Student Costs

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Ivo

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I wanted to have a little rant about living costs as a student in Bath. I've been asked to fill out a form by my University detailing my income and expenditure each month, and on an annual basis it shows a deficit of £810!

Here is what I've got (not inclusive of Tuition Fee, because it goes direct to the University, or overdraft because that's used up already):

Income (per annum):

Student loan: £3663
Maintenance Grant: £2907
Bursary: £1200
Total: £7770

That's it. The only jobs available around here are for Bar Work or things that I would end up getting sacked in on Day One owing to clumsiness and general dyspraxia, so I have no other income at all! I don't get anything from my parents either, unlike all the well-off students :cry:

Expenditure (per month):

Food, household and laundry: £125 (based on £20 p/w for food (factoring in days per month), £20 p/m for household and £20 p/m for laundry)
Telephone: £20
Entertainment and social: £50 (including not-essential train fares, such as Challenges on here, which are rare and minimal already :()
Clothes: £10 (usually socks)
Rent: £460 (£5545 over 12 months)
Travel costs (home): £30 (average)
Travel costs (other): £15 (usually travel before 0900, e.g. placement)
Books etc (not covered by DSA): £5 (usually printing costs in the University Library)
TOTAL: £255 before rent; £715 (average) after

7770 - 715 x 12 = 7770 - 8580 = -810

Every year I end up on financial support from the University because I just can't afford to leave here. If they charged a more realistic amount for rent, even £100 p/w (which is quite harsh itself), I would be OK, but...

Anyhow, without resorting to "get a job", "move", "quit University", "cheat" (or similar) or "take action against oneself", what suggestions or comments do any of you guys have? Does anyone else here find themselves in this situation time and time again?

Things would be so much easier if I could get DLA, but I applied in October and have been told it'll be at least May before they even consider my case :( At least if it does happen though I would get extra funding, housing benefit and a DSB...
 
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David

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Have you rented somewhere yourself privately, or is it universaty provided accomodation?

If the latter, then I'm shocked at how much they're charging!
 

Ivo

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Have you rented somewhere yourself privately, or is it universaty provided accomodation?

If the latter, then I'm shocked at how much they're charging!
In that case you need to a provide a :shock: - it's on campus.

It does have an en-suite, which would explain this one being a bit dearer than the other room (I like to spend time in the bath/shower so it was a near-compulaory requirement for me), but that is negated by small-ish rooms and small kitchen size - and several facilities that never seem to work properly, including the SHOWER! My cousin has an en-suite in Southend (not sure how someone in Southend got University accommodation in Southend, but that's for a different trhead) but pays only £90 - even though said accommodation (or "tetris block") is in the town centre!
 

CC 72100

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In that case you need to a provide a :shock: - it's on campus.

It does have an en-suite, which would explain this one being a bit dearer than the other room (I like to spend time in the bath/shower so it was a near-compulaory requirement for me), but that is negated by small-ish rooms and small kitchen size - and several facilities that never seem to work properly, including the SHOWER! My cousin has an en-suite in Southend (not sure how someone in Southend got University accommodation in Southend, but that's for a different trhead) but pays only £90 - even though said accommodation (or "tetris block") is in the town centre!
Exeter is pretty pricey as well for student residences. Mine goes up to an eye-watering £196 a week next year! Yes it's en-suite, yes it's catered, but it hits the wallet hard enough this year. I do feel sorry for the next years students, but they still have enough applications each year to fill it twice over so obviously people are still prepared to pay it :|

Sorted out accomodation for next year, £90 p/w (including bills) for an en-suite flat in a 5-flat cluster in a pretty new block down by St Davids station. Oh, and my room looks over the railway line ;)
 
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tony_mac

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That is a lot of rent, but then Bath is expensive. Universities do seem to charge more for their own accommodation and get away with it.

I subsidised my time as undergrad through gambling promotions, but it's somewhat more difficult these days, and obviously not for everyone.
 

