Helping budget for Uni

(17 Posts)
Atreus Mon 26-Aug-19 20:42:23

Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but was wondering how best to help DD with budgeting when she goes off to Uni. She will receive the minimum loan which we'll then top up but was wondering whether we should provide the top up on a termly basis or whether to split it into monthly payments. DH prefers the termly approach (simpler admin), DD likes the idea of monthly so she doesn't have the stress of a lump sum to work out how to split across the term. Is causing a bit of stress and so hoping to understand what others are planning.

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HerRoyalNotness Mon 26-Aug-19 20:44:43

Monthly. You could set up a direct deposit so no admins required!

ShanghaiDiva Tue 27-Aug-19 04:36:57

We do monthly for ds.

RedHelenB Tue 27-Aug-19 07:11:36

If dd has a preference I'd go with what she wants but I think your dh is right in giving it ternly and that is how kids DC on maximum loan receive it. Dd1 has managed five having it termly and part of the uni experience is becoming an adult and managing money themselves.

Needmoresleep Tue 27-Aug-19 07:59:32

Spend is really uneven in the first year, especially if playing sports.

DD had to buy gym membership, kit including blazer, tickets for ball and "initiation", as well as pay subs in the first term. Exam term is cheaper. It is usually shorter, not much going out and, if self catering, store cupboard items to be eaten up.

DD did not go home at all in her first term, as we did not realise it was a thing. Some of her friends went home every weekend. In her case this was a mistake as she did not bond with her flatmates and could have done with a bit of R&R.

In short, there is some need to play it by ear. Of course students should budget. But first term budgeting need a bit of flex, and possibly a bit of oversight/mentoring. (DD had her gap year savings to tide her over but obviously not all do). Some students, with additional first term costs, blew through their cash very fast. Perhaps a specific freshers budget then the rest!

MrKlaw Tue 27-Aug-19 09:32:35

minimum loan will need topping up just for accommodation right? What we're doing is:

Minimum maintenance loan - will be paid into DS account, possibly too late to pay accommodation anyway, and amounts will vary.

Accommodation: We'll just pay this directly ourselves each term. DS will then transfer the whole maintenance loan amount back to us when he receives it. That way we are effectively 'topping up' the loan to cover accommodation and there is no big lump sum in DS account to accidentlly spend.

Living expenses: If self catered, we're planning to give him £75pw, but paid monthly (so around £300pm). This means no big lump sum to worry about, but a little budgeting is needed to make it last the month. He's sensible enough so we thought it unnecessary to pay weekly (too helicoptery)

We were thinking to pay only during term time but thats a bit tricky to work out so we'll just pay monthly from september through to end of summer term and then stop it. That will mean he gets some money during easter and christmas but hopefully he'll save some up and we won' t pay for anything while he is at home.

If in catered accommodation we would adjust the weekly amount down accordingly - maybe to £50pw / £200pm

Malbecfan Tue 27-Aug-19 10:58:58

Due to our family circumstances, we don't pay anything for DD1. I'm not sure if we're meant to but she has managed fine on 3 termly sums from the Student Loans people.

DD2 has just worked out her termly budget by week. She has taken account of her accommodation costs and the lengths of the terms. Term 1 she'll have around £75pw for food, transport, books, socialising. Term 2 is £91 and term 3 around £60. We pay for her phone and will buy her an annual bus ticket and she will also have her bike. I normally take them for a big supermarket shop once we get there for heavy things like tins and a sack of pasta which should last them a while.

DD2 has a spreadsheet that she has set up herself and she intends to stick to it. She knows she can always ask for a top-up if she is struggling, but she is adamant she'll be fine...


Atreus Tue 27-Aug-19 12:34:53

This is all really helpful...thank you. It's a fine line isn't it between too much hand holding and just chucking them in there to sink or swim!?

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MrsPellegrinoPetrichor Tue 27-Aug-19 12:38:54

We're just paying ds's rent and then he will have the minimum maintenance loan to live on. It's up to him to budget as he sees fit.

JennyWreny Tue 27-Aug-19 12:50:33

There’s a link to a great budget spreadsheet about half way down this page (link in green)

Propertyfaux Tue 27-Aug-19 13:35:18

We have separated books/gym/phone in one budget and weekly living costs. For the first year living costs will be transferred every Monday. He has been very good with money in sixth form but I am not sure if he really gets how expensive life can be. I know from my experience when younger I always felt richer been paid weekly. It’s better to be skint two days a week than 8 days at the end of the month.

MrKlaw Tue 27-Aug-19 13:44:56

@MrsPellegrinoPetrichor we were going to do that but comments from others providing living expenses ranged from around £50-125pw depending on whether they paid for phone/books/travel etc. So the maintenance seemed a lot for living expenses only.

We're trying £75pw paid monthly and topping up his loan to pay for accommodation. Should be enough to live on, and would cost us approx £2k less per year than letting him have the min maintenance to live on

MrKlaw Tue 27-Aug-19 13:53:11

also consider banking apps. You can hook some of them up to your bank account and they'll categorise eg supermarket, fast food, restaurant etc so you can see at a glance where your money is going. Can be very handy in today's age of contactless where you can spend money without even thinking about it, and that might mean you forget to jot down the amounts each day etc.

MrsPellegrinoPetrichor Tue 27-Aug-19 17:51:14


We have made it clear that anything not spent is to be saved for second year accommodation which will be even more pricey.

ShanghaiDiva Wed 28-Aug-19 03:24:51

Agree with pp that you may want to front load the payments - ds paid for gym/sports in the first week or so and that was 250 for the whole year. We started giving him 500 per month and then reduced to 350. He earned money tutoring over the easter holidays, had a paid summer internship and has not received any money from us since March.
We will start the monthly payments again in October.

janinlondon Wed 28-Aug-19 14:35:02

Remember that in second year (re the summer break in "giving them money") if they rent a flat or house the rent will probably be payable from the beginning of July, so you will have to fork out anyway for the months before the loan comes through.

Atreus Wed 28-Aug-19 16:52:33

Good point @janinlondon thank you

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