Living expenses at University- how much?

(79 Posts)
Railingsohno Fri 14-Aug-20 21:22:17

We’re slightly on the back foot with planning as DS was taking a gap year but has changed his mind and is heading to university instead.

It’s a university in a fairly cheap to live city in England.

His much do people budget for after rent (assuming Uni self catering accommodation)?

Obviously feel free not to answer if it’s too intrusive but I would be very grateful to get some responses and how you worked out how much to give!

OP’s posts: |
Penguin007 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:29:42

We pay accommodation costs, and our DC live on the minimum student loan. We take them for a first big supermarket shop, and also pay train fares for the first year. DS finds this plenty to live on, and has saved the rest. DD has more costs associated with her course, but still manages.

Bluntness100 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:32:09

We ensured she had a hundred pounds a week for food, toiletries, clothes and social events etc, so basically a hundred pounds a week that didn’t include any bills at all.

Railingsohno Fri 14-Aug-20 21:33:18

@Penguin007 thank you. How much does the loan work out as per week? I don’t think we’ll take it out in first year, maybe in later years. I think we’ll give a monthly allowance to start.

OP’s posts: |
Penguin007 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:34:03

BTW, £4,289 is the minimum loan for the academic year.

Bluntness100 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:34:08

Sorry should also say we paid her travel home and back on top,of this and also the hundred didn’t include mobile phone costs.

Letseatgrandma Fri 14-Aug-20 21:34:32

Following to gauge opinion! I was thinking £250/300 a month.


Railingsohno Fri 14-Aug-20 21:34:39

@Bluntness100 yes. I think £100 sounds ok, maybe a touch more for a very sporty boy who eats a lot. grin Thank you!

OP’s posts: |
Namaste6 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:35:38

The same as a PP - £100 a week. This is for lunch, clothes, uni supplies and entertainment. The rest we pay for separately.

Bluntness100 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:36:14

Yes when you break it down it’s not a lot, just over fifteen pounds a day. But my daughter saved on it, but she didn’t spend a lot on food, clothes etc,. She seemed to be in the same financial bracket as her friends.

Bluntness100 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:37:04

Sorry, we also paid for the uni supplies, but that’s because she did law and it was expensive at times.

Namaste6 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:37:05

Hi again OP - £100 a week and our son is also going catered. He too is very sporty.

Penguin007 Fri 14-Aug-20 21:41:06

I personally like the fact that it is their money, to spend as they wish. I've just counted, and there are 33 weeks of term. As she's in the second year and sharing a house with friends, she'll be away for more weeks than that. I'm guessing it will work out at £120 a week, but the money covers course materials and trips as well as food etc.

Railingsohno Fri 14-Aug-20 21:58:42

Thanks all that’s brilliant. I do like the idea if them taking a loan - it focuses the mind a bit more! However I think it’s 3% above inflation which is quite high. In my day it was interest free. We can look into it for next year.

On that note - anyone applied for a DSA?

OP’s posts: |
Penguin007 Fri 14-Aug-20 22:04:43

Both my DC have DSA for dyslexia. You don't get money, but it gives them laptops and extra support. One DC has 1-1 support, and the other chooses not to access extra help. DD is going into an area of the arts which is likely to have low pay, so won't pay back her student loan. DS's field is well-paid. We might pay off the loan for him when the time comes, but he doesn't know that.

Railingsohno Fri 14-Aug-20 23:00:21

Thanks @Penguin007 my son already has a laptop but he’ll definitely need extra support. He had an electronic reader and extra time for his A levels. We have the post 16 report from the educational psychologist so I’m hoping it’s just a matter of forwarding it to the relevant person.....

OP’s posts: |
Penguin007 Sat 15-Aug-20 06:34:39

There is a process whereby you send the report to a local DSA centre, then the student goes there, is assessed for further assistive software and hardware, and a recommendation is made for the level of support at uni. A report is written (this is not the same as the ed psych report, it focuses on the equipment and uni support) and sent to DSA. The recommendations are approved (or not), and you then order equipment and send the DSA report and your ed psych report to uni. Some unis provide support in-house. My DC's is outsourced to a company. Crack on and get the process started ASSP.