Badger

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I'm currently paying £115 a week for Unite in Leicester. I stayed in Opal two years ago, they're currently about the same, whereas in Wolverhampton the same flat same company is £77 a week!
 

Robinson

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I've done pretty well thus far, however things may be changing imminently and I am now trying to work out what jobs I could realistically apply for in the short term. I fear I'd not be suited to stuff like bar work/waiting because I am not a confident, outgoing personality (which is partly related to my autism)...
 

ainsworth74

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I'm in Uni accommodation and paying £121 per week for it. For that I get a room, access to a kitchen, bills (including unlimited internet) as well as breakfast and tea everyday. There's also two TV rooms, a music room (featuring grand piano), games room (featuring pool, table tennis and darts) and a library (which is a grand way of saying a large room with loads of ancient books in it). It isn't cheap by any stretch of the imagination but for what I'm getting I don't think it's a rip off either.
 

Badger

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That's outstanding, I'm paying not much less than that and we have none of that. Certainly not a library and music room, and no TVs. Definately not catered.

Our games room closed as soon as we got here and is now being converted into flats ;-;

Although last year I was also paying £115 a week but then had to splash out £220 for Internet for the year :/
 

YorkshireBear

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My cost for all my rent internet tv water gas electric etc etc is £72 a week. food costs £20 a week. So i get by in total well under £450 a month. But leeds is cheap, and its a shared house.
 

lemonic

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A possible way to save a little money... could you spend less on phone bills a month?
1. Use Skype/Windows Live Messenger etc. from your computer for video calls if possible which is free.
2. Send free texts from your computer if possible. (e.g. with Orange you get 30 free texts a month)
3. Try and use free wi-fi to connect to the internet on your phone.

I don't know whether this will help you save money, but if you halved the amount (to £10) you spend on a phone every month, then that is £120 saved per year - every little helps.
 

Drsatan

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I live in Exeter and I pay £97 a week (bills not included) to live in a house with two other people. At least the landlord fixes things fairly quickly if they break, which is a bonus compared to some landlords who will try and get away with sod all repairs. Illustrating this the extractor fan in one of the bathrooms broke, I rang the landlord the same day and the following day someone turned up to fix it.

Other than that I spend £20-30 a week on food, and too much on bills (gas, electricity, and water get expensive in a 3 person house )
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sorted out accomodation for next year, £90 p/w (including bills) for an en-suite flat in a 5-flat cluster in a pretty new block down by St Davids station. Oh, and my room looks over the railway line ;)
I lived in Moberly in first year (right dump although the people living there were nice) and I was given a room facing away from the railway line!
 

duffman82

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Expenditure (per month):

Food, household and laundry: £125. (Use cheaper alternatives on brands maybe. I live off smart price produce most of the time or go to Aldi or Farmfoods for cheaper prices on food. Do bigger loads on your washing to save several washes)

Telephone: £20 (Lower your contract maybe to less minutes/ texts)

Entertainment and social: £50 (Find cheaper activities to do, As I'm in final year i rarely go out so money saved. However pre-drinking saves cash or do free activities like walks, or film nights for example)


Clothes: £10 (You don't need new clothes every month buy in bulk at the start of the year)


Are a few examples i can think to save you money. I live in halls like you and don't get supported from home and i live on a lot less then you state here, I buy a lot of products in bulk so i save such as toilet roll, washing detergent, certain food items so they last a long time. Yeah i get bored of the same meals sometimes but at least I'm eating!

Also i rarely go home which saves me a ton of money. This year of uni i have went home only once and that was for 4 days at xmas!
 

CC 72100

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I lived in Moberly in first year (right dump although the people living there were nice) and I was given a room facing away from the railway line!
Haha my friends living down there say exactly the same. Never been down there myself, don't make too many trips down cardiac hill if I can help it! ;) Plus, I'm not sure how well I'd be recieved being in Holland Hall :lol:
 

Ivo

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We don't get anything in terms of games rooms, or catering (which is also expensive; six months ago it was 80p for one measly sausage! - They've since changed supplier and had a 20p decrease.), or free this, or that, or anything - except Internet. But, it is entirely wireless, and free to all other users as well - so we are paying a premium for precisely nothing; worse, it doesn't always work! We do have 24-hour Library access, but so do all the others if they can be bothered to come up here at silly o'clock in the morning.

