how much does going to university cost ??



  • crana999
    crana999 Posts: 573 Forumite
    I actually wrote down every single thing I spent all term (i'm so cool)

    I spent £248 on food, going out, toiletries, stationary, travel, books, societies, mobile, laundry, health, and presents.

    £375 on fees, £490.80 on rent, £103 on kitchen fixed charge, £20 on internet, about £10 on electricity (Haven't had my bill yet).

    so thats £1247 all told, i think. that's for 9 weeks, so that's only just over what your son would have had for "play money" for everything...
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,017 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I don't know if penniesmakespounds is still looking at this thread, but I think she's got her answer about whether 15000 spent during university time only is 'normal', 'reasonable' or 'impossible to reduce' ...
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • student100
    student100 Posts: 1,059 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    OK, well this thread has got me thinking... I thought I might as well work out how much all the exclusions I listed above cost me so I can get an annual figure:

    These things are cost per academic year

    Accommodation (including most food seeing as catered halls) + insurance £3420
    Internet access £55
    Tuition fees £1150
    Railcard £20
    Transport to/from uni at start/end of terms (Dad drives me but I reckon it would cost £30 a term in fuel etc) £90
    Gym membership (it was a flat fee of £280 when I started uni to cover all four years of my course) £70
    Computer etc (I'm a Computer Science student so it's pretty vital even though it's not technically a requirement), £350*
    The other termly expenditure I detailed above: £1500

    That comes to a grand total of £6655 a year, whicn I reckon is roughly right, if you don't take account of the money I spend during vacation times.

    I haven't listed what I spend on clothes, shoes etc. because I'd spend that anyway even if I wasn't a student, and you can probably come up with your own figures for these things.

    * This is the purchase cost divided over four years of my course, although it's not actually an item in my budget because the computer was an 18th birthday present.

    student100 hasn't been a student since 2007...
  • savvy.. yes i am ..... and seeing more and more sensible people posting about how they live sensibly.
    Our situation is getting worse ... whilst we have cut down on amount given .. he has taken the other option ... credit cards and overdraft
  • Bargain_Rzl
    Bargain_Rzl Posts: 6,254 Forumite
    I was at York in 1996-99 when there were no tuition fees to worry about. I had an income of £3000/year from my dad - he hoped that a student loan would be an option rather than a necessity, and I agreed that £3000 should be plenty without a loan (at the time I think somebody providing for living expenses with a grant and loan would have had an income of about £3200) and in fact I ended up taking the student loan and using it to buy a computer in my final year (was living in off-campus halls and was much more convenient to have my own!), then to support myself for the short period after graduation when I had no job but still had to pay accommodation deposits etc. I worked in my second year, earning about £70p/w (which seemed like untold riches at the time!) which provided for some luxuries like replacing my hi-fi, and then allowed me to subsidise my budget in my final year by £100/term.

    My father was also very generous in giving me an extra few quid to cover higher rent and bills when I lived in a shared house in 2nd year - so effectively, before any earnings, I had identical "disposable income" each year. I also spent little on the phone as I had no mobile and I could just ring my parents and they'd phone me back.

    The way I worked it out was this. £3000p/a is £1000 per ten-week term. Rent was in the region of £350 per term (York is very cheap!) leaving me with £650. I started off by over-budgeting - i.e. being waaaay too specific about everything - but after the first term I settled into a generalised budget which worked out very well. So:

    £150 for groceries, laundry etc (I was in self-catering halls)
    £150 for pocket money (including beer :rolleyes: )
    £50 for academic expenses (books, printing expenses etc)
    £150 for everything else (TV licence, clothes, meals out, concert tickets etc)

    Hey presto, £250 left at the end of the term. This supported me during the holidays, especially the summer (living at home in Durham where work is fairly scarce and I never had a holiday job), and enabled me to buy Christmas presents and so on.

    The only time I had to dip into anything else was after the end of my final term, when I had to pay 2 weeks' additional rent to stay until graduation, as well as the cost of grad robe hire and photos, grad ball tickets and so on.

