Could you live off £14 a week? Watch

Dinasaurus
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I've been pretty chill about finances up until today, until I realise I've got my household income pretty wrong and using the student finance calculator, I'll be getting about a grand less than I thought I would.

Leaving me with like £24.33 a week, I took out £40 for a monthly shop and this is over 42 weeks, and this leaves me £14 a week. I have friends who seem to be balling it out in Uni, where as I'll be dirt broke.

Isn't it a bit unfair to assume that my parents will cover the difference that others get from student finance just because they earn more? I know someone who lives in a single parent house and gets lots of money but she's an only child and her mum owns her house and she's kind of old (late 40s or 50) so she doesn't spend as much.

Whereas I have a sibling, my family don't own property in the UK, they need to pay for things like nursery. So its not like they just have all this disposable income to hand over to me.
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SophieSmall
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Yep, I could and have survived on less without already having food costs factored in.
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jam277
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£14 extra money a week after food etc. is enough for a night out lol. Or you can save some of that money and buy clothes.
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Dinasaurus
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
Yep, I could and have survived on less.
Damn? Were you able to socialise often?

A lot of my friends apparently are in 'low income households' so they got an extra grant due to that so they go clubbing 3x a week, I don't think I could afford that.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Dinasaurus)
Damn? Were you able to socialise often?

A lot of my friends apparently are in 'low income households' so they got an extra grant due to that so they go clubbing 3x a week, I don't think I could afford that.
During that specific period of my life when my budget was about £10 (which also had to pay for food, unlike in your scenario where you have £14 after food costs) no I could no afford to go out.

You could certainly afford to go out once a week at least, go to clubs that don't charge entry and rely on pre-drinks in stead of buying overpriced drinks at the bar. A bottle of vodka for around £15 can last you several nights out.
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Helloworld_95
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No, it's not unfair, it's one of the few predictable costs of having a child, they've had ages to save for you going to university.

As for your finances they're not that bad, you're only going to be at uni 31 weeks per year not 42 (although a monthly food shop is going to be a lot more than £40, it'll be £80 if you're good at planning and budgeting), and the kind of deficit you're looking at can easily be paid for with a holiday or part time job
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Gofre
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I have done in the past when issues with transferring jobs meant not getting paid for three months, it's not fun. That said, it's amazing how economical you become when you realise you only have £23 to last you another fortnight!

But yeah, you're right that the student finance system is pretty broken. I've been in similar positions where one of the guys I lived with was receiving substantially more from SFE than another flatmate despite being very well supported by his relatives. It's one of the many things that sucks but you have to learn to live with.
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
No, it's not unfair, it's one of the few predictable costs of having a child, they've had ages to save for you going to university.

As for your finances they're not that bad, you're only going to be at uni 31 weeks per year not 42 (although a monthly food shop is going to be a lot more than £40, it'll be £80 if you're good at planning and budgeting), and the kind of deficit you're looking at can easily be paid for with a holiday or part time job
It's not fun, but you can definitely survive in £40 a month for food. I've had to do it before. And it doesn't have to be all crap either, I ate somewhat well for the price. Though of course no meat, couldn't afford it.
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Dinasaurus
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
No, it's not unfair, it's one of the few predictable costs of having a child, they've had ages to save for you going to university.

As for your finances they're not that bad, you're only going to be at uni 31 weeks per year not 42 (although a monthly food shop is going to be a lot more than £40, it'll be £80 if you're good at planning and budgeting), and the kind of deficit you're looking at can easily be paid for with a holiday or part time job
My mother isn't that old compared to most other parents and we're not from the UK, nobody else in my family has gone to Uni. It is also since my family have moved to the UK that my country built it's first university, so it's not really something they prepared for. My parents have barely any saving, my step dad is in education and my mother like I said is still young for a mother of a child my age, she's not been earning the amount she has forever.

Is it only 42? Why does the accommodation set it out for 42 weeks?
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Dinasaurus)
My mother isn't that old compared to most other parents and we're not from the UK, nobody else in my family has gone to Uni. It is also since my family have moved to the UK that my country built it's first university, so it's not really something they prepared for. My parents have barely any saving, my step dad is in education and my mother like I said is still young for a mother of a child my age, she's not been earning the amount she has forever.