Expenditure (per month):

Food, household and laundry: £125. (Use cheaper alternatives on brands maybe. I live off smart price produce most of the time or go to Aldi or Farmfoods for cheaper prices on food. Do bigger loads on your washing to save several washes) I use Smartprice mostly as well. But the distance is too great so it is delivered, adding to the cost, and the only other alternative I "like" is Iceland - which is only useful for frozen products for the most part. No Lidl or Aldi in Bath!

Telephone: £20 (Lower your contract maybe to less minutes/ texts) I don't even have a contract. I put £5 on it per week most of the time. I just can't justify a contract - 75% of it would go to waste. (Also answers aleksander's post.)

Entertainment and social: £50 (Find cheaper activities to do, As I'm in final year i rarely go out so money saved. However pre-drinking saves cash or do free activities like walks, or film nights for example) I never drink, never go to the cinema, anything like that. Most of the time it is things that come up without warning, such as SU society meetings, or an occasional janut to wherever by train as a hobby, including meets on this very forum.

Clothes: £10 (You don't need new clothes every month buy in bulk at the start of the year) 'Twas an estimate only. But the number of socks I ruin is ridiculous :|

Are a few examples i can think to save you money. I live in halls like you and don't get supported from home and i live on a lot less then you state here, I buy a lot of products in bulk so i save such as toilet roll, washing detergent, certain food items so they last a long time. Yeah i get bored of the same meals sometimes but at least I'm eating! I do this too - but the costs here are ridiculous; far greater than Wolverhampton (or Liverpool, whichever is your term-time home)! I have gone nine days eating the same one meal each day before now.

Also i rarely go home which saves me a ton of money. This year of uni i have went home only once and that was for 4 days at xmas! I rarely go home too - the same once as you - but my father "insists" that I visit him once every so often, which I've added in this category. Bath to Feltham/Southend isn't exactly cheap, even on Advances - but most of the time, I can't stick to Advances for these journeys due to Uni commitments (and my brother being a pain). I have gone all the way to Southend by bus before now using my ENCTS card (a lifesaver cost-wise; without it I'd be over £1,000 down per year); two weeks ago, I returned from Feltham by bus.
Some general responses there.
 

sprinterguy

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Sounds like you get an excellent deal on the amount of loan, etc, you get paid Ivo: I haven't worked it out specifically, but overall I get around £6000 per year in loan and grant, plus £800 bursary over the three terms, and I feel like I can live like a king, or at the very least everyone I know is convinced I do!

Admittedly these days I am only paying £200 a month for rent, but that is covering my girlfriends' contribution as well (if I wasn't then it would be half of that :)). But back in my first year of Uni four years ago I was only getting essentially half that amount of loan (and grant) but paying £101 per week in rent and still showing the best part of the Birmingham metal scene how to rock most weekends :D The cost of those halls, which have ensuite bathrooms, has only increased to £110 in those four years, so hearing the cost of halls in various other Unis through this thread is truly astounding.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Also, £10 per month in socks? :shock: Who are you, The Prince Regent? ;) (Blackadder reference, as if people didn't know!). I start feeling dubious if I've spent that much on new pairs of jeans in a month, and I walk some quite high mileage in some pretty cheap jeans on a daily basis!
 
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Ivo

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I don't really pay that much out in socks. I just go through a lot of them.

Socks are probably the most prominent cost in terms of clothing, but they aren't alone.
 

Ivo

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What do you do in your socks to wear them out so fast?! Mine last forever!
Pull them on too fast most of the time...

But for the last time, it's not just socks! They just seem to be a regular and/or high cost of that £10 - which is an ESTIMATED AVERAGE! Is £120 across a year really that hard to believe?

