I know this will have been asked before but need advice about 'running costs' for DD at uni

(89 Posts)
ladylouanne Thu 18-Aug-16 14:53:50


DD had her first choice offer confirmed this morning. Great news, but my thoughts are turning to practicalities.

She's applied for a room in self catered halls. I will buy her all her 'start up' stuff eg books, things for her room, laptop etc. What then feels reasonable in terms of a monthly living allowance? She won't be applying for a loan other than for fees so I will be funding this myself, which I'm happy with and has always been the plan.

Any advice from others would be great thanks.

OP’s posts: |
kittykittykitty5 Thu 18-Aug-16 20:02:44

My two both get the full maintenance grant and I will be paying them £200 a month which needs to cover everything. They are aware that this may reduce to £150, or lower, as my salary can fluctuate from one month to another.

BennyTheBall Thu 18-Aug-16 20:05:09

I am anticipating about £200 per month, but I told a friend this and she was horrified and said ds will need at least £500.

AlbusPercival Thu 18-Aug-16 20:14:31

£500 on top of rent??? Crikey DH and I don't live on much more than that and we are in professional jobs

BennyTheBall Thu 18-Aug-16 20:22:56


I have decided she is bonkers.

ladylouanne Thu 18-Aug-16 20:29:43

£500!!! I was thinking about £300 on top of rent but I'm now wondering if it is better to start lower and then increase if necessary. Much easier than the other way round!

OP’s posts: |
frenchfancy Thu 18-Aug-16 20:39:19

We are going for 250€ on top of rent for self catering. We will pay phone and transport to/from home on top of this.


bojorojo Thu 18-Aug-16 21:48:19

Mad not to take out the Loan and then top up. Unless you are mega wealthy of course. The majority of students will never pay it back. It is cheap money and you could invest what you are giving her for the future.

bojorojo Thu 18-Aug-16 21:49:09

If you think £300 is a lot you are not wealthy. Take out a loan!

ladylouanne Fri 19-Aug-16 08:37:36

I don't think I ever claimed to be wealthyhmm

I just want to minimise the amount of debt she comes out with as she is likely to be paying it back given the field of work she want to go into. I've planned to do it this way and have been investing for this part of her future for several years.

She's already going to be paying back the full fees.

OP’s posts: |
homebythesea Fri 19-Aug-16 08:54:39

We are having the same conversations. Having spoken to friends with older kids we are planning on £100 a week to cover everything above rent. This will be subject to review (downwards!!) if it transpires that DS can get by with less but I think the first few months/term will be exceptionally expensive in terms of stocking up on books etc and also socialising while those first friendships get established

ImYourMama Fri 19-Aug-16 08:57:57

Maybe give her a slight 'bonus' during freshers, as that's where she's likely to make friends etc, so maybe £300-£400 (if you can afford) for the first month and encourage her to buy some tins and dried food like pasta etc so when she's skint she's not going hungry, then go to £200 a month (£50 a week will go half and half food and socialising) smile HTH and congrats to her!

mysteryfairy Fri 19-Aug-16 09:49:52

We paid rent, start up costs like annual bus pass and gym membership, phone contract then £100 pw but term time only. I also provided quite a few food shops and all household stuff - loo roll, light bulbs, washing powder. DS claimed that people who got a full package of grants, loans and bursaries had more cash than him. However he had enough money for festivals, lots of expensive clothing etc. Plus the knowledge he didn't have to control cash flow e.g. I paid second year accommodation deposit which was about £400 part way through the spring term of his first year when he found somewhere.

frenchfancy Fri 19-Aug-16 10:14:23

I live abroad so loan is not an option for us - but as an outsider I am amazed at the attitude of "mad not to take out a loan" and "most students won't pay it back" and of course "it is not real debt".

It is debt. It accrues interest even while the students are still studying. The government can move the goal post whenever they want. Mortgage providers may not take it into account today but at the moment they don't really have the people with massive debt to consider.

I made a calculation for my niece as to how much she would owe at the end of her (4yr) course. It was over £70k. Anything I can do to avoid that for my kids I will do. If that means they have to be a poor student, like we were when we were students, then so be it.

bojorojo Fri 19-Aug-16 10:24:28

French - I guess you are not looking at the current advice from respected financial advisers and are not aware of the government statistics on the repayment of the loans. They are running scared at the amount of loans that will never be repaid because earnings are too low. If a woman is a stay at home mum, she does not repay the loan during periods of economic inactivity.

Paying up front if people are not wealthy is a misuse of hard earned cash. Far, far better to use savings for a house deposit. Americans have borrowed for degrees for generations but here we are so risk averse, we scrimp and save and make our students do the same just to 'save' repayments in the future which they may never pay back! The vast majority of students take the loans and it is only if you are wealthy that you should pay as you go from savings. The savings are far more valuable than a minor debt over many years that may never be paid off!

Fairenuff Fri 19-Aug-16 10:38:05

It really depends on what sort of lifestyle you are expecting to finance. Do you usually pay for expensive clothes and make up for her for example? Are you intending to continue doing that?

