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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

LadyLapsang Fri 02-Aug-13 19:40:53

We pay rent, most travel (airmiles or train), phone, most books. Student loan pays day-to-day food, hobbies, fun & quite a lot of travel around the country. DS works every summer and in the last academic year abroad. TBH I think he could do without the loan for the next year but I think he will still apply for it.

To the lady that asked about food - why would I order food for an adult living 600 miles away? Unless it was a treat box from Hotel Chocolat. DS seems to strike up a good relationship with the local butcher; always telling me about bargain steak!

OP I think it would be very difficult to live in London on £50 pw, but there is a lot of work here if you want it.

melodyangel Tue 30-Jul-13 17:03:11

mumeeee - Some great tips on food shopping on this blog

mumeeee Tue 30-Jul-13 00:38:30

Student loans usually only just cover the cost of accommodation we found that with our other 2 DDs in fact DD2's didn't quite cover it. So we paid for their halls and will do the same for DD3. She'll have to pay for everything else herself.

dementedma Mon 29-Jul-13 21:04:56

Dds loan will only just cover her accomodation. If I had the money it would be cheaper to get a mortgage on a flat than pay that every week for just one lousy room!
Anyways, we will have to pay for her food etc and was hoping to get away with £50 a week, but looks like that's an underestimate. That's all we can afford though.
We will pay it weekly so she doesn't blow it all at the start of the month.

mumeeee Tue 23-Jul-13 09:06:45

Well we went through the stuff DD3 had bought and she did have just about enough to live on for a week. She probably need to adjust it a bit as she won't need 80 tea bags every week smile . She did manage to buy some fruit and fruit juice. We are going to get her to do it again in a couple of weeks and have told her to try and ve quicker next time. She said she was trying to find items and working out which was cheapest. I expect she was probably day dreaming as she does that lot. She did do quite well for a first attemptwink

mumblechum1 Mon 22-Jul-13 00:11:37

DH and I are away for 3 weeks in August and I'm planning on leaving DS with £35 per week and a recipe book of cheapo meals so he can practice budgeting, shopping and cooking before he does it for real.

I only hope he doesn't blow it all on an Indian takeaway on the first night grin

NewFairy Sun 21-Jul-13 15:15:44

Mummee we did similar, and then made DS and his brother live on what they had bought for a full week. DS says it was a valuable experience smile

mumeeee Sat 20-Jul-13 07:51:54

We will be paying for DD3's Halls, the same as we did for her sisters. She will have to pay for everything else from her loan. She has been asking us how much a weeks food would cost. So yesterday I sat down with her and we wrote a list. I then sent her out with £30. She spent £25.05 and had got everything on the list. She did take about 4 hours though and I thought she had got lostsmile

YetAnotherMum Sat 20-Jul-13 00:04:08

Everyone seems to be very generous here! My DS gets the minimum maintenance loan which doesn't quite cover his accommodation costs, so we give him £200 per month except the summer months when he can either live at home rent free or get a job. So we pay him about £1600 per year. He manages to live frugally on that. This summer (after his 2nd year) he has got a job so will be quite well off next year. I think he will get a slightly larger loan next year as my DD will hopefully be at university too. So I will probably pay them less than £200 a month each. I think part of the university experience is not having much money to encourage them to get a summer job!

QuiteOldGal Tue 16-Jul-13 16:53:18

We pay DS accommodation, about £3500 a year. When he was in halls that covered it, now he is sharing a house he has to put some to his bills out of his student loan of about £3500. He also works part time in a supermarket so he can afford to get extra's. He volunteered at a couple of festivals and got free tickets so that was like a free(ish) holiday.

We did not have the loan assessed as we earned too much for a grant, but he could have got a bit more as we certainly aren't on the top earnings level for the minimum amount of loan, but felt it would all add up to be a great deal to pay back, when he could earn some money in his part time job to supplement an unassessed loan.

He seems to manage OK and does a lot of home cooking and eats "No frills" food a lot.

alreadytaken Mon 15-Jul-13 19:50:04

It isn't necessarily the right decision for everyone to go to university. Article here about the rates of unemployment and earning potential of graduates and school leavers. I would expect the gap to narrow if more bright young people stopped going to university.

I have tried suggesting to mine that they have a platonic marriage with another medical student (married students grants are based on their partner's income) but they don't seem to like the idea for some reason....

Manchester accommodation in halls varies from 86 - 131 pounds a week, their guide can be downloaded and prices are p26

mumblechum1 Mon 15-Jul-13 11:16:11

Although she can get a loan I was rather hoping to pay the accommodation out of this

That depends on whether she can get any extra funding, eg if you are on a low income. DS will only get £3,300 a year and the accommodation alone is £4,800, in a Northern city, so we have no choice but to pay for the accommodation (you can pay it in 3 instalments if necessary), and the loan will hopefully cover food, books, etc. Beer money will be funded by his PT job.

rightsaidfrederick Mon 15-Jul-13 10:48:49

Accommodation needn't cost £5k. Mine was about £3.5k.

If you type your details into,4680136&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL it will give you an idea of how much you will get from the government. Unis give out bursaries too - some will support students with household incomes of £40k, but this does vary by uni.

The top band for student finance is for people with household incomes above about £65k, which is quite a lot by anyone's standards. At that point you still get the tuition fee loan, plus about £3.5k in maintenance loans. If you earn less than that, then the student will receive more SF.

Is it worth it? So long as they're not doing Underwater Basket Weaving at the University of Polynovia-Nowheresville, then invariably the answer is yes.

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?

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!

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 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.

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.

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

thanks so much

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 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

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.

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).

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

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!

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