Needmoresleep Sat 15-Aug-20 06:54:42

DD has just finished her third year (out of six!).

The big difference seems to be those who cook and those who rely on takeaways. She is very good at throwing together a risotto or a pasta sauce with whatever is in the fridge, so probably spent £35pw on food and so was able to live with a basic budget of about £50pw. (She took a student cookery course, but I would really recommend handing over cookery, budgeting and shopping to your soon to be student for the next couple of weeks, and identifying a rotation of meals, some based on batch cooking, plus cupboard staples. DDs course also included how to clean showers and kitchens etc. Many students have no idea.) It can vary. At her last placement before lockdown their accommodation was opposite a Morrisons so they had a regular forage at 7.00pm/yellow sticker time and so lived well on cut price food.

Beyond that its how long is a piece of string. Trips home (tell them about split ticketing and booking in advance and rail cards, and look at the coach alternatives.) Sport can be very expensive. As well as various dues, DD had to buy kit including a blazer. There were also a couple of "initiations", which should not happen, but do, and a couple of balls/big nights out. DD was not much of a clubber, and had early starts, so saved a lot that way. (Her sports friends thought she was anti social because she only ever lasted the pre-pres on the Wednesday big nights out, until she explained that she had a 9.00am placement the next day in a village with a once an hour bus from the city centre, so had to be up at 6.00am.)

Applying for DSA was an administrative marathon, which is ironic since dyslexics find administration difficult. I left DD to it, and was impressed that she made it through. The laptop they provided was not great and only lasted a year of rough handling, but by then she knew what she wanted. (The one she has now allows you to take notes by annotating on the screen, which helps as note taking is one of her biggest challenges.) When thinking about laptops it is also worth remembering that lectures are often available on catch up, perfect for dyslexics who learn better by listening rather than by reading. It is worth applying just to have any SEN on record. You won't know when you will need it. (The hastily Covid19-reorganised online exams had no provision for extra time. DD did fine, but had she not, and she normally uses all her extra time, she would have had something to fall back on. A global pandemic was nowhere near our thinking when she applied.)

pumpkinpie01 Sat 15-Aug-20 07:22:09

My ds managed very well on £80 a week and never had an overdraft until his 3rd year. My dd on the other hand was constantly running out of money ( going into year 2) but she went out a lot . She has now moved into a house so it's now house parties so maybe she won't go out as much , time will tell ! But £30 a week for food then £50 for anything else should be fine.

Xenia Sat 15-Aug-20 07:28:00

I paid the fees and rent for my children and for the youngest 2 who just finished undergraduate studies £150 a week which I think is generous.

I think your starting point should be what is the maximum loan for the least well off for that particular area which is probably about £8500 (£1kk in London?)outside London - guessing here so take the rent off that sum and paying the balance is what the state thinks they need and expects parents to pay.

MarchingFrogs Sat 15-Aug-20 07:46:22

Maximum loan, studying outside London and living away from home is £9203 for the coming year, iirc. Minimum loan £4289.

For 18+ year old applicants, the loan is the student's to apply for, no parental permission required, or input if s/he doesn't apply for the means tested element. So the student could decide to take the minimum maintenance loan anyway and pocket the £100 a week or whatever their parents are giving them...

Penguin007 Sat 15-Aug-20 07:55:34

What a plan! Loving that.

Think of the student loan as a graduate tax, paid back a little at a time over many years.

Railingsohno Sat 15-Aug-20 07:56:55

Thanks again. Good idea about looking at the loan and minusing off accommodation. How do others pay tuition fees? Is there a separate loan for that? We’re paying it all ourselves this year but will reassess next year. Feel a bit daft that we’re so clueless but we thought we had time to look into this but the cancelled gap year has put paid to that!

OP’s posts: |
Penguin007 Sat 15-Aug-20 08:00:26

The tuition fee loan is separate, and is not related to your household income. I honestly can't think of a good reason to pay it from salary for a student. Save the money and give it to them later towards a house deposit.

Penguin007 Sat 15-Aug-20 08:01:07

Get onto Student Finance website. There is still time to apply.

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