DD3. We put some money in a couple of ISAs a few years ago to enable us to do this. Although I think some of DD3's rent will have to come out of our current account.

goinggetstough Wed 11-Sep-13 13:43:30

Agree totally Chunky with regard to the OP's DD. She is definitely incredibly lucky to have the holidays paid for as well!
Though I think that parents are now forced into contributing more than they used for university to due to the reasons I gave above. Plus we also obtained our university experience for free and therefore feel that if we can contribute then we will.
My DCs are expected to work in the summer holidays and during term time if they can get a job. My DC1 just graduated and had a job. DC2 about to start so we will see...

ChunkyFicken Wed 11-Sep-13 13:29:45

Oh I get that the Gov, in its wisdom, demands parents contribute and so many do. I expect we shall as well. But I also expect my children to help themselves a bit and work in the summers before and during uni to save up for their beer/whatever money.

It just seems the OP's daughter is having a fair amount spent on her, holidays etc, and is not remotely interested ('has no inclination') to help towards funding anything. And by the sounds of it the OP isn't expecting her to contribute anything either.

It just seems that, generally and not just in regards to uni, from what I've seen on this thread and others that parents are expected, and expect, to continually fund their offspring. I was wondering if this is the new norm or do such parents actually, at some point, make the 'child' stand on their own two feet...

Sammie101 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:24:19

Why is she not getting loans and grants? And why does she not get a job? Depending on her course she'd have free time to study and work.

My dad didn't give me any money when I went to uni, he helped me with buying furniture and moving which I appreciated a lot more.

University isn't just about getting a degree, it's about being independent and learning to provide for yourself.

creamteas Wed 11-Sep-13 13:23:20

My last uni 'banned' term-time working, but students still worked. No one ever gets thrown out for working, unless they start missing classes or assessments.

goinggetstough Wed 11-Sep-13 13:20:48

chunky I agree with your saying that DCs should at least get summer jobs as future employers value the skills that can be learnt. Students do need to learn to budget and live within their means.p

However I am not sure I agree totally with your comments about how much parents are expected to contribute. On the one hand If you are from a low income family they you will get a loan and a grant. In some cases also a bursary and maybe something from the National Scholarship programme. Universities seem to vary in their generosity. This can mean that students be given between £7000+ up to £9000+ given to them. Not all of which has to be paid back. Those students whose parents earn a higher amount may only be entitled to a minimum loan that will not even cover their accommodation. Yet their parents are criticised for helping them out and that they are not standing on their own feet and should get out there and get a job. The government expect their parents to contribute a certain amount. IMO both are being given financial contributions towards their university costs yet it only seems to be the latter group that are heavily criticised.

ChunkyFicken Wed 11-Sep-13 12:25:29

Yes but Posy surely there are long summer holidays? What's stopping them working during the summer and, gosh, I dunno, saving their money to then use term-time.

Generally, I am amazed at how much parents are expected to support their young adult offspring. It just seems to go on for years and years post 18. How and when do they learn to stand on their own two feet?

WhitesandsofLuskentyre Wed 11-Sep-13 12:25:00

RawCM, I think what the Student Loans Company told me is probably only half the story. DD2 is 16, not at university, or doing a degree of any kind but IS living away from home (in halls) because there is nowhere within travelling distance that does her diploma course. The course itself is state funded because of her age, but they have very different (much meaner) rules for residential support in her case. Her only option was the Residential Support Scheme; the SLC told me a loan wasn't available to DD2 because she can't enter into a credit agreement with them until she's 18. Although I have now found out that under certain circumstances (certain approved institutions/courses) you CAN get a loan. Sadly, her course/institution isn't one of those.

PosyNarker Tue 10-Sep-13 22:35:24

Jobs aren't always easy to come by, plus depending on the course might not work well around (probably fine for an arts degree in a big city, but if you have an engineering degree where you're in lectures / tutorials / labs practically 9-5pm - as my DP was - having a job that generates any kind of reasonable income + social life + study will be a stretch).

