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How much money does a gap year student really need?

(13 Posts)
WishIWasWonderwoman Tue 18-Aug-15 10:56:36

My Dsis has asked me to help work out how much money my niece (aged 18) will need for her gap year. The money is coming out of her university savings (which comes from both savings from her parents and from DN's job), so although there is about £3000 available they are hoping not to use it all. They are also buying pounds from a very weak currency.

Anyway, on the 11 month gap year scheme DN gets full board and 2 meals a day at her job. She also gets an allowance from the scheme providers that amount to £2400 for the whole year.

She doesn't really drink (and I actually don't think that's likely to change on a gap year) and she doesn't smoke, but I think she will have meals out to socialise occasionally. The only expenses she will have beyond that are clothing and travel (and of course self maintenance such as hair cuts etc).

How much do you think it would cost bearing in mind she will also have an 8 week break to tour the UK and go backpacking with a friend?

DN thinks the backpacking will cost £35 a day so about £2000 but is this excessive or reasonable or too little?

Please help! smile

balletgirlmum Tue 18-Aug-15 12:09:04

She needs whatever she can earn/save.

When you are an adult you have to learn to live within your means. GAP years are not compulsory, if you can't afford it you have to adjust your plans.

NerrSnerr Tue 18-Aug-15 12:15:17

I think with her plans she will probably use all her savings. Back packing soon adds up when you start doing tourist attractions and typical back packing stuff (bungee jumping or equivalent). An 8 week tour of the UK will cost a fortune too, but could be cheaper if planned loads in advance so gets cheapest train and coach fares and done in term time.

It all depends on how much her parents are willing to support her at university, if they are not paying towards her studies I would advise that she uses the year to work and she will have a much more comfortable few years at university.

Castrovalva Tue 18-Aug-15 12:20:04

It costs whatever you have to spend.

That's not being facetious, but ( having had a 3 yr gap 'year' ) you will cut cloth accordingly.

DN ought to be doing the budget though, not her mum.

The main cause of failed trips and returning home early was the inability to budget, especially prevalent in the pre university travellers. The ones who went after uni had budgeting sorted and did loads better.

specialsubject Tue 18-Aug-15 13:39:31

where is she going? That really affects costs. £35 a day in the UK will get her a dorm bed, possibly some travel and food, although not much travel. She should know that.

is this 'program' valid voluntourism that actually does good? 2 meals a day is not full board.

it is only a long holiday, earning her keep. She can work it out and earn it herself.

theconstantvacuumer Tue 18-Aug-15 13:42:59

Where is she going? The cost of living will dictate how quickly she gets through her funds. Also, will she have the opportunity to give English lessons/conversation practice to earn money?

WishIWasWonderwoman Tue 18-Aug-15 20:42:51

Sorry, she is working at a prep boarding school in the peak district. The job is 6am to 10pm six days a week so she will not travel except for in school holidays. It is a valid job but it is not volunteering- hence the £2400 she will earn that year.

She has got a budget but obviously her mum is keen to check that it is realistic, and it is her mum that controls the bank account and will decide how much DN actually gets. DN cannot come home halfway through as breaking her 11 month contract will cost serious money and will prevent her getting a reference!

And sorry from my typo I meant full board including three meals a day.

What I was looking for really was if anyone had DC who had gone backpacking/on gap years recently and what the costs looked like. My own DD is thinking of a similar thing in a few years but obviously I will have DN's experience to count on then!

The backpacking is around Europe. DN's cousin told her $80 a day (which is about £35 on the current exchange rates) but then again I don't think he ate? I think he took photos and drank beer for eight months so I am not sure she should go by his estimate!

WishIWasWonderwoman Tue 18-Aug-15 20:44:00

To clarify, she is from overseas, her gap year is UK based, her summer travel will be Europe based. It is a January-December year. Sorry for all the missing information.

tunnockt3acake Wed 19-Aug-15 08:31:37

Suggest cheap travel via Megabus or National Express bus or train book early eg 3 months in advance. Can also sleep on these saving cost of accomodation if travelling from city to city.
Flying will cost more, unless flying to first destination a long distance away eg easy jet
You can get a Megabus to Spain from UK for £1 !

Sleep tent or youth hostel where you share a room, bunk beds or sofa surf

Can eat cheap food

Attractions cost money

If travelling need a rough plan of where to go & what to do, with some flexibility

Price ? one day you could spend alot, another day not spend much

If she is from abroad suggest travelling to Scotland, Ireland, England, Wales

Duckstar Wed 19-Aug-15 08:51:53

Sorry to derail subject, but is she really working 16 hrs per day. 6 days per week for board and £2400 per year? I know it's only term time (say 30 weeks per annum), but still that sounds a terrible deal and exploitative. Does she still get board in holidays, because if she has to cater for herself in holidays then I imagine a lot of money will have to go on that.

Is she getting anything else from the deal? Training or qualifications?

As I say, sorry to derail, but sounds like a terrible scheme.

WishIWasWonderwoman Wed 19-Aug-15 09:42:01

duckstar I think there is a break 10am-12pm, then lunch, then another break in the afternoon (maybe 90 minutes?) so not 16 hours straight! No board during the summer holidays but optional board during Easter. No qualifications/training etc but experience working with children and the opportunity to live in another country.

It is a very popular- about 30% of applicants get a place I have learnt.

Thanks tunnock for the tips, I will pass them on.

specialsubject Wed 19-Aug-15 14:33:13

wow, that is really exploitative. Minimum wage? Working time directive?

abroad tends to fleece our gappies, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that we do it in return. That is disgusting, though.

European budget; depends where in Europe. many places cost the same as the UK. Lonely Planet thorntree seems to think E70 to E100 a day.

and no, you can't couchsurf, busk or beg.

specialsubject Wed 19-Aug-15 14:36:33

Could be compared with the summer resort jobs (done that) which pay about the same, but you only do it for six months so that gets round the working time thing. and you don't have to freeze your nuts off in the Peak district

but the UK does have a minimum wage and the employer is probably stretching things even though they include board and some food.

also who is paying for the CRB (or whatever it is now) check?

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