EDIT: I also average four pairs of trainers a year. At roughly £12 a throw that's 40% of that £120 figure.
 
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Greenback

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It is a tough time for many people at the moment, not just students, and the art of balancing a budget is something that is increasingly necessary these days.

I took a number of temporary jobs during my student days. I was a casual postal worker every Christmas, I delivered directories and leaflets, did the obligatory bar work, did some marketing for a county cricket club, and even had a days working as an extra.

I realise that economic conditions are much more difficult now, but my way of looking at things was, if I can do a job for a day or two, or a couple of weeks (vacations!) and fit it around my studies then any money I earn will make a big difference to my living standards over a year. I found it diffuclt to schedule regular work around my course, and as such I found it was easier (and more profitable) to get short term work of this nature.

I think that it is very necessary for students today to work while they are studying for their degree. It's not just for financial reasons either, as the experience gained, especially by doing a range of different types of work with dofferent types of organisations will say an awful lot on your CV when you are applying for jobs at the end of the course.
 

CC 72100

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Re the mobile phone costs. What do you use your phone for most? My brother used to be on T-mobile up until the end of the year, where if he topped up 10 pound per month he would get 10 pound worth of credit and unlimited texts for that month. If your usage is mainly text-based, it could be worth looking into a similar deal perhaps?

(NB - This was pay as you go, not a rolling contract just to clarify)
 

sprinterguy

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I realise that economic conditions are much more difficult now, but my way of looking at things was, if I can do a job for a day or two, or a couple of weeks (vacations!) and fit it around my studies then any money I earn will make a big difference to my living standards over a year. I found it diffuclt to schedule regular work around my course, and as such I found it was easier (and more profitable) to get short term work of this nature.

I think that it is very necessary for students today to work while they are studying for their degree. It's not just for financial reasons either, as the experience gained, especially by doing a range of different types of work with dofferent types of organisations will say an awful lot on your CV when you are applying for jobs at the end of the course.
Very true: I feel that probably the most valuable thing that I have gained during my time at Uni (Apart from my girlfriend of over three years and counting!) is a considerable amount of additional work experience, and I have been fortunate enough that it has all been in the transport (and logistics) sector. And of course, the extra money made from these jobs helps: It would have been extremely difficult for me to get through the long summer period while still paying rent, bills and eating food without the income from the jobs I have had.
 

Ivo

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Re the mobile phone costs. What do you use your phone for most? My brother used to be on T-mobile up until the end of the year, where if he topped up 10 pound per month he would get 10 pound worth of credit and unlimited texts for that month. If your usage is mainly text-based, it could be worth looking into a similar deal perhaps?

(NB - This was pay as you go, not a rolling contract just to clarify)
Most of my usage is call-based, not text-based. I probably make less than 30 texts per month.

Part of the problem is that I keep getting messages from people (especially my father) saying "call me" or similar. Another is that my mother says to drop ring her, which is fine, but half the time either (a) she is gossiping and thus I get charged for a 1571 redirect, (b) someone else answers without thinking about it, or (c) she takes so long that I have to try again - and then one of (a) and (b) happens.

At 12p per minute this isn't exactly cheap (on my previous phone I was put on a deal I didn't want that charged 25p per minute!). It was so much better when my old '3' phone worked, but it was a flip-top and when charging once the cable caught between my toes and pulled it off, breaking it in half :cry:
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
It is a tough time for many people at the moment, not just students, and the art of balancing a budget is something that is increasingly necessary these days.

I took a number of temporary jobs during my student days. I was a casual postal worker every Christmas, I delivered directories and leaflets, did the obligatory bar work, did some marketing for a county cricket club, and even had a days working as an extra.

I realise that economic conditions are much more difficult now, but my way of looking at things was, if I can do a job for a day or two, or a couple of weeks (vacations!) and fit it around my studies then any money I earn will make a big difference to my living standards over a year. I found it diffuclt to schedule regular work around my course, and as such I found it was easier (and more profitable) to get short term work of this nature.

