Living on a student budget

With Freshers week a distant (and hazy) memory students are turning their  attention to their finances – trying to work out how much money they will have left to spare each week. The results vary with student budgets stretching from as low as £25 per week to £200.

This figure is influenced by a number of factors, including

  • Parental income
  • Bursaries
  • Grants
  • Location

The biggest costs for students’ are rent and food with students spending anything between three and seven thousand pounds per year. However it is not the cost of accommodation that is the issue for students but the size of the loan they get to pay for it.

“Accommodation’s a bitch – the cheapest accommodation left me with under £200 for the entire year, paid in the last instalment. I really don’t have a clue how the student loans company thought people could live on that”

The Student Room user, Aemiliana

But we should be careful not to focus on the stereotypical image of an impoverished student; although student’s often lack funds on a week-to-week basis, many students are actually willing to spend much more on ‘luxury’ items such as Laptops and Macbooks. This is probably because they are items that many students rely upon and use for a great deal of time – some may also argue that in coming to university, many people like the chance to show off to their new classmates with the latest gadget.

The iPad for example can be seen as a luxury purchase, but it is certainly an alternative that students are considering.

“I used my iPad all last year. The lecturers loved it, I could download all of the slides and annotate them which was perfect. I actually managed to convince 2 of my lecturers to get one after they enquired about me using it.”

The Student Room user, rhys_o

It’s not just the iPad though, over at The Student Room there is a lot of discussion about the different things people have bought to take to university from laptops to mobile phones, speakers to games consoles. Students are not as badly off as many say, here are just a few comment about the new iPhone announced the other week.

“The 4S looks amazing, so I’m definitely going to get it straight from Apple to get a better and cheaper contract than it would be if I got it through a carrier. £25 a month for 100 minutes, unlimited texts and 500mb of internet and £240 for the phone (based on the 4, but chances are the 4S will be similar). “

The Student Room user, chloe–

“I think Apple is a great company with great design and emphasis on the user interface of its devices, and i doubt that i’ll ever switch away from mac os x.”

The Student Room user, keepoffthelawn

Although, many students do struggle with money – it’s not to say all do, or that they can’t afford the odd luxury in life, The Student Room Fashion & Beauty forum has over 800,000 posts – students do have some disposable income, and this just shows that they are still just as interested in spending it on the things they love.

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