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how much to live on fully-catered at university?

(19 Posts)
mousymary Thu 30-Mar-17 11:41:46

I have been burying my head in the sand about all this but now need to make some plans.

Ds will be starting university this autumn. He will be in fully-catered hall, and qualifies for minimum loan. Actually I thought he would get no loan (as earn more than £60K) but it seems to have a sum on the paperwork he received.

What do other "ordinary" people give their dcs if they are in hall? I have asked some real life people and they breezily said that the grandparents were paying everything envy but no one to help here!

LIZS Thu 30-Mar-17 11:51:39

Ds reckons he spends less than £20 pw on catered food in addition to his room rent, mainly dinners and weekend brunch. As his hall is "catered" the dining hall food is subsidised, he makes his own breakfast and usually has sandwich or salad snack lunch in the kitchenette. Hall fees are around £1500 a term iirc which we pay.

mousymary Thu 30-Mar-17 13:09:40

Ds's look to be £1,500 a term, too. So it seems they don't need much extra money? [hopeful]

titchy Thu 30-Mar-17 15:57:23

All students are entitled to the basic maintenance loan of just under £4K.

Many parents pay accommodation and the loan is used for food bills travel and everything else if that helps? Obviously if fully catered you could make him contribute say £100 a month towards accommodation as he won't need that for extra food.

bojorojo Thu 30-Mar-17 17:34:05

Is the hall only £1500 a term catered? Depends if he has a phone, book costs, printing, travel costs, going out,sports fees, toiletries coffees, clothes etc. The loan really won't go far so use that to pay for accommodation and you top it up. Where my DD was, Saturday evenings and Sunday tea was not catered. If you miss a meal you have to pay for it elsewhere or buy a microwave meal. Only you can work up a budget but he would need at least the amount to make it up to what a full loan would be. Is that around £7-8000 now? He needs to be able to join in and have some fun unless he really wants to stay in all the time of course.

blueskyinmarch Thu 30-Mar-17 17:37:58

£4500 for a year in fully catered hals? That is cheap! My DD’s is about £7500. We give her about £300 a month for other food/books/going out/clothes etc. I suspect she doesn't really need that much but we can afford it. Depends what your DS thinks he might need to get by? Maybe try and cost it out a bit?

ThreeDovesAndSomePinkChampagne Thu 30-Mar-17 17:43:06

Catering standards at different universities vary a lot. So he might need supplemental food if the place he is at is awful, both from quantity and quality point of view.

twinklehickorymoomoo Thu 30-Mar-17 17:54:10

It was around ten years ago for me, but I was in non catered halls. My parents paid my accommodation of £355 a month and then I gave them my loan and they divided it up into monthly amounts so I wouldn't spend it all at once. It only worked out at fifty pounds a week which was ridiculous for food, going out, clothes, toiletries etc. I feel I did miss out on going out and being sociable but I suppose as they were paying my accommodation I couldn't really ask them to top up my spending money too.

LIZS Thu 30-Mar-17 17:57:00

Yes ds' is £4688 pa. however agree you need to check the smallprint. His is ensuite, termtime only, limited kitchen facilities and subsidised dining. Others may include meals and have no kitchen, for example, or cover 38 weeks including Christmas and Easter.

hellsbells99 Thu 30-Mar-17 18:02:08

DD's catered accommodation covers 2 meals on a weekday and brunch at the weekends. We give her £250 a month to live on. Her loan is used towards her accommodation bill and we top that up.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 30-Mar-17 18:10:15

A lot of uni websites have cost of living estimation somewhere eg a google search 'cost of living Manchester university ' took me to - hopefully if you do the same search but for the correct place you'll get something similar.

Scribblegirl Thu 30-Mar-17 18:12:53

There are ways of saving. I used to raid brunch on the weekend, you could easily take enough to cover your dinner before you went raving to the library grin

RedHelenB Thu 30-Mar-17 19:15:04

Surely you top his loan up so it's the same as the maximum any other student gets?

kath6144 Thu 30-Mar-17 21:02:26

You really need to know what his catered hall actually provides.

My DS is in Liverpool, so fairly cheap as cities go. He is in self-catered, uses his minimum loan and a top-up from us for halls fees, then we give him 300/mth for living costs. He says it is more than enough and we could reduce it, but we can afford it and want to keep it at that so that if his sister goes somewhere more expensive, she can live on the same. We do pay for a shop if we visit, and also at start of each term.

He also has some of his 6th form earnings to fall back on, eg to pay his monthly phone bill, which is a basic Sim-only contract, and is keen to work again (currently looking for jobs).

He is careful with money, and shops at Aldi, as well as Asda and Tesco, but seems to manage on £300/mth easily, even with an active social life.

bojorojo Thu 30-Mar-17 23:27:52

Catered hall usually means food is included but not every meal. No lunches and some evening meals may be excluded. You have to budget for the meals not provided. Subsidised dining or canteen is different. The minimum a parent with a decent salary should give is to top up to the amount a maximum loan would be.

homebythesea Fri 31-Mar-17 13:22:41

My DS catered hall, en suite, is c.£7000 for the year. It's an extra £350 for the privilege of not moving out lock stock and barrel at Christmas and Easter (well worth it!). He gets if he can be arsed Breakfast and dinner 5 days a week and brunch x 2 at weekends. There is a small kitchenette on each corridor for toast, microwave meals etc and he has a fridge in his room. He also gets £5 per day on a card to buy lunch or other items from campus eateries and shops which is actually brilliant value as most lunch "deals" are set at about that price.

We give him £500 a month for all other spending. This is IMVHO too much but DH is more generous than me but I think a minimum would be £300 to cover toiletries, travel, going out, books and stationery etc

Bluntness100 Fri 31-Mar-17 13:28:32

You need to check what that includes. My daughters was 7500 for catered as well and in this she had i think 5 pounds a day for food, and it was about 3 pound odds for a evening meal, if you wanted lunch and breakfast, or even a cup of tea or soft drink, it would have taken uou over daily limit. So she did need subsidising.

On top of this is things like books, toiletries, clothes, going out money, general living expenses basically.

mousymary Sat 01-Apr-17 12:49:46

I think ds gets two meals a day six days a week and Sunday brunch, so hopefully he won't be eating a lot more!

He is not a clothes horse but enjoys the odd pint and does have a bit of an Amazon habit.

homebythesea Sat 01-Apr-17 16:07:39

mousymary I wouldn't count on that if the quality of Hall food is as poor as DS reports. He uses the £5 allowance on his meal card (included in the rent package) to get his main meal in a campus eatery because dinner in Hall is so indifferent (and very early at 5.30pm so later snacking is required --not to mention the post clubbing kebabs--)

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