Is it only 42? Why does the accommodation set it out for 42 weeks?
Most accommodation contracts run a good 6 weeks or more over the academic calendar. For a start it makes them more money. It's also for students who want to stay in the city a little longer, and so international students have enough time to make other accommodation arrangements if they'e not going back to their home country.
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Dinasaurus
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
Most accommodation contracts run a good 6 weeks or more over the academic calendar. For a start it makes them more money. It's also for students who want to stay in the city a little longer, and so international students have enough time to make other accommodation arrangements if they'e not going back to their home country.
Do I still have to pay for 42 weeks then or can I just do the minimum? I don't think I'll be staying in accommodation over the holidays or is the contract amount final?
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SophieSmall
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(Original post by Dinasaurus)
Do I still have to pay for 42 weeks then or can I just do the minimum? I don't think I'll be staying in accommodation over the holidays or is the contract amount final?
most accommodations have 42 weeks as the minimum contract. The contract amount is final.
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BradleyLawrence
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
No, it's not unfair, it's one of the few predictable costs of having a child, they've had ages to save for you going to university.

As for your finances they're not that bad, you're only going to be at uni 31 weeks per year not 42 (although a monthly food shop is going to be a lot more than £40, it'll be £80 if you're good at planning and budgeting), and the kind of deficit you're looking at can easily be paid for with a holiday or part time job
Your argument that parents should have saved for you is ignorant in a lot of ways. Firstly, you presume all parents had the same high income since the birth of said kid. Secondly, What if the parent just does not care about the child going to university? Thirdly, what if poor financial management has left the household crippled in debt? Fourthly, What happens when a moderately ok income is spread across more than two children in london where everything is so expensive? Not everything is so easily done as you proclaim, the system does not give students, who are old enough to go live alone enough to survive with. It is a dumb system and highlights the killing off of the middle class families across the country.
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Dinasaurus
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Okay if we're only in uni for 31 weeks, I have £22.50 a week to spend which seems a bit better, obviously I'll try and get a job in summer to save up beforehand but at least it's not as bad.
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Manitude
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Yes, but I wouldn't want to. Even if that is after you've bought food £14/week is a grim existence. You should be able to get a part time job at university that allows you a bit of extra spending money.
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Dinasaurus
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(Original post by BradleyLawrence)
Your argument that parents should have saved for you is ignorant in a lot of ways. Firstly, you presume all parents had the same high income since the birth of said kid. Secondly, What if the parent just does not care about the child going to university? Thirdly, what if poor financial management has left the household crippled in debt? Fourthly, What happens when a moderately ok income is spread across more than two children in london where everything is so expensive? Not everything is so easily done as you proclaim, the system does not give students, who are old enough to go live alone enough to survive with. It is a dumb system and highlights the killing off of the middle class families across the country.
Thank you, people just see it as more income in last tax year equals more money to spend.

My parents don't even own a house in the country like I said, even some of my friends who are a bit poorer have houses because housing was a lot cheaper in the past and some people have parents who are in their 50s. My mum is only like 38 and my stepdad is like 32, when I was born my parents weren't even out of education so they obviously haven't been earning what they do now to be able to save up, also my family are not from the UK or the EU, so they've had to spend money just to be able to naturalise.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by BradleyLawrence)
Your argument that parents should have saved for you is ignorant in a lot of ways. Firstly, you presume all parents had the same high income since the birth of said kid. Secondly, What if the parent just does not care about the child going to university? Thirdly, what if poor financial management has left the household crippled in debt? Fourthly, What happens when a moderately ok income is spread across more than two children in london where everything is so expensive? Not everything is so easily done as you proclaim, the system does not give students, who are old enough to go live alone enough to survive with. It is a dumb system and highlights the killing off of the middle class families across the country.
1) No it doesn't, it works with the assumption of a steady or steadily rising income, you'd need mid 4 figure pay bumps over a year or two to break the assumption.

2) That would be great to help with, but realistically you then have to monitor that person's and their parents' revenues quite closely and so it's not going to work.

3) Kind of the point...

4) You realise means testing adjusts for London cost of living and others being at uni, right? An hour of work in London or a similar high wage area is also worth a good bit more than the rest of the UK.

Overall it amounts to what's the best for the most amount of people and the question comes down to: Would we rather screw over poor kids who would get less money and so wouldn't be able to afford living costs at some universities? or would we prefer to screw over rich kids whose parents aren't topping up their loan like they're supposed to? (and at least partially can purely by moving what would have been their spending on their child during term time into their bank account).
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JamesN88
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What about the j word. 1 day a week would solve your problems.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by SophieSmall)
It's not fun, but you can definitely survive in £40 a month for food. I've had to do it before. And it doesn't have to be all crap either, I ate somewhat well for the price. Though of course no meat, couldn't afford it.
Exactly, for a student budgeting for university it's not exactly a sustainable lifestyle for a year or even the first term, and from what I've seen male students need to spend a good bit more on food as well.
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Merfie
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I spend 14 quid at the takeaway on a Friday :hide:
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