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University - 1st Year - Planning - Living Expenses

(63 Posts)
lookoveryourshouldernow Fri 12-Apr-13 22:43:14


We are trying to put together a "budget" plan for our son's University education this September - fingers crossed for his results...

Excluding accommodation / books does anyone has a "feel" for the amount of the money that a student would need to survive on a weekly basis ???

I guess costs would include bus fares /food / entertainment / clothes / small extras etc etc etc..

Any insight on a weekly amount would be greatly appreciated ??

Thank You

Maat Sun 21-Apr-13 18:41:07

Numberlock - I asked that question previously and was told it didn't make any difference.

Numberlock Sun 21-Apr-13 18:45:32

Thanks, Maat, that's what I suspected. Seems ridiculous that adults are mean tested for loans based on their parents' income. They could be mid-20s when they graduate, depending on the course!

Maat Sun 21-Apr-13 18:49:50

I couldn't believe it either. The finance forms are only interested in what our income is - not the fact that we are supporting more than one DC through Uni.

DS1 still has a couple of years to go (he's doing a 5 year sandwich course and DS2 has 3 years ahead of him.

We are going to be seriously skint sad

Numberlock Sun 21-Apr-13 19:40:43

Depressing isn't it?

mumeeee Mon 22-Apr-13 10:31:45

We did the same as Marjorie with DD1 and 2 and are just abput to start again with DD3. We did buy some of thier books for the first year and also stuff like utensilsand other initial setting up stuff, We also boight the first lot of food. DD3 is still deciding which uni to put as her first choice either a HND at Bolton or a degree course at Greenwhich,,both in computing. We went up to an open day at Bolton this weekend and she was tols where all the cheapest shops were. Of course if she chooses Bolton it'll be chaper then Greenwhich.

twistingaround Mon 22-Apr-13 17:57:34

I am a f/t (mature) student in London. There is a student Oyster travelcard, so look into this, it gives 30% off. It's likely that he'll have to travel quite a distance into university, depending on which one. Some of my coursemates travel in to our uni building in zone 1 from as far as Essex (about 1.5 hours travel). Bus fares/passes are cheaper, but imo it's worth paying extra for the tube if you're travelling that distance as it's much quicker.

Almost all the students I know also work, I know quite a few who don't get any financial support from parents at all so just fund themselves from loans/grants/wages. He might be able to earn fairly well with tutoring depending on his subject. Can he get a transfer from his existing job, if it's a national company? Check the university website for information on bursaries. He may be able to get some additional support from his university access funds as well if he can show the family income is low (but they tend to prioritise mature students/those with dc/from families on benefits)

He should be able to find a good market within travelling distance to buy cheap food/household goods, there are lots of free activities to do in London, and many places do student discounts. But there are also fantastic opportunities to do things that he'd miss out on if he economises too much, so I wouldn't cut back too far. There is no point being here if you are just going to do the same things you can do much more cheaply in a random Northern city! I spend a fair bit on doing some sports activities here and doing various social activities, they both drain my budget but I feel lucky to have the opportunity to do them as they're not always widely available elsewhere.

Also, depending on his course/career interest, there are some amazing opportunities to do voluntary work/internships with organisations here, but a lot of students can't do them as they already spend their free time doing paid work. So giving more money (if you can afford it) can help by freeing up his time to take advantage of these, which can be more helpful to his long term prospects than spending time doing shop/bar work.

harbinger Fri 26-Apr-13 18:52:56

Maat It might make a difference. My DCs both started at the same time.
One applied for Student Finance a lot before the other (last minute specialist!).
Early DC had the Maintenance Loan upped after Late DC's application went in.
I never queried it, life is too short!
You do need to link everyone.

I'd love to know for sure how they (SF) deal with this.

sandripples Sun 28-Apr-13 17:45:05

I would never do meals for student DCs - they are adults and either can cook or need to learn!

Numberlock Sun 28-Apr-13 23:04:15

I rang the student loan people and for every additional child at uni you can deduct £1300 from your salary to make the calculation; they link the two applications automatically by address or whatever,

purplewithred Sun 28-Apr-13 23:18:46

In total they need £8-9k a year to live a normal student life, in my limited experience. There are slight variations in living costs from city to city and travel costs to home and so forth. quite how they manage without parental help i really dont know.

mumeeee Mon 29-Apr-13 16:47:22

I wouldn't consider buying meals for DCs at uni. Both DD1 and DD2 budgeted for meals out of thier student loan. They cooked themselves sometimes i conjuction with flat mates and at other times on thier own. Part of going to ui is to learn to do that sort of thing themselves, We did buy them the initial lot of food when they started uni but that was it, DD3 is going in September and we'll do the same for her although she does have some learning difficulties,

harbinger Mon 29-Apr-13 21:23:10

Numberlock flowers you risked your sanity ringing SF.

