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What's it like growing up poor/on benefits/underprivileged?

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    (Original post by hopingtobeadentist)
    LOOOOOL that was ****ing funny.
    well i was telling her why i want to go to uni
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    (Original post by abc:))
    This is so untrue - I go to uni in the north, living costs are cheap, I have almost the full loan and a grant, and I end up with around 300 pounds each term left over. When you take into consideration books [which amount to around 150 pounds commonly] food, socialising, and generally living your life, there is no way you can go to university for free, it's IMPOSSIBLE.
    Well you'd be having to support yourself anyway if you didn't go to university so...
    It's not 'free', you have to be prepared to get a job/cheap accommodation/live with parents but it's perfectly doable for the majority of people.
    Anyway, I'm in the same situation except I'm in London and do medicine which is a course with hardly any spare time. My rent is £600 per month :s
    I still have money in the bank etc and can still eat out/Starbucks etc.

    (Original post by sarahw17)
    i was asking for your advice shall i tell them i did it or not
    Quite frankly, I don't understand or care.
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    (Original post by sarahw17)
    well i was telling her why i want to go to uni
    You're asking in the wrong place. If you want relationship advice, go to the relevant forum.
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    (Original post by sarahw17)
    well i was telling her why i want to go to uni
    Well why does she want to know?
    You need to go to a thread that asks for comments such as this darling
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    (Original post by joefoxon)
    You're asking in the wrong place. If you want relationship advice, go to the relevant forum.
    okay i will i new here i just reliese there are different forums
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    i new on here i havent got used to it and thnaks for telling me
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    (Original post by GdotL)
    Well you'd be having to support yourself anyway if you didn't go to university so...
    It's not 'free', you have to be prepared to get a job/cheap accommodation/live with parents but it's perfectly doable for the majority of people.
    Anyway, I'm in the same situation except I'm in London and do medicine which is a course with hardly any spare time. My rent is £600 per month :s
    I still have money in the bank etc and can still eat out/Starbucks etc.



    Quite frankly, I don't understand or care.
    LOOOOOOOOL you are funny, I rate you
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    (Original post by sarahw17)
    i new on here i havent got used to it and thnaks for telling me
    Lol that's okay

    By the way, your english is terrible.
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    (Original post by hopingtobeadentist)
    Lol that's okay

    By the way, your english is terrible.
    thats cause i type fast and i didnt read it back through before sending it
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    (Original post by sarahw17)
    thats cause i type fast and i didnt read it back through before sending it
    Sorry to be mean, but you'll need to master the use of the apostrophe, punctuation, and spelling to get into uni.

    So, 'That's because I type fast, and I didn't read it back through before sending it.'



    Maybe look into getting a copy of Eats, Shoots, and Leaves by Lynne Truss out of your library.
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    I'll always remember the point at which I realised I was poor compared to the rest of the kids in school (before that, mum and dad had gone without stuff to make sure we didn't know that they were very short on cash). I knew I was on free school meals and stuff, but when I was in early primary school I didn't realise that that was because we didn't have much money, I thought all school meals were free (ahh, youth). But there was this residential trip in year 6 that I was really excited to go on and we got the cost slips and stuff like that and mine was costing my parents £50 (still a fair bit of money for us, but I didn't realise that and we were given it like 6 weeks before it had to be paid) but the girl sat next to me had £150 on her cost slip. When she made a fuss that mine was costing less the teacher explained that those on free school meals had £100 paid for by the school/government; and that was because those who weren't on free school meals had lots of money coming in every month while those on free school meals didn't. It was at that point when I realised school meals weren't free for everyone and people started bullying me for being poor.
    When I reached high school was when I noticed it. My mum's disability got a little better (still on DLA, but didn't need my dad to look after her so much) and my dad was able to get a full time job so we had a little bit extra money and I started getting pocket money. Then my dad broke his leg at work and was treated horribly by the company about his sick pay etc. so he quit and we ended up back where we were when I was at the end of primary school. I suddenly noticed things like less biscuits and chocolate and stuff, and we had to get rid of the Sky TV and downgrade our internet to the evening plan instead of the unlimited plan (I still needed internet for school so we couldn't get rid of it completely). Christmas presents dropped in value and replacement school uniform for my brother no longer came from M&S (he has dyspraxia so would fall over and rip stuff or spill stuff and stain his shirts etc.) but was as cheap as possible and the only time I got takeout or fast food was when I stayed at my nans. When I went to college and got EMA, I had to give £20 of it to my parents - £15 of which covered my bus fare and the £10 I had left served as the pocket money they could no longer afford to give me.
    Now I'm at uni, mum's disability money has been totally cut despite her being worse than when she was first assessed and they've had to switch to buying smartprice stuff. Dad works part-time to cover the internet for my brother who's now in college but they had to get rid of the landline and switch to the cheapest possible pay as you go for their mobiles (all of which are approx.2-3 years old, except my brother who keeps breaking them due to his clumsiness so keeps getting spares from family and friends while my mum saves up any spare money she can to try and buy him a new one). My nan pays for the Sky TV because my mum is stuck in the house on her own most of the day because when she lost her DLA she lost her motability car as well and sometimes she can barely get from couch to toilet and going on the computer is not an option because her hands hurt so much she can't type or use a mouse if she's particularly bad. Dad's boss has been fantastic and lets my dad use the minibus he drives for work to go shopping etc. and takes my mum to the library on a Saturday, but she also struggles with her eyes sometimes due to diabetes so reading isn't always available as a source of entertainment so the TV is kind of essential for her.

