Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Cost of living at Cambridge?

Announcements Posted on
Complete this short survey for a chance to win an iPad mini! 22-09-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    So, I've got an offer to Cambs this year, but as I am EU student, I'm not eligible for the maintenance loan/grant, and have to more or less manage my living costs myself. Together with my offer letter, I got a lovely piece of paper explaining that the costs of living for one year at Cambridge are around... £8,500 O.O Is it really THAT high? The rent is said to be £4,500 a year; what's the remaining £4000? I mean, that's a quite considerable sum, that I cannot afford, ha ha. I'd appreciate some answers from current students =)
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'd say its been more like 6000 max for me, though that wouldnt be including international travel home etc, or any trips you might take with societies. My bills from college are definitely under 1500 on average, and they include food and college bar usage. It does really depend on your lifestyle though, and obviously some college Accomodation is more expensive than others.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by milienhaus)
    I'd say its been more like 6000 max for me, though that wouldnt be including international travel home etc, or any trips you might take with societies. My bills from college are definitely under 1500 on average, and they include food and college bar usage. It does really depend on your lifestyle though, and obviously some college Accomodation is more expensive than others.

    You mean 1500 per term? I am hoping to make it in around 4.700 pounds a year. Would you describe it as possible, given that I'd be careful with my expenditures?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nyolg)
    You mean 1500 per term? I am hoping to make it in around 4.700 pounds a year. Would you describe it as possible, given that I'd be careful with my expenditures?
    Yes, 1500 per term.

    It wouldn't have been possible for me. It will depend on how expensive your college is in terms of accomodation and food.
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Well, it's hard to say but Pembroke offers accomodation from 66 pounds a week. And their website suggests, that minimal annual cost is, as I wrote, 4.700 pounds. However that's the lowest possible amount, plus I eat a lot : [. Eh, high time to save up!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Nyolg)
    Well, it's hard to say but Pembroke offers accomodation from 66 pounds a week. And their website suggests, that minimal annual cost is, as I wrote, 4.700 pounds. However that's the lowest possible amount, plus I eat a lot : [. Eh, high time to save up!
    Well, 66 per week on accom is a good start! Mine was always quite a bit more than that (we have a certain amount of choice over our rooms, and while mine have never been the most expensive they also definitely weren't the least expensive!). There are some costs (college dependent, again) that you'll need to factor for if budgeting now which you may not be expecting (eg, many college require you to pay some amount, I think typically ~100 per term, on something called a 'kitchen fixed charge' which allows the kitchens to run even if you don't ever eat in college), but with such low accom charges you may well end up within 4,700
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    That's some good news. Yeah, I tried to sum up all the expenditures and I even counted up the KFC, Internet connection and some additional stuff but the truth is that you won't know until you spend at least one term in Cam. Thanks for the advice anyway !
    • 6 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I could probably manage it. My college bill last year was about 1.1-2k a term living in the cheapest accommodation (this included food bought in hall etc). That brings you up to 3.6k. If you're eating cheaply, not going out and not buying silly things then you could probably live on 1k for the rest of your expenses? Travel costs within Cambridge are nothing - every worth going to is within a half hour cycle of the centre.

    Anyway, I'd say 8.5k is someone living very well, having a lot of fun in decent rooms. I'm getting by on about 7k a year and it's plenty - if I had to be living on less I could easily. I wouldn't want to be living on much less than 6k, but it would be doable.

    Even if you're an overseas student the college itself might have some means tested support available not linked to the government - worth asking about at least.
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Why didn't you research and sort this out before you moved there?
    • 30 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by S.R)
    Why didn't you research and sort this out before you moved there?
    Why don't you post something helpful :rolleyes:
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by S.R)
    Why didn't you research and sort this out before you moved there?
    Haven't moved yet, I'm an offer holder. And it's not that I'll starve if I spend 5 pounds a term to much, I'm just looking for savings. I'm not the one who earns that money and I respects it's value .
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    Thank you for your help, guys!

    To clarify things, I am an offer-holder, too (but I WOULD starve if something went wrong). I just never expected to be admitted, so I have never really researched this stuff before actually getting an offer.

    But what you say helps. I think, with the college funding, I might be able to get that £8,500 for each year; but it's a huge relief to hear it doesn't ACTUALLY cost that much; even 1k a year makes a huge difference.
    • 16 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    College bill in total is around £1450 a term - so that's £4350 a year before even eating or drinking or socialising.
    (note, this is in an ensuite room so it works out about £800 - £1000 cheaper than the equivalent in somewhere like Manchester).

