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How much does a student need to live on per week?

(78 Posts)
Greenshadow Thu 16-Jun-11 19:07:22

DS1 is starting university in September.
The loan nowhere near even covers the cost of the student accommodation so we are going to need to help him out.

He will need to pay for all food, but no travel as this is included in his accommodation package. Otherwise only books, stationary, toiletries etc.

The idea is that he will pay for his social life from potential earnings.

We thought maybe £30 a week living expenses would be about right, but I really have no idea...

How much does everyone else pay there DC?

Greenshadow Thu 16-Jun-11 19:08:03

Apologies if I don't reply straight away - am dashing out to a meeting. Back later.

PenelopePitstops Thu 16-Jun-11 19:15:20

firstly where is he going?

The loan should just about cover most student accomodation, if he is in halls bills etc are included.

£30 is about right, £15-20 on food and the rest on odd bits. What course is he doing becuase this will impact his time/oppertunity to get a job.

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 16-Jun-11 19:17:43

I think that is a bit low, maybe £40? will he have to pay for mobile top ups etc? or alternatively he could get a part time job.

Riveninside Thu 16-Jun-11 19:19:31

No idea. Ds will get grant plus loan and after he has paidrent he has about £40 a week duri g the 42 weeks of term to live on. We cant help him out.

ellisbell Thu 16-Jun-11 19:20:05

self-catering or will he have to buy meals in hall? If the latter then he may need quite a bit more than 30 pounds. If self-catering you might wish to give him one of the supermarket cards that you can top up each week. Doesn't stop him spending the money on drink but might help.

mumeeee Thu 16-Jun-11 21:39:25

DD2 has jus t finished her 2nd year at uni.. We paid all her rent in the first year as her loan would have just about covered it but she wouldn't have had any thing left fir food and other essential books and course stuff let alone going out .

Scholes34 Thu 16-Jun-11 22:34:03

Maintenance loan will give you about £4,000 per year. Assuming he won't be receiving a maintenance grant, he will need about another £3,000 to £4,000 a year on top of the loan, so £60 to £80 a week, from you and/or any earnings. It depends on how expensive it is where he'll be living. There'll be lots of extra-curricular activities available too, and no doubt he'll want to get involved in some of those.

Greenshadow Thu 16-Jun-11 23:03:39

Thanks for all your replies.

He is going to be in Bristol and living in a student flat - so self catering but with all heating etc included.

We currently pay his mobile phone bill, so will probably keep on doing that.

He's currently working in Sainsburys here, so hoping that he will be able to transfer to the local one in Bristol - although he may have already left it too late to apply. He's doing an humanities degree, so should be able to find time to work a few hours at weekends.

I might think about the Supermarket card idea Ellisbell, thanks.

Riveninside Fri 17-Jun-11 07:38:09

Ds applied to nearly every supermarket in bristol. No vacancies. He is a bristol student too.

Goblinchild Fri 17-Jun-11 07:46:48

DD is a student in Bristol and is coming home to get a job as there are none available for her there.
She's got both loans, and £100 a week on top to buy food and household stuff, equipment, top up accommodation costs and everything else.
She's very good with money and has just about kept to her budget.

overthemill Fri 17-Jun-11 07:47:23

we have talked about this cos our's is going sept too. DD has asked for £60 a week on top of cost of halls (catered). I think this is high - she is basing it on advice gleaned from student forums/nus etc. We agree that she should have that amount but she has to try to manage on less for first term and we will take a nother look at xmas. we think she may need a pt job for luxuries like drink/meals out.

we are very broke cos i'm out of work so we are on v tight budget ourselves.

Greenshadow Fri 17-Jun-11 10:17:23

Not good news about the lack of jobs in Bristol sad
I think DS was sort of taking it for granted that he'll be able to transfer to a local Sainsburys but dosen't sound promising.

I hope he is going to be able to manage on considerably less than £60/£100 a week!

Ds is actually going to UWE, not Bristol itself - anyone else's DC there? Accommodation sounds lovely but is a hell of a cost.

jgbmum Fri 17-Jun-11 17:46:59

DS is starting Uni in September, we are paying his hall fees for him (self catering) and he will have his non-means tested student loan to live on. He will be taking an engineering degree so I think he is very unlikely to be able to do part-time work as well. But I hope he might get holiday jobs, if not, he'll have higher debt when he leaves in 4 years.

