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Cost of Living at University?

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    Hey,
    I'm hopefully going to Lancaster University in September to study Philosophy!!! *fingers crossed*
    and I was just trying to start some early budgeting plans to see how far my savings, grant and loan will actually stretch! But a lot of this is guesswork as to how much things will cost, so I was wondering if some people could help with some averages on how much you spend at University.

    So how much do you spend per week on Food?
    How much do you spend on course books like a month? (depends on your course I know..but just trying to guess!)
    How much do you spend on Transport per week? As I know the campus is a bit out of town..
    How much do you spend on Laundry per week?
    How much do you spend on 'entertainment'(going out/cinema etc) per week? (depends on the indiviudal I know, just trying to get an average, I'm not someone who will go out all the time, but neither will I be a hermit...is it cheap/expensive in Lancaster?)

    Think that's all I can think of for now....any help would be much appreciated!

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    As you might imagine, it varies a great deal. Factors include: how much you have to start with, whether you cook or buy take aways, the kind of diet you follow, how much you drink, how often you visit town etc etc. It is incredibly hard to give averages...

    I can only offer you a rough guide based on my experiences.
    Food:
    I used to spend around £30 a fortnight. Sometimes a little more, sometimes less. For two years, I was a vegan, so that involved visiting lots of smaller stores [Single Step Coop, the two Chinese and the Thai shop, Holland & Barratt etc] making it slightly harder to note exactly what I'd spent.
    Course Books:
    Don't rush out buying books. In first year, I spent around £200 on books. I probably read 50% of those. One still has the wrapper on it! The library system is very good, and there are increasing numbers of e-books and online texts available. So, you should be able to limit what you spend on books. In my third year, I think I spent around £30 - as I bought the texts second hand online and waited until I knew I would actually make use of them.
    Transport:
    When I was there, it was just over £2.15 return into town. I imagine that has since gone up, but it should still be no more than £2.50/£3. I worked in Morecambe, so I would go further - costing £4.30 [then] for a dayticket. Most students pop into town once or twice a week, plus maybe another couple of times for clubs etc. £10 should probably cover that.

    Going home varies a great deal, depending on when you go and how you travel. If I booked my tickets in advance, for set trains, I could get home and back for around £5 on the train [Lancaster-to-Manchester]. An off-peak return is around £11 for the same route. I used to visit home a couple of times a term in first year, but that decreased over the years. I was lucky though - living so close, I was able to nip home to see Rocky Horror and be back in time for my shift at work the next day.
    Laundry:
    Very few students do their laundry every week lol. I used to do mine once a fortnight [partly because of my job - I only had enough uniform for four shifts, whereas I had plenty of 'normal' clothes and could easily last three weeks lol]. The laundrette used to be £1.60-£1.80 for a wash and £1 to dry. Allowing for inflation, you are probably looking at around £3-£3.50.
    Entertainment:
    Too varied to say. If you use your purple card, you can get some decent offers for meals out etc and entry to the clubs/bars is reasonable [or free, depending on where you go]. Lots of the clubs/bars have student nights with cheap drinks offers. You can always save money by drinking before you go out too - we did that a lot and would then only have 1 or 2 drinks whilst out. A taxi back, shared with a few friends, is cheap too - around £10 [if that] from city-to-campus.
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    Food - I spent around £30-£50 a week on food. I do like eating though (I'm not fat by the way) I just do quite a bit of sport. That did include alcohol a lot of the time as well.

    Course Books - I think I spent £150 this year on books. I didn't need any of them. They forced you to buy the Accounting and Finance one as it had a code in that you needed to access the online tests.

    Transport - £1.60 single, £2.30 return as of June 2012. There is a free bus to Sainburys every Wednesday on the hour. There are free buses to clubs on certain nights from campus. Check their Facebook pages or websites.

    Laundry - IIRC £1.70 for a wash, £1 for tumble dryer. On campus they have implemented a card system where you get a card and put money on it via the website.

    Entertainment - Purple Card does get you offers in restaurants and shops in town but I rarely used it for that. They send you an email every week with the offers on as they change.
    - The student union club "Sugarhouse" is normally £3 to get in before 12, £4 after I think. Drinks are cheapish in comparison to the south where I live. Other clubs like Elements is £5 to get in most of the time.
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    Food, £15-£20/week.
    Books, £0/week
    Transport, When I lived on campus, <2.50 a week. While off campus, £205/year.
    Laundry, £2.50 or so every week and a half.
    Entertainment, anything left over from my £50-£60/week. Lancaster is cheap on the whole.
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    Thank you so much people!!
    Very helpful!

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Updated: August 1, 2012
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