    I spend about £75 a week on stuff while I'm here so allow about another £2,000?
    • 13 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    It's difficult to put a figure on it really as it varies so much depending on a) what college you're at, b) what sort of social activities you get up to, c) any specific expenditures each term, etc. For example I don't go out that much and my accommodation is relatively cheap, so I think I probably spent under £1700 last term on everything, and a good £200 of that was on books, plus I eat a lot... This term though I'm probably going to go out a bit more, and will also be buying May Ball tickets, so that'll probably go up by a couple of hundred or something. Ultimately, there's no clear 'minimum' that you need to survive at Cambridge (besides the obvious of being able to afford your room rent and enough food to live on); it all depends on how you want to live. Sure there will be the odd few people who blow up to ten grand a year, but if you're careful I reckon you could get by on under 4 grand.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by I_am_an_idiot)
    Thank you for your help, guys!

    To clarify things, I am an offer-holder, too (but I WOULD starve if something went wrong). I just never expected to be admitted, so I have never really researched this stuff before actually getting an offer.

    But what you say helps. I think, with the college funding, I might be able to get that £8,500 for each year; but it's a huge relief to hear it doesn't ACTUALLY cost that much; even 1k a year makes a huge difference.
    God, I hope it doesn't cost that much!! I've been working part time for the last two years trying to put money aside but I don't think I can afford that much Although if I manage to find a job during vacation, it might be a bit more doable.
    My cousin finished a couple of years ago though and he said that they always put a bit more money than you actually need, just to make sure we don't end up starving if we mismanage a bit
    • 5 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by I_am_an_idiot)
    So, I've got an offer to Cambs this year, but as I am EU student, I'm not eligible for the maintenance loan/grant, and have to more or less manage my living costs myself. Together with my offer letter, I got a lovely piece of paper explaining that the costs of living for one year at Cambridge are around... £8,500 O.O Is it really THAT high? The rent is said to be £4,500 a year; what's the remaining £4000? I mean, that's a quite considerable sum, that I cannot afford, ha ha. I'd appreciate some answers from current students =)
    I agree with the other comments that it is possible to be quite frugal once you get here. You can walk everywhere, a lot of socialising can be in your room rather than expensive clubs and books can be bought second hand. Don't forget also that we have long holidays-depending on your subject you will almost certainly be able to earn in the holidays. My second year summer internship was paying enough to make serious savings.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    This really depends on your college, course and lifestyle - I know people who have spent significantly less than there Student Loan, people like me who work over the summer to enable spending more than their Loan, and others who seem to spend an inordinate amount but are funded by mummy and daddy. (I realise you said you're an International Student but just using Student Loan as an illustration!!)

    As a bit of an idea here are the things I seem to spend money on:
    1) Accommodation
    2) Fixed facilities charge (I think mine is currently about £200 a term)
    3) Food in hall (my hall is expensive but a main meal with dessert would set you back about £5)
    4) Food from Sainsburys
    5) Books (some colleges have book grants and some courses you don't really need to buy books for)
    6) Laundry (surprisingly adds up - I probably spend about £20/term)
    7) Dinners/Balls/Garden Parties - of course it is totally discretionary as to what you attend but as an example our Boat Club Dinners and other fancy formals are about £35 each, May Balls tend to be £120-£200 each and Garden Parties in May week £10-£20
    8) Socialising - for me this is quite high and higher than I expected before coming to uni. Every swap is going to be at least £25 for the night (curry, club entry, another drink or two). Alcohol in general and club entry. Eating out with friends/ordering pizza occasionally/going for coffee/buying a sandwich when I haven't bothered to bring one with me. Also, having quite a large number of friends does also mean that every time it's someone's birthday we'll probably have a meal out somewhere and maybe go out and buy a joint present for them so over the year this does seem to add up.
    9) Clothes - I'm sure I spend more than I need to here...
    10) Societies cost - I pay Boat Club subs and race entries
    11) Other bits and pieces like toiletries/stationery
    12) Bike repairs...a set of new tyres and inner tubes set me back nearly £50!!! (I may have been ripped off, but I had no idea what to do so preferred to pay for someone to sort my issue of a puncture and generally worn wheels!!)

    So, it's certainly possible to live on a small amount of money if you choose a modest room and don't overdo it on the expensive social side but equally it's easy to see how bills can seem to keep racking up!
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Becca :))
    This really depends on your college, course and lifestyle - I know people who have spent significantly less than there Student Loan, people like me who work over the summer to enable spending more than their Loan, and others who seem to spend an inordinate amount but are funded by mummy and daddy. (I realise you said you're an International Student but just using Student Loan as an illustration!!)

    As a bit of an idea here are the things I seem to spend money on:
    1) Accommodation
    2) Fixed facilities charge (I think mine is currently about £200 a term)
    3) Food in hall (my hall is expensive but a main meal with dessert would set you back about £5)
    4) Food from Sainsburys
    5) Books (some colleges have book grants and some courses you don't really need to buy books for)
    6) Laundry (surprisingly adds up - I probably spend about £20/term)
    7) Dinners/Balls/Garden Parties - of course it is totally discretionary as to what you attend but as an example our Boat Club Dinners and other fancy formals are about £35 each, May Balls tend to be £120-£200 each and Garden Parties in May week £10-£20
    8) Socialising - for me this is quite high and higher than I expected before coming to uni. Every swap is going to be at least £25 for the night (curry, club entry, another drink or two). Alcohol in general and club entry. Eating out with friends/ordering pizza occasionally/going for coffee/buying a sandwich when I haven't bothered to bring one with me. Also, having quite a large number of friends does also mean that every time it's someone's birthday we'll probably have a meal out somewhere and maybe go out and buy a joint present for them so over the year this does seem to add up.
    9) Clothes - I'm sure I spend more than I need to here...
    10) Societies cost - I pay Boat Club subs and race entries
    11) Other bits and pieces like toiletries/stationery
    12) Bike repairs...a set of new tyres and inner tubes set me back nearly £50!!! (I may have been ripped off, but I had no idea what to do so preferred to pay for someone to sort my issue of a puncture and generally worn wheels!!)

    So, it's certainly possible to live on a small amount of money if you choose a modest room and don't overdo it on the expensive social side but equally it's easy to see how bills can seem to keep racking up!
    This is the biggest variable imo. If you go on swaps (meals out with copious amounts of alcohol) twice a week and a few other random nights/meals out then you could find yourself spending £500 a term on going out.
    • 8 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by illusionz)
    This is the biggest variable imo. If you go on swaps (meals out with copious amounts of alcohol) twice a week and a few other random nights/meals out then you could find yourself spending £500 a term on going out.
    Yep, I definitely agree with you about it being the biggest variable! However, I reckon that £500 is actually quite low if you find yourself swapping twice a week and doing other social things as well - looking at what our mens' drinking society gets up to they probably spend at least double that a term. If you don't spend wisely on going out it can be very expensive - discovering in freshers' that a double vodka and mixer in Cindies is £6 (or was back then) certainly put me off buying drinks out!

    However, OP don't despair - if going out isn't really your scene and/or when you do go out you have a few drinks at pre-drinks and only pay for club entry it's very easy to spend next to nothing!! This is what I've generally tended to do now - pre-drinks are both great fun and one hell of a lot cheaper than buying alcohol out!

    It's all about being savvy and not getting ripped off - it's very easy to spend money, but if you spend a little time thinking about how to save money it's easy to have a great time and not break the bank
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Becca :))
    Yep, I definitely agree with you about it being the biggest variable! However, I reckon that £500 is actually quite low if you find yourself swapping twice a week and doing other social things as well - looking at what our mens' drinking society gets up to they probably spend at least double that a term. If you don't spend wisely on going out it can be very expensive - discovering in freshers' that a double vodka and mixer in Cindies is £6 (or was back then) certainly put me off buying drinks out!
    Well I don't have much money so I tend to predrink the swap, have my bottle of wine and then just have like a tenner for club entry and a drink (or more drinks if I can get +1 entry with a friend). £500 was a pretty arbitrary figure, but quite a scary one once I actually think about it!!

    That said I'm one of the more frugal spenders in my drinking soceity, some of my mates can spend £60+ in a club on a bad night! Oddly enough I reckon I spend more on food at the van of life/gardies than I do in clubs.

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: January 26, 2013
New on TSR

'Stalking pages' have changed!

Find other uni applicants with University Connect

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.