    Now there are people worse off than me and my family, but it's by no means easy. I'm glad I got to go to uni, I thought my parents might need me to stay at home and get a job and pay them rent etc. so they could afford stuff, but they've managed okay.
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    Why dont people like me for being poor?
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    Pretty bloody awful, not going to lie. When you are old enough to understand exactly how poor your family is, it's like you are living on a knife edge at the end of each month. No money for bills or rent- it's not the fact that you can't afford things, it's the fact that as a kid you have to watch your mother cry about it. I was unlucky enough to live with parents that couldn't cope emotionally with being poor, my dad got made redundant when I was very little and couldn't cope with the degredation of going on the dole (he was a really proud guy). Very sad and scary when you live on the bottom most rung. Somebody said that 'not having food in the fridge' was an exaggeration. It's really, really not.

    Being poor is horrible and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
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    (Original post by GdotL)
    Well you'd be having to support yourself anyway if you didn't go to university so...
    It's not 'free', you have to be prepared to get a job/cheap accommodation/live with parents but it's perfectly doable for the majority of people.
    Anyway, I'm in the same situation except I'm in London and do medicine which is a course with hardly any spare time. My rent is £600 per month :s
    I still have money in the bank etc and can still eat out/Starbucks etc.
    But you're not in the same situation. You get quite a bit more loan for studying in London.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    But you're not in the same situation. You get quite a bit more loan for studying in London.
    That's because living in London is more expensive, as shown by the £600 a month rent. I could live on £600 a month all in at Bath - halls £110, food etc £30-40 - it would be tight but possible.
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    (Original post by RibenaRockstar)
    That's because living in London is more expensive, as shown by the £600 a month rent. I could live on £600 a month all in at Bath - halls £110, food etc £30-40 - it would be tight but possible.
    London isn't always more expensive. I've lived there for a year. I managed to easily live on £600 a month.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    London isn't always more expensive. I've lived there for a year. I managed to easily live on £600 a month.
    Fair enough, that was just what teachers etc had said at school.
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    (Original post by abc:))
    As a young child, nothing as I wasn't aware of it.

    As an older child, I can't say I thought about it much (does any child think about class and wealth much?) except for the odd month when we would run out of funds and then have no food to eat, or get the gas or electricity cut off, which if it was the gas also meant washing in the kitchen with boiled water as our water was heated by gas. Then it was a little frustrating or worrying.

    Anyway luckily we're no longer in that situation and as a household we definitely have a higher income than average in the UK.
    I thought UK had regulations which prohibited the cutting off of gas supplies to a home for heating purposes if there were children living in the house?
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    (Original post by Herr)
    I thought UK had regulations which prohibited the cutting off of gas supplies to a home for heating purposes if there were children living in the house?
    We have a gas meter and when the pre-bought credit runs out you get £5 worth of emergency credit and then it goes off till you buy some more. We also had a gas cooker and have had to borrow money to be able to cook before now...
    Also the central heating system and the water heater are also all gas.
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    (Original post by OU Student)
    I think the rules have / will changed. Something about not being able to claim if your income is around £60k per year.
    thought that was child tax credits?

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Updated: June 21, 2012
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