Work out how much it costs for her to live at home with you paying for toiletries, clothes, food, transport, socialising etc. and if you expect to maintain that level of financial support, that is what you will have to pay.

If however she is already more independent (part time job, pays for her own clothes, drinks etc.) then she won't need/expect so much from you.

stonecircle Fri 19-Aug-16 10:40:23

DS2 takes out the minimum loan - £3.? K. We pay his rent. Last year (1st year) his rent was over £6k. I thought it would be cheaper this year as it's about £110-120 pw (don't know exactly as he's negotiating with flat mates for a smaller room and therefore less rent). But because it's a 48 week contract it won't be much less this year.

I do wonder if we're over generous letting him use his loan for living as he never seems to be short of money and doesn't have a part time job.

bojorojo Fri 19-Aug-16 12:23:42

I don't think you are over generous, stone. I know where your DS is at university (from previous threads) and it won't be cheap! Northern cities tend to be cheaper.

I have not found with my DDs that not having much paid work has stopped them from being sensible and focused on what they want to do. No-one had a job when DD did the GDL and the BPTC! Too much work! Sometimes getting good grades is more important and we wanted to take away the stress of constantly worrying about money as some students have to. It does not make for being a better student. But I guess it gives bragging rights in some quarters!

Ohtobeskiing Fri 19-Aug-16 12:58:17

Ds has just graduated. We paid his accommodation costs and he lived on his maintenance loan which was about £3500 for the year - so about £1000 per term. I always started him off at the beginning of each term with a grocery shop and toiletries and if we saw him during term time I would take a cake and some frozen foil trays of home cooked meals.

stonecircle Fri 19-Aug-16 14:09:35

Bojo - it is indeed expensive! I will probably get flamed but this ds has never had a job, apart from helping a mate's dad out occasionally over the summer. I absolutely don't want him to work during term time. And the summer, which seemed so long, has been broken up with holidays (family and friends) plus a couple of funerals which required time away. Selfishly I've loved having him around as he is a joy to spend time with.

He's flouted the MN maxim of needing to get a job to learn money sense though as he is naturally very careful. He didn't spend all of his first term's grant so insisted on making a contribution to accommodation costs in January. Admittedly he later asked for it back to cover deposit for this year's accommodation!). My dsis and I seemed to spend our student days constantly managing overdrafts so I don't know how he does it!

UhtredRagnorsson Fri 19-Aug-16 15:01:20

So are people thinking anywhere between £50-£100 per week on top of rent is reasonable?

DD1's accomodation costs more than her total maintenance loan. So we have to top up, no matter what, but I don't want to top up 'too much' - we have a sum of money saved for her, plus we already give her a certain sum of money each month and have been doing so for a couple of years now, so that she had her own float in addition to the uni fund we accrued, and I would love it if some of the uni fund was still there at the end so it could become the 'after uni' fund -so I don't want to end up topping up more money than I need to becaus the top up will all come from the uni fund...Essentially I want to cnstrain her to live frugally (but not ridiculously so) so that she has some dosh at the end of it all.

OhFuds Fri 19-Aug-16 15:10:55

My DD starts Uni this year and so far me and her dad have no plans to give her any extra money as we just can't afford it (we have 3 other DC's). We have bought everything she needs for uni halls, we will still pay her mobile phone costs but that's it. She will have roughly £60 a week to live off once she has paid the accommodation out of her loan.

My post probably sounds terrible but she is nearly 18 and me and her dad have paid for everything up until now, nearly £1000 was spent this year on driving lessons, £800 on car insurance etc. She has never had a part-time job.

Fairenuff Fri 19-Aug-16 15:26:26

£100 a week sounds like a lot to me. What would they be spending that on?

My dd had a part time job before she went and managed to save enough to live off. We haven't given her any money at all.

She got a loan for her accommodation but had to make up the difference herself. She also won a scholarship for getting high A level grades, so it's worth checking with the university whether anything like that is available.

My 17 year old ds has had a part time job for the last 3 years and has been saving for when he goes to university next year. He has over £1500 saved already and has now picked up a second part time job so he's been working quite a lot over the summer and adding to it.

If they don't have any savings to fall back on and you don't want them working during term time and/or holidays then it seems that you will have to help out. But £100 a week seems a lot. All they need is food, toiletries and transport.

justjuanmorebeer Fri 19-Aug-16 15:35:21

Will she have any transport costs or will she be on foot / bike?

Phone? Does she pay for this or you?

If no transport costs I'd say that £200 a month into bank is adequate. Then once a month do her an online shop to be delivered of cupboard things such as tins, pasta, loo roll, san pro, shampoo, handwash etc. Say £100 or so?

Encourage her to get some babysitting work. If she did even one night a week that could boost her cash for nights out / takeaways etc.

stonecircle Fri 19-Aug-16 15:51:40

"All they need is food, toiletries and transport"

Plus money for going out, joining clubs (ds had to pay £200 to join the rugby club), clothes, outings, haircuts, mobile phone, printing costs/buying ink, laundry, any gym membership, deposit for next year's accommodation, stationery ....

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