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Right. Now we all know that all mumsnet children have been working down the mine since they were 6....

(193 Posts)
Hakluyt Tue 19-Aug-14 07:34:05

... and wouldn't expect their parents to contribute a penny towards their living expenses from the stroke of midnight on their 18th birthday.

But here in the real world, there are 18 year olds going off to university with very little or no savings. And with loans that barely cover their accommodation. And who will probably not be able to find a well paid job within a week of arriving in a new town and living away from home for the first time.
For those of us with pathetic, dependent, useless teenagers like this- what is a reasonable amount of money to give them to cover sensible expenses and have a bit over for fun?

OP’s posts: |
pinkrose123 Wed 03-Sep-14 10:24:48

My DS is hoping to manage on £300 a month for going out, clothes, etc., this will be roughly what is left after his rent/bills are paid and we are paying for his phone, food, books, train fares home, etc. I think we have bought practically everything he needs to take with him. He plans to get some part time work timetable permitting and will hopefully be able to do some holiday work in the store he has been working in part time for the last 3 years. I am hoping £300 will be enough but am not sure? He has a good amount of clothes already and is not a great clothes shopper so I guess it will mainly be spent on going out.

Littleham Wed 03-Sep-14 10:48:35

I'm planning to do a similar thing.

She / we have bought most of what she needs. Then we will adjust the amount up or down once we know all the variables and depending on what type of small job she can get. No idea about the job at the moment, as she needs to find out what her timetable will be first.

secretsquirrels Wed 03-Sep-14 11:16:13

In trying to decide how much to give DS I went through this thread (and another one IIRC. I am ignoring those who are ex-students who quote what their parents gave them on the basis that it may be out of date.
Assuming accommodation is paid first and disregarding any earnings for now, I aimed to make sure he has enough cash to cover everything else.
The amounts varied wildly
£50 a week
£7000 a year
£200 a month
£100 a month
£350 a month
£400 a month
£120 a week
£100 a week
£75 a week
£300 a month for going out and clothes so after food and other living costs.

Now obviously DC are in different locations and have different expectations but as you can see above there really is no pattern!

I am going for £350 a month and will probably cover the train fares home once a term to make sure he visits.
I will double it for the first month to cover freshers, clubs and so on and review it either up or down if necessary. How does that sound?

Needmoresleep Wed 03-Sep-14 11:37:15

Squirrels. Love your summary. The thread has been interesting. I think it would cause my son physical pain to spend £30 on an evening out. So far he has been content to play computer games with friends, play sport, go round to other people's houses, with a very occasional concert or cinema trip. Lables etc are totally uncool. What wrong with Uniqlo.

(Squirrels I dont know if there is a Uniqlo near you, but when we last went the whole store, shoppers and assistants, looked like the sort of people capable of getting an A* in Maths A level. Its a sort of GAP for the geek generation.)

DS is lucky. He gets a reasonable amount at Christmas/birthdays and earned some during the summer. His big expenses are computer parts and sports equipment. I think we are planning to start on £50pw and see how it goes. I fully expect that he will be saving some, or end up using it to visit friends studying in different cities or perhaps on a trip somewhere at Christmas. (University ski trip?)

I don't remember spending a lot other than on seeing bands etc. There was a whole very cheap student social life, mainly based on hanging out. In London students could not afford to access West End Clubs and venues.

Needmoresleep Wed 03-Sep-14 11:43:02

And to up the ante a little


pinkrose123 Wed 03-Sep-14 11:56:23

I guess it's all a big unknown until they actually start. He will have extra money for freshers as he's being paid for his part time job this Friday and will also have the normal monthly amount he's allowed himself. We will have to see. He's been earning about £240-£280 a month for the last three years and has used this to pay his phone, going out, clothes, etc. etc. as well as saving some money each month. I guess it also depends who they hang around with. Many years ago my brother managed to save money in his first year in halls, but as soon as he moved into a shared house with someone who had a very generous allowance from his parents, that all changed.

Littleham Wed 03-Sep-14 12:52:56

Imagine turning up in a horse and carriage!

What I need is a tardis

secretsquirrels Wed 03-Sep-14 13:12:06

Littleham or maybe an invisibility cloak.......

Needmoresleep I think it would cause my son physical pain to spend £30 on an evening out Ha Ha. Yes. DS is of the "why buy a sandwich when you can take a packed lunch" ilk. I don't imagine he will spend more than the minimum he can get away with.
When he was 16 I gave him an allowance to cover clothing, entertainment haircuts etc. I carefully worked it out based on what I spent on his clothes over a year. He barely touches it and still wears the old clothes he's had for years. Never heard of Uniqlo but it sounds like his thing. Should he ever decide to buy clothes hmm.

Cerisier Mon 08-Sep-14 00:47:11

We are going to start with giving DD £500 a month on top of hall fees and see how it goes.

noddyholder Mon 08-Sep-14 07:45:27

My ds going in to yr 2 We work out the money so that after house and hills he has 50 a week. That's for food and going out. We pay his train fares when he comes back plus essential clothes and he works in holidays I also send a few big shops per term. I also bought bedding etc and offload any old kitchen stuff/ towels etc! They don't need much

noddyholder Mon 08-Sep-14 07:46:19

We also pay his phone

Kez100 Mon 08-Sep-14 13:05:14

We have paid hall fees and daughter has the minimum maintenance loan to live off of £3500 ish. Just under £100 per Uni week. She will probably eat quite well as she has quite expensive tastes (loves fish but it is £££) but I doubt she will be happy paying much going out of a night. At home she drinks soda water or fruit juice and very little alcohol at all - not that we mind, just the way she is.

Then she has nabbed a scholarship of £3000 ish and has worked in the summer £2500. From that we expect her to fund the two overseas trips in her first year.

Dolcelatte Sun 28-Sep-14 06:20:41

£500 per month plus mobile 'phone and motor expenses, and they order their books from my Amazon account

TeaAndALemonTart Sat 04-Oct-14 08:43:51

I hope DS won't be tempted to spend 7k on Jam. wink

Cerisier Thu 06-Nov-14 06:17:12

DD says that she isn't spending 500 a month and suggested we reduce it. I have suggested she save what she can and then she can fund a few driving lessons. We live abroad so she hasn't learnt yet.

skylark2 Thu 06-Nov-14 14:06:10

DD is living happily on £75 a week. She and her flatmates have discovered when the local supermarket does its nearly-out-of-date price reductions and go shopping then (they are in brand new self-catered halls and the freezer capacity is very generous).

Books are being ordered off our Amazon account as it's cheaper, we then take the money off the next week's allowance.

secretsquirrels Thu 06-Nov-14 15:59:04

Good idea to resurrect this thread. So what have we learned?
DS isn't spending nearly as much as I thought. He is eating remarkably well. His flat take turns at cooking an evening meal and the cook buys. So he cooks for 7 people once a week and it costs him about £12. Just lunches and breakfast on top of that.
He doesn't go clubbing just a couple of pints in the pub once a week.
The expected extra cost of the first couple of weeks didn't really happen either.
I always said we would review it at Christmas.

RandomFriend Sat 08-Nov-14 12:08:17

DD has just asked me how she was going to manage at university so I am checking in to this thread to learn.

Very useful summary by secretsquirrels. The high-average seems to be around £100 per week during term time, or £1000 per term, plus food (assuming full catered), books (for those that allow access to Amazon account) and flights (for oversees folk).

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