    Left uni with no debt except £5000 student loan (now paid off), which I considered to be more of a graduate loan due to the way I ended up using it. Never got overdrawn or asked my dad for more subsidy (if I had, I know I would have been asked to justify every penny). Actually, now I come to think of it, I think I ran up a small credit card debt too, but less than £100.

    Admittedly I did live a pretty frugal lifestyle, but I enjoyed the challenge of working out how to live on a small budget.

    Finally, I hope that the above does not sound in any way smug. It is not intended to. I know that had I had to use my student loan for subsistence I may have got into some further debt after graduating, but my point is that if you're at uni in a cheap area and don't absolutely need a car, it really is possible to live cheaply.
    :)Operation Get in Shape :)
  • accomodation aside, i get £200/month from me folks (very grateful), this is on the condition that i DONT get a job as it may interfer with my academic studies. i dont keep quite as good a track of my money as others, but that generally covers all my out goings (food, booze etc), including most luxuries,such as monthly flights to the missus (bmibaby - cheapo), and sporting expensives (clothing, competition, travel).
    thought i would give a few suggestions to pennysmakespounds son to save money on food:

    1. buy bulk at the begining of the year (beans, soup etc) from costco or something similar.
    2. cook in bulk and freeze it for later date, my freezer draw is full of frozen meals
    3. make full use of student discounts and eat out less

    maybe check how much his mobile bill is each month and see if there is a better contract that suits him more. to be honest i cant see why your son has to resort to credit cards when you give him £500 a month. you should really ask him what he spends it all on, since it more than double what most ppl get.


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  • ashcarrot
    ashcarrot Posts: 650 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    ASk for a breakdown, is he getting any Assets from this money Laptops,Tv's cars etc. If he got a lot of one-off items maybe it makes sense.

    Does he have a car? that would take probabily a 1-2k chunk for Insurance tax etc...
    Going out costs a lot and if hes in london it would cost loads, but even if he went out every day im wondering whats going on.
    Money, Money, Money ..... Banks/Casinos/Bookies give me all you money its a poor mans world....
  • doesn't include car costs which with depreciation /insurance / maintainance / petrol costs £5000 a year.
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,017 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Our situation is getting worse ... whilst we have cut down on amount given .. he has taken the other option ... credit cards and overdraft
    Yes, but whose problem is this, his or yours? Unless his credit cards and overdraft are underwritten by a charge against your home - which I believe would be unusual - these things are now his problem. You and your DH need to agree a united front about this, if at all possible, and make clear that you are not going to bail him out when his debt spirals out of control. Offer any help he requires with budgeting, cutting costs, etc, but NOT actual cash!
    doesn't include car costs which with depreciation /insurance / maintainance / petrol costs £5000 a year.
    I can understand that you are putting insurance / maintenance and petrol into this £5000, but 'depreciation' doesn't actually 'cost' anything at the time, does it? I know it means the car is worth less at the end of a year that it was at the beginning, but it shouldn't be in this kind of budget, should it?

    I'd be asking him whether a car was essential or a luxury. And I'd want a breakdown of that £5000. We've just replaced our car with a smaller and more economical model: last year's repairs were £2000+ and we were getting a very poor mpg. Plus we've gone from a ludicrously high insurance group to a very low one. So we're quids in: wish we'd done this a long time ago. So if the car is essential, is he driving an appropriate car for his means, ie low insurance group, older and fairly economical model, or is it a flash harry 'let's impress the lads / girls' kind of car? I'm only asking, you understand ...
    Signature removed for peace of mind
  • Savvy_Sue
    Savvy_Sue Posts: 46,017 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    1. buy bulk at the begining of the year (beans, soup etc) from costco or something similar.
    You can also make a coffee table out of tins of beans, as long as they're all the same size, and eat your way through it ... I guess the kind with a stacking rim at the bottom would be more stable. Not particularly portable ...
    Signature removed for peace of mind
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