Riveninside Fri 17-Jun-11 17:49:57

Ds is going to UWE. I am stunned the accomodation is £1000 more than the personal loan. For a poky room! He has already applied to many many jobs and got nothing. So after the rent is paid, he will have about 30 quid a week to live on. Apart from eggs, we cant help him out at all. Lots of super noodles i reckon.
Bristol has two universities which might explain the massive competition for part time work.

Goblinchild Fri 17-Jun-11 17:58:59

My DD's accommodation is around £5,200 and her loan is £4,950.

Should be a lot cheaper next year when she's not in halls.

Goblinchild Fri 17-Jun-11 18:15:37

Transport in Bristol seems very expensive too. sad

Riveninside Fri 17-Jun-11 18:34:38

UWE students get a free bus pass for UWE buses smile

Goblinchild Fri 17-Jun-11 18:37:08

And they run every third Wednesday if the month has an R in it and the moon is waning gibbous. grin
Seriously, they never run to timetable and DD has walked many a mile because they just don't turn up in the mornings.

Riveninside Fri 17-Jun-11 18:59:14

The buses that serve UWE are pretty good. When ds moves there we intend to transport his gubbins by bus rather than attempt the scrum that is the carpark full of anxious parents and bewildered 18 year olds!

harbingerofdoom Fri 17-Jun-11 19:27:38

DDx2 are both going to uni this Sept/Oct. DD1 is modern languages and going into self-catered accommodation. DD2 is Chemistry and going into catered college.
The loan just covers the S/Catered accommodation for DD1 but has a short fall of approx. £300 in DD2's catered choice. The college also charges about £1700pa for food. On top of this advised to budget for Other of £1850 made up of -
Clothes £430
Ent £780
Course £290
Travel £220
Misc £130
This all comes to about £7300 pa.

harbingerofdoom Fri 17-Jun-11 19:37:53

DD2 will not be able to work in term time,however DD1 will be, sooo chop about£1200 off total as personal choice!?(Ent and Clothes). When they earn it is their problem.
Then, to be fair, the catered costs need to be divided by the number of weeks and then used as the cost per week in self catering. I think. Not sure how to get it fair.

goinggetstough Fri 17-Jun-11 19:42:26

My DD is just finishing her first year in catered halls at Bristol University. She has found the bus service which was introduced this year to be OK and is part of the Hall fees for Stoke Bishop. It gets very busy at certain times but they learnt to go earlier or just walk!
The things we found that were expensive or additional to what we expected were:
- internet connection ( sometimes part of hall fees)
- JCR fees
- sports club annual fees + sports centre membership + AU sports insurance + match fees + contribution to transport if a league match rather than uni match
These items may or may not apply to your DC.

Greenshadow Fri 17-Jun-11 20:04:35

I think I have been seriously underestimating what DS is going to need.

Good to have this discussion here, now, rather than get a nasty shock later.

Also useful to hear inside information about the UWE bus service. He has been given a flat at Frenchay but will be studying (History), for the first year, at the St Matthias campus, so would be a rather long walk.

JobCarHouseNoBaby Fri 17-Jun-11 20:06:07

I think you're being amazing giving him any money at all!

I started uni in 2003. My balance sheet (yes I had a budget spreadsheet to help me manage my money) looked something like this:

Income (per academic year): £7500
Outgoings (per academic year): £7400

My income was made up of:
Student Loan £3000
Summer Hols Earnings £1500
Weekend Job Earnings £1600
Student Overdraft £1500
Total: £7500

I think it was one of the most worthwhile lessons my parents taught me. I hated them at the time, and was uber-jealous of my student friends who had Asda food shopping delivered like a parachuted food parcel every two weeks and money put in their account every month.

But having gone through 4 years of extreme budgeting I now know how to balance my bank account and save up for things I want. I still use the weekly budget spreadsheet my dad set up for me now.

I had three jobs in the summer hols before I started uni (saturday job in shop, bar work 3pm-midnight, factory work 6-12noon) to give myself a cash start for the uni life. I worked my butt off, felt really proud of myself and really learned the value of money and then turned up at uni to share a flat with students whose parents sent food shopping every fortnight, gave them a monthly allowance and still paid their mobile phone bills.

It is of course completely dependant upon how good your child will be with cash - my parents knew I had some sort of level head on my shoulders but my brother is the polar opposite and is now living back at parents to save cash.

I think what I'm saying is, if you are in the position to make your kid's uni life comfortable, great, but if not, encourage them to get some of their own cash behind them. Trust me, they won't waste it all down the students union 3 nights a week (and might only go once a week instead)

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