So that is their calculation £1300 per child.

Unfortunately, it looks like I might have to ring them. DC's loans don't agree,when they should. One letter is even better, the front page doesn't agree with the next. I have two DCs and FIVE different ML sums.

Just hoping for another print run as this doesn't make sense.

Numberlock Mon 29-Apr-13 21:56:16

I shall pray for you harbinger !

fussychica Tue 30-Apr-13 18:25:59

Poor you - the nightmare that is the annual student finance application.

DS has year abroad coming up so I can only image what SF will do with that!

harbinger Wed 01-May-13 18:58:34

fussy So does DD1. That's probably why it's all over the place!

BUT It should be quite straight forward........ GRRRRRRR

lljkk Sat 11-May-13 15:40:40

Don't think I've heard of Freshers Week. Don't think my Universities had anything like it.

Is Freshers Week just so expensive because they go out socialising, clubbing & drinking? Why is it unreasonable to expect them to budget reasonably for that? (I suppose stupid question from a foreigner who never liked getting drunk, but then I can't imagine expecting my parents to fund those types of habits, either confused old fart emoticon).

sandripples Sat 11-May-13 16:28:11

LLijkk - its expensive partly because of socialising, but also they tend to have to pay fees to join societies/clubs for the year.

Freshers Week is a big thing in UK universities - major socialising and meeting loads of other students, while also enrolling for all the activities you want to do. So it is usually a more expensive week than normal. Its also due to some of the upfront costs if they have to buy expensive text books - not all courses require these but some do. And it can also involve kitting out your room/kitchen so again its costs you have once but not again.

MABS Mon 13-May-13 07:49:53

anyone got any cost ideas for accom and cost of living in Manchester. That is dd's first choice but v unsure on costs. She has got the basic maintenance loan approved, but do you think it easiest if we pay for accom and leave her to live on that? very many thanks

singaporeswing Mon 13-May-13 08:12:33

I graduated 2 years ago from a Northern university and my maintenance loan was around 3,3k per year. My parents paid my tuition fees & also gave me £400 per month.

My first year accommodation was 4,5k per year and included food - I had enough to live off, buy books, the occasional treat from Topshop, travel to see various friends, socialising, joining societies etc.

MABS Mon 13-May-13 08:22:02

thanks so much

savoirfaire Mon 03-Jun-13 22:55:55

Was looking at some forms related to student funding today (uni specific). It asked about siblings and other outgoings. May not be standard though. Have seen figures around £8,500/yr banded about in relation to costs of living as a student in London - think this includes all expenses, rent etc (although will of course depend on the frugality or otherwise of the particular student!).

Re food: of course I wouldn't purchase ready made stuff for my DCs. Studentdom is about learning to budget/cook/survive on your own two feet (as much, or more so, than the academic stuff) IMO. Oh how I remember 5p cans of beans, 6p tins of spaghetti and 10p loaves of bread. <shudder> Wouldn't have it any other way for my DCs! My mum used to post me bars of posh chocolate a couple of times a term though grin
There's probably a market for it though. I regularly hear stories of people doing things for their student (/adult) DCs which make my jaw drop.

Rascalls3 Tue 04-Jun-13 00:56:47

MABS, my daughter is in her second year at Bristol Uni and gets the basic maintenance loan. We pay her rent(and her iphone contract) and she lives off the loan. This is common practise apparently and she has managed well. She hasn't had to get a job during term time, but does have to be careful with her spending. She earned about £1000 last summer which was mostly spent on gym membership!! I imagine, if anything, Manchester will be more affordable than Bristol.

boomting Tue 04-Jun-13 02:33:14

MABS - I'm at Manchester, and I get full student finance (£7177, from memory), plus a £1250 bursary. This allows me to live a fairly comfortable life, by student standards. I know quite a few people whose parents pay for accommodation (and, in second & third year, bills - they're included in halls) and then leave their offspring to live off the rest. They do manage, though money does seem to be perpetually tight.

Rascalls3 Tue 04-Jun-13 12:09:39

Mabs- agree with boomting's comments above. If your family falls into the middle income bracket (earning too much to qualify for anything but the basic loans/not enough that the £s don't matter) then your child will be one of the poorest. As a family will can manage but not looking forward to next year when twin DDs head of to uni too!

skyblue11 Sun 14-Jul-13 21:32:09

This is all new to us. Just been on an open day so learning slowly. Although she can get a loan I was rather hoping to pay the accommodation out of this and provide say £50 per week spends for food etc. I'm a bit mortified about some folk paying the accommodation, we could not as a family have around £5k spare cash each year to do this, hell we have all on affording a family holiday at £2k or less!! So now I'm panicking as she will get into one hell of load of debt, is it worth it?

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