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Topic: What's a student budget like?  (Read 427 times)

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What's a student budget like?
« on: September 23, 2021, 10:11:35 AM »
The good news is that I am dropping my daughter off at University in Bristol today!  She's studying 3D design.

The bad news is that we have to figure out how much money to give her for living expenses.  Accomodation is covered, so we are mostly talking food and reasonable entertainment.  I'm not inclined to cover any drinking or partying as that is ALL she did the entire summer when we were constantly telling her she needed to work and save some money for next year.

Anyway, do any of you have an idea of a reasonable amount a student should spend?


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 10:39:32 AM »
Oooh, how exciting for your daughter! I love her choice of education!

To your question, I had very little (read: virtually no) parental assistance in my university days.  I had a scholarship that covered my tuition, a grant that covered my accommodation, and I worked part time for food/"entertainment" money (I barely had enough to eat... there was no entertainment if it cost anything at all... I spent a lot of time playing spades in my residence hall's lobby).  You don't want me to suggest your daughter's budget, as I'll be way overly generous to make up for the lack of funds I had.

What I will say is I've been averaging about £100-115/week on groceries lately, for the two of us.  That includes wine and other beverages, my fizzy drink addiction, toiletries, cleaning and household supplies, etc.  I don't know what you can afford to give her, but maybe my budget is a starting point for figuring it out?  Don't forget transportation... Bristol Zone monthly ticket is £50.80 for 16-21yos.
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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2021, 11:16:47 AM »
It's been 20 years since I started uni (Exeter for undergrad in 2001, Bristol for post-grad in 2006, though I lived at home for my Bristol degree), so what I spent may not apply anymore.

My student loan covered my accommodation for the year, and the rest of my living expenses came from money I saved working full-time in the Summer, Christmas and Easter holidays (about £2,000-3,000 across the year), plus my grandmother was kind enough to give me £1,000/year to help out as well.

So, I had about £3,000-4,000 for the academic year (about £300-400/month) and that was actually more than enough to live on (I didn't spend a ton on going out/alcohol, so I had more money available for other things than a lot of other students did).

I did just find this though, which gives an estimated 2021 budget for average student living costs (it does include accommodation though):
https://www.savethestudent.org/money/student-budgeting/what-do-students-spend-their-money-on.html

Taking out the accommodation costs, they estimate about £400/month for living costs (with groceries being about £25/week), which is actually not far off what I was spending 20 years ago.


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2021, 11:22:23 AM »
Oooh, how exciting for your daughter! I love her choice of education!

To your question, I had very little (read: virtually no) parental assistance in my university days.  I had a scholarship that covered my tuition, a grant that covered my accommodation, and I worked part time for food/"entertainment" money (I barely had enough to eat... there was no entertainment if it cost anything at all... I spent a lot of time playing spades in my residence hall's lobby).  You don't want me to suggest your daughter's budget, as I'll be way overly generous to make up for the lack of funds I had.

What I will say is I've been averaging about £100-115/week on groceries lately, for the two of us.  That includes wine and other beverages, my fizzy drink addiction, toiletries, cleaning and household supplies, etc.  I don't know what you can afford to give her, but maybe my budget is a starting point for figuring it out?  Don't forget transportation... Bristol Zone monthly ticket is £50.80 for 16-21yos.
  Thank you JFKimberley!   I also worked almost full time during my University and paid for all my living expenses myself.  I'm not sure how realistic that will be for here and now.  We'll adjust that as we go along. 

By the way, £115 a week for two people sounds pretty darn high to me.  Our weekly shop for the 4 of us is usually just over £150. I guess since you aren't leaving the house much I don't begrudge you the occasional foodie treat. 


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2021, 11:28:13 AM »

the rest of my living expenses came from money I saved working full-time in the Summer, Christmas and Easter holidays


  This is the part she refuses to understand!  Can you tell I am bit bitter?   This girl goes out the pub more than I do now. 

Anyway, thank for the great response, I think you numbers are just in line with what we are thinking.  That's actually right around what her allowance was when she was going to College locally and didn't have a job so we were paying for lots of stuff. 


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2021, 11:40:09 AM »
  This is the part she refuses to understand!  Can you tell I am bit bitter?   This girl goes out the pub more than I do now. 

Anyway, thank for the great response, I think you numbers are just in line with what we are thinking.  That's actually right around what her allowance was when she was going to College locally and didn't have a job so we were paying for lots of stuff. 

I've asked a British cousin at Uni (second year) what she needs to pay for food/fun.

