can I live?

This could be a bit of a strange one, but hopefully I can get a little help/guidance/reassurance here!
And apologies for the incoming wall of text!

I’m a 36 year old mature student about to start a 4 year Degree in September.

I’m a dad of one, daughter lives with her mother, and I’m disabled – walk with a crutch after 10+ years of knee pain, and I suffer from pretty severe depression and anxiety (with a touch of agoraphobia) that has led to me being ‘signed off’ (not got the docs certs as my employer doesn’t want them) for about 9 months now.

I’m currently on 50% pay, which JUST covers me for rent but nothing else, so I’m about to get rent arrears for the 1st time in my life, as Universal Credit only allows me £9 a month after the 65% deduction from earnings – so I get at most £750 a month – not really allowing me to save for the next few months.

I’ve applied for PIP – had my assessment but as we all know there is no guarantee that I’ll ever see anything from that so for now I’m not counting it, not the Welsh SSG that would potentially get me £3k a year so I’m working on £9000 Student Finance Wales grant/loan combo for the year.

I’m going to have to leave my house, its unaffordable, and the ‘wife’ (going through a divorce too yay!) is moving into the house with my daughter and her new partner as they can afford it.
My plan is to move to private halls for the 1st year – my Uni normally allocates its own halls to none local people first and even THAT allocation comes through 2 months after I need to move.

I’m in a position to sign for a room in halls for about £110 a week all in. So no bills, no Broadband Costs etc – and oddly that’s about the best option for me right now after a long had
think about it.

Now if I get £9000 a year, rent at £5610, leaves me with a tiny £3390 to last me the year!
I’m of course going to try and find SOME work at the Uni, but due to my disability I’m going to struggle especially as there are three universities in this city and we’re full of call centres – the one thing that set my mental illness into overdrive anyway, and even my GP and Counsellor have said NEVER go back to phone work.

Student bank accounts are unavailable to me – I have a shocking CR and tbh bankruptcy would have been filed for a year ago if I could afford to pay it so I’m stuck with my Basic account at Barclays – so student overdrafts are a nono.

I know if my PIP comes though even at £50 a week or so then I’ll be OK, but just hoping someone may be able to shine a light on whether that amount of cash is even liveable.
Been putting Uni off for years for many reasons, and now I have my unconditional offer that’s been firmed, I’m starting to panic!

Comments

  • John_Jones
    John_Jones Posts: 208 Forumite
    Is your room term-time only? If not, where will you live in the holidays?
  • Qoozle
    Qoozle Posts: 4 Newbie
    No its a 51 week contract - but I can elect for 41 and hope to find a houseshare with coursemates later
  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Posts: 10,290
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    Forumite
    How long is a piece of string? It depends on your lifestyle, commitments and what compromises you might be prepared to make.

    Your £3390 is more than my disposable income after paying mortgage and bills and I manage ok, but I live fairly simply (and frugally). I don't go out much, don't buy take aways more than once or twice a year. I love reading but borrow from the library instead of buying books etc, I'm quite content to do that and don't have huge consumerist desires or expectations, or any debt (other than the mortgage) but everyone's different and some people would feel that they couldn't manage on that amount.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter, south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
    MFW #4 OPs (offset): 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33, 2020 £1337.07,
    2021 £1250.00, 2022 £1500.00, 2023 £1500
    Target for 2024 (offset) = £1200, YTD £0
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
  • Qoozle
    Qoozle Posts: 4 Newbie
    Thanks for the reply Jackieblack! Thats pretty much my thoughts, I dont go out or do much now so my outgoings are pretty low, I know if I get the PIP award I expect (fat chance I know) then I'll be fine, but im trying to factor in costs of books/supplies etc - might be hard!
  • John_Jones
    John_Jones Posts: 208 Forumite
    Is the degree one that will lead to much improved prospects afterwards, or are you just doing it for the love of the subject? Four years of penury will be hard, you will likely come out with debts, and it is worth bearing in mind whether you will be in a better place after it than before.

    Sadly there are a good few degrees nowadays that do not really aid employment.
  • Dobbibill
    Dobbibill Posts: 4,132
    First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper First Post
    Ambassador
    Hi Qoozle - welcome to the forum.


    No-one can say 100% if you will be able to live based on your costs.

    Your spending habits will determine much of it as will the area in which you study. (London being a prime example of an overpriced city).

    How long ago did you have your PIP assessment? Your award letter will normally come through 4 weeks after the assessment. I hope you get a good outcome.

    What I would say for the moment is don't panic, wait for the PIP award and then assess everything from there. Be sure to note down the length of the award with PIP as it may be less time than your studies.

    For books/supplies use the library as much as possible or check out ebay/freebay sites for second hand.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Budgeting & Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Credit File & Ratings and Energy boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.

    If you can't be the best -
    Just be better than you were yesterday.
  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Posts: 10,290
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    Forumite
    John_Jones wrote: »
    Four years of penury will be hard,
    Two big assumptions there :think:
    John_Jones wrote: »
    you will likely come out with debts
    Followed by a third :eek:
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter, south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
    MFW #4 OPs (offset): 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33, 2020 £1337.07,
    2021 £1250.00, 2022 £1500.00, 2023 £1500
    Target for 2024 (offset) = £1200, YTD £0
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
  • John_Jones
    John_Jones Posts: 208 Forumite
    Two big assumptions there :think:

    Followed by a third :eek:
    You do not think that the living amounts stated will make it hard, or that there is a good chance that some borrowing will be needed?
  • jackieblack
    jackieblack Posts: 10,290
    First Post Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    Forumite
    edited 28 May 2018 at 5:46PM
    John_Jones wrote: »
    You do not think that the living amounts stated will make it hard, or that there is a good chance that some borrowing will be needed?

    Not necessarily.
    A lot of people, students and non-students live on similar amounts quite easily (although I know many people earning more couldn't 'get their head around' this being possible :) ).
    The only foreseeable thing that could require borrowing would be for a deposit and/or first months rent if OP goes into a rental property after leaving halls.
    If staying on in halls is an option this might be avoided.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter, south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading
    Everything will be alright in the end so, if it’s not yet alright, it means it’s not yet the end
    MFW #4 OPs (offset): 2018 £866.89, 2019 £1322.33, 2020 £1337.07,
    2021 £1250.00, 2022 £1500.00, 2023 £1500
    Target for 2024 (offset) = £1200, YTD £0
    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
  • Qoozle
    Qoozle Posts: 4 Newbie
    BS.C Computer Science - so yeah a missive step up from 20y of call centre work ;)
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.7K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.3K Life & Family
  • 246.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards