Living Costs for Uni Student

How much are the living costs for you/your offspring while they are away at uni?

I mean for things that are not rent and bills, so for food, entertainment, drinking, clothes, travel etc..
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  • HampshireH
    HampshireH Posts: 4,474 Forumite
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    When i was at uni it was about £300-400  a month.

    That was food. Petrol/train fares, books, nights out.

    I worked for the 2nd half of my 1stvyear once I managed to get a job and my parents topped me up by £200 In my 1st year.

    2nd was the same but rent/bills were higher as moved into a shared house.

    3rd year was cheaper as only had 4 hrs a week in uni so commuted  and worked 2 jobs at home so minimal costs and no time to spend any more.

    That was 12 years ago. Imagine it's about £400-£500 now but it depends completely on the lifestyle and how much they drink
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 7,323 Forumite
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    edited 16 February 2020 at 7:18PM
    Its a bit of a 'how long is a piece of string' question.  It depends on how cheaply they eat, how much booze they consume, what sort of lifestyle they lead.  I could live very cheaply as I knew how to cook economically, never bought take aways and rarely went out (yeah i am boring lol.., all I wanted to do was study). I would have thought £20 a week would pay for essential food but others would say that was too much, still others would say that wasn't enough. If you only go out to the bar once a week, a tenner should do it (I am really mean lol) but i rather doubt most students would agree and at least double or triple that.

    I know my just about ex student son thinks nothing of taking his gf out for a meal for £40 and thinks that is cheap.  Like I say, I am mean and used to doing without.  

    Why are you asking this question? It might help us answer.

  • Why are you asking this question? It might help us answer.
    I just wanted to see if I could get a general idea from various people. I appreciate it depends a lot on the young person.

    My eldest will be off to uni this year. I think he will be more frugal than lavish. He prefers cooking from scratch, he barely drinks (although I appreciate this may change), and he is quite an introvert. He has a license, but he won't need a car. He's not interested in fashion. 

    My estimate is that he won't need more than about £300 a month, but I wanted other experiences.
  • When I was at uni (2003-2006) my parents paid my fees and I had my student loan as my money. I got about £1100 every term and worked part time. I never drank before I started uni but that soon changed! I was broke a lot but it was fun!!  :D
  • In my experience students live like kings at the beginning of term, with takeaways and nights out, and by the end of term when the loans run out they are on cereal and cheap vodka in their digs. 

    That’s why it’s good to find accommodation they can pay for in line with their student loan payments rather than monthly! 
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,144 Forumite
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    Have you checked how much maintainance loan your child will get? Our son gets the minimum around £4K per year. We pay his rent in full for him because of this. Included in his rent is heating/lighting, water, tv license and broadband. Seperately we also pay for his household insurance and mobile phone. He has no day to day travelcosts as he's studying in a small town so everything walkable. He's not overly interested in clothes, so they mainly come as Christmas presents. From time to time as and when we visit we do a occassional grocery shop for him. When he went back after Christmas, I had my slow cookers on the go and sent him back with several curries/stews/chillis that could go in his freezer. When he comes home  we do not charge him for anything

    This leaves him with around £100 p.w in term time or £75 to live on throughout the year. His housemates get slightly better loans but aren't helped by parents so live in their overdrafts more. 

    It will very much depend on where your child is studying as to what costs will be, eg where's accommodation  versus Uni. How expensive a place is it for living costs? A large tourist city for example is likely to have more expensive costs than a small town.


     
  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,951 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
    Moving this thread to the student board. OP you may want to look for similar discussions on that board.
    I'm a Forum Ambassador on The Coronavirus Boards as well as the housing, mortgages and student money saving boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Forum Ambassadors are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.
  • sew_what
    sew_what Posts: 253 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Have a read of https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2017/09/five-things-every-student-parents-know/?_ga=2.54639913.383938052.1582024801-1739849515.1577466295
    We top up our student's loan to the maximum living loan. We top up their loan to cover the accommodation fees termly and then share the rest out over the year. In the first year we paid it every two weeks but now it's monthly. 
    They work during the holidays to supplement the student loan (can't work during the term due to contact hours & workload)
  • kangoora
    kangoora Posts: 1,193 Forumite
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    Our son managed fine on £60/week which we reduced to £20/week when he came home for holidays. He topped up from his student loan by £10/week so in reality it was £70/week. This was with his accomodation paid for. He's on his Masters now so this was last year, although he was in Hull Uni doing his undergraduate, it might be worse for a southern based one (especially London).
  • Spendless said:
    Have you checked how much maintainance loan your child will get? Our son gets the minimum around £4K per year. We pay his rent in full for him because of this. Included in his rent is heating/lighting, water, tv license and broadband. Seperately we also pay for his household insurance and mobile phone. He has no day to day travelcosts as he's studying in a small town so everything walkable. He's not overly interested in clothes, so they mainly come as Christmas presents. From time to time as and when we visit we do a occassional grocery shop for him. When he went back after Christmas, I had my slow cookers on the go and sent him back with several curries/stews/chillis that could go in his freezer. When he comes home  we do not charge him for anything

    This leaves him with around £100 p.w in term time or £75 to live on throughout the year. His housemates get slightly better loans but aren't helped by parents so live in their overdrafts more. 

    It will very much depend on where your child is studying as to what costs will be, eg where's accommodation  versus Uni. How expensive a place is it for living costs? A large tourist city for example is likely to have more expensive costs than a small town.


     
    Thanks, yeah we've checked the loan entitlement. Thank you for your experiences.silvercar said:
    Moving this thread to the student board. OP you may want to look for similar discussions on that board.
    Thanks. Sorry, didn't realise.
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