But yeah, she worked all summer, I know she pays for her own things.  Sorry Jimbo.  I also had NO financial help from my parents. 


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2021, 12:47:24 PM »
By the way, £115 a week for two people sounds pretty darn high to me.  Our weekly shop for the 4 of us is usually just over £150. I guess since you aren't leaving the house much at all I don't begrudge you the occasional foodie treat.

I admit we live a rather hedonist lifestyle.  We don't just have the "occasional" foodie treat.  We eat "tasty noms"  pretty much daily.  Life's too short for disappointing food.  ;)

But our average spend is higher lately as food costs have gone up, and our overall life satisfaction has gone down during the pandemic.  Pre-pandemic, we were closer to £70/week.  It's just been so easy lately to just throw it into the virtual shopping basket with an "I deserve this" attitude.  And also, my budget is for all the stuff we consume, not just foodstuffs.

Taking out the accommodation costs, they estimate about £400/month for living costs (with groceries being about £25/week), which is actually not far off what I was spending 20 years ago.

After accommodation, tuition fees, etc. are paid for, what else is left besides food and transportation?  At £400/month, £25/week is only about 1/4 the budget... and it's not much!  It's there a dining hall meal plan that I don't know about?  Nevermind.  I followed the link... there are additional entries for take-aways and pub visits...!  I lump all the stuff together.  If I hadn't had the take-away, I would've consumed groceries instead, so it's all the same budget in my mind... just, some food/drink is more cost-efficient than others.
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22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2021, 02:32:36 PM »
Straight from a Year 2 student at Bournemouth....

Aha come to right person - my student loan was tight last year cause of expensive rent but I got by on £20 a week - this year I have about £45 a week after bills which I would say is ideal for food drink and anything else. Anything between 20-50 works 🙂 xx

She also went on to say she lives off her student loan and does NOT touch her savings from working from over the summer.  No money from parents. 

Sorry Miss Jimbo....  Daddy is gonna cut that figure in his head in half!!!


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2021, 03:39:08 PM »
I left uni in 2008 (yay start of the global financial crisis!). My parents gave me the same budget they’d given my sister 10 years earlier: $200/ month, which, given the exchange rate of the time was roughly £100. This covered bills, toiletries, food, clothing etc… I ate once a day during my final year when I lived in a flat. I would have loved to get a part time job, but those were like hens’ teeth (tiny village, jobs were ‘inherited’ or like 50 applicants per job).

I was grateful they gave me anything at all. If they hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have been able to eat. I did work most summers and some christmases, which helped, but for min wage mostly, this mostly paid for transport getting to and from the airport, the very occasional treat, like a half pint at the pub.


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2021, 09:05:25 AM »
I don't really know Jimbo.  I will say that she will quickly learn the life lesson of having to work to get what she wants in life.

I worked three different jobs in Uni with no help from parents and worked hard to get grants and scholarships, as we were dirt ass poor. I went to state school (an utterly fantastic state school though!!) and didn't have much student loan debt.  My older sister is the exact same (different state school though).

By the time my youngest sister was in uni, my parents financial situation changed and they also didn't have too many kids at home anymore. So they gave my youngest sister all kinds of money and opportunities (she tried 3 different unis) and spoiled her rotten. Guess who is still living at home at 33 years old? My PARENTS are still paying her student loan debt as they signed them in their name, and she has no degree to show for it.

Anyways, I think it's awesome you're giving her a budget for food and expenses and whatnot, so that's absolutely great. :) :) She will be resourceful, no doubt, because students are very creative!  She will find a way to party  ;) And if she's studying 3D design, she sounds creative. And Bristol ,what a fab place to go to uni!
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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2021, 05:29:19 PM »
Thank you all for your help, we had intense negotiations in the car and came up with a figure that sounded ridiculously low to me but can always be raised. 
We dropped her off at her dorm, she has this massive private room with her own bathroom!  I lived with Tony Petie the chronic masturbater in a room half the size when I went to school.   
Then we took her grocery shopping and I don't think she quite figured out that this was the last food we were going to buy for her. 
Did I mention we took along sad boyfriend who is staying at home?  Mrs. jimbocz and I went out for Nando's while they had their last meal and then we took him home by himself.  Tough going for 18 year old Romeo. 


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2021, 06:00:30 PM »
My broke cousin has a sea view from her student housing.  She might live on £20 a week but she has a multi million £ view! 

Poor Romeo. 

One kid down Jimbo!  One to go!  High five!


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Re: What's a student budget like?
« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2021, 06:19:37 PM »
Congratulations Jimbo, big steps!!
I've never gotten food on my underpants!
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