Madratlady Tue 10-Sep-13 22:30:04

To be honest she sounds really spoilt for an 18 yr old. Do you pay out for everything now? What's she going to do when she leaves uni and has to live in the 'real' world? I don't see a problem with helping towards accommodation costs but budgeting for your own food and social life is part of uni life.

Tabby1963 Tue 10-Sep-13 22:23:16

We paid for daughter's first year all inclusive Halls fees and set up a DD for £20 per week with the expectation that she would find work to earn any extra money for social and clothing etc. This she did, there a plenty of jobs around for the taking.

She's now starting second year and we are paying for her share of renting a flat (all inclusive of bills) and she is working to earn extra money for books and materials, social outings and clothing etc.

She is at uni in Scotland and all her uni pals work too.

Steve, you will be doing your daughter a big favour and encourage her independence and maturity if you 'encourage' her to earn her own money while she is a uni. She will quickly learn to appreciate money a lot more if she has to work hard to earn it.

Learning the value of money does not happen if it is just handed to you on a plate whenever you want it.

Finally, I find it hard to believe that none of her friends will be working part time while in further education. That is the norm nowadays surely?

DalmationDots Tue 10-Sep-13 22:14:15

I should add DC both had very well paid jobs before uni during sixth form and saved it.

As pp have mentioned, there are other costs like books which you may need to consider too- I forgot these.

DD always comments how it is funny how lots of the students whose parents pay get into debt or run out of money, while those who pay themselves (and often have less money) seem to manage to keep on track and budget...

DalmationDots Tue 10-Sep-13 22:10:52

Completely depends on a few things: how much you earn, which university (different cities can be more or less pricy than other cities), how much student loan is she getting, how much savings does she have, do you expect/want her to work in the holidays next summer etc.

My DC both went paying everything themselves in terms of accommodation, tuition fees, living costs, transport, food, nights out. My salary is OK to live a nice life but not huge.. I couldn't support them without it having a huge impact on my living and so didn't. My exH doesn't support them at all. When my DC started they were on the cheaper fees and the payback system for student finance is much more reasonable than now.

DC never had any trouble, they learnt to budget, worked summers, used savings and their student loans only covered most of their accommodation, not all, but they survived and didn't get in any debt. They didn't get holidays paid either.

So one answer is give her nothing/very little and she will be fine, don't be guilt tricked into giving lots if you are tight on money.

But if I was in the position to be able to support them, I would, and I would give about £30-£40 a week if it is just for going out, extra food/toiletries bits (assuming the food you mention in your original post is separate to this money? Food will be about £25-30 a week on top), transport home should she want to visit you and anything else.

How does she currently afford to buy clothes and go out etc?

Cremolafoam Tue 10-Sep-13 21:58:19

All very approximate
Income per annum
(Fees loan £9000)

Maintenance loan £3589
Maintenance grant £3000
Parental contribution £2000
Weekend Job in supermarket £1600-1800
Total income: £10,189

Outgoings per annum
(Fees £9000)

Accommodation : £5000
Travel / phone/ books/ broadband £800
Living / food/ social :£4389
= £439 per month
= £110 per week
Total outgoings: £10,189

This is based on a 10 month term time period. Over the summer 2 months, if not living at home she will have to self fund by summer job or save up to travel . It's tight. The only thing we will top up if genuinely needed is books and travel. Fees in brackets cos you don't see any of that do you.
Cos we is miserly innit.

Monty27 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:32:08

DD gets 100 pounds for food. She had a (well paid) part time job in sixth form and saved nearly every penny of it. She has a part time job in Uni.

Some of the dc's on here have more expendible income than me, I have an everage paid job, single parent, me and millions of others I expect. shock

Madratlady Tue 10-Sep-13 21:29:51

My parents contributed to my rent but I had a loan for my living costs, travel etc. I was on a tight budget and did end up using my overdraft a bit but I manage fine. I also got a job and worked about 12 hours a week. This was during a nursing cost where I was either in lectures 9-5 5 ays a week or doing full time shift work on placements.

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