I think that it is very necessary for students today to work while they are studying for their degree. It's not just for financial reasons either, as the experience gained, especially by doing a range of different types of work with dofferent types of organisations will say an awful lot on your CV when you are applying for jobs at the end of the course.
Very true: I feel that probably the most valuable thing that I have gained during my time at Uni (Apart from my girlfriend of over three years and counting!) is a considerable amount of additional work experience, and I have been fortunate enough that it has all been in the transport (and logistics) sector. And of course, the extra money made from these jobs helps: It would have been extremely difficult for me to get through the long summer period while still paying rent, bills and eating food without the income from the jobs I have had.
I appreciate the point, but it's not exactly easy for an undergraduate to get work experience as a further or higher education lecturer/tutor is it? I've been qualified as a TA since I was 19 but that's not much use because (a) the role is so different and (b) Uni gets in the way!
 

CC 72100

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Most of my usage is call-based, not text-based. I probably make less than 30 texts per month.

Part of the problem is that I keep getting messages from people (especially my father) saying "call me" or similar. Another is that my mother says to drop ring her, which is fine, but half the time either (a) she is gossiping and thus I get charged for a 1571 redirect, (b) someone else answers without thinking about it, or (c) she takes so long that I have to try again - and then one of (a) and (b) happens.

At 12p per minute this isn't exactly cheap (on my previous phone I was put on a deal I didn't want that charged 25p per minute!). It was so much better when my old '3' phone worked, but it was a flip-top and when charging once the cable caught between my toes and pulled it off, breaking it in half :cry:
Ah fair enough. The other option could be something like skype or facebook viedochat, but this only really works if both parties are at home, at the computer with a webacm when you talk. I've had skype since I've been at uni, when that just stopped working around november, I use facebook videochat to talk to my parents (my dad created a facebook account solely for this purpose).
 
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Eng274

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You lucky so and so. Mine seem to develop holes after weeks.
Me too, maybe buying 6 pairs of socks for £5 doesn't help. But nor am I willing to pay over the odds for thinner "posh" socks that seems more likely to be shredded after a few hours wear. Constantly wearing steel capped safety boots probably doesn't help, necessary to my job as they are!

While I was a student, I never lived in halls. I generally lived in shared flats, then in 2009 I realised that as the cost of a room in a shared flat in Edinburgh was ever increasing (£260pcm to £380pcm between 2005 and 2009) I'd be as well just renting a flat by myself. And I've done so for 2 and a half years, its done wonders for my sanity. My monthly student loan payment didn't quite cover the rent cost (£450), but working part-time covered that and paid for the bills. I reckon my monthly outgoings were about £880 v income of £940.

Now I'm so so glad I don't have to work in a pub any more, it is soul destroying.
 

LE Greys

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One piece of advice, don't drink. I'm astonished by how much money goes on alcohol every year. I gave it up completely, and suddenly was able to stay within my £50/week cash limit. I also cut back on takeaways, reducing to one per week (if there's any spare cash), reduced the ammount of film I use (costs a fortune) and got an annual bus pass. Some of my clothes date back to school (12-14 years ago) and a lot of the rest are hand-me-downs from various family members. The cost of living in Scotland is possibly lower, though.
 

Ivo

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One piece of advice, don't drink. I'm astonished by how much money goes on alcohol every year. I gave it up completely, and suddenly was able to stay within my £50/week cash limit. I also cut back on takeaways, reducing to one per week (if there's any spare cash), reduced the ammount of film I use (costs a fortune) and got an annual bus pass. Some of my clothes date back to school (12-14 years ago) and a lot of the rest are hand-me-downs from various family members. The cost of living in Scotland is possibly lower, though.
If I could use that advice I would - but I won't touch the stuff. It is one of the things that really annoys me about University; most students here can afford to waste themselves and their money on it every week whereas I constantly struggle in spite of hating the stuff!
 
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