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    Hello everyone, happy to say that I have found the funding necessary to start my Mphil in October! In my budgeting I've generally aimed at meeting the high end of the cost of living estimates (750 ppm excluding rent), but I am hoping to save on this a bit so I can treat myself to a nice holiday after completing my degree (2-3 months in SE Asia sounds perfect ). So, could any of you give an indication of what kind of standard of living each of the following budgets would provide in Oxford (all excluding accommodation of course).

    -Oxford high end estimate: 750 ppm

    -Oxford low end estimate: 500 ppm

    -An 'averaged' estimate: 600-650 ppm

    Just trying to get an idea of what I can expect and how much I would be willing to save. Thanks in advance!
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    Where have you got these figures from? The uni website will usually have a section which breaks down estimated costs based on their experience so I suggest looking for that. Also have a look at accommodation options to get an idea of what is available.
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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    Hello everyone, happy to say that I have found the funding necessary to start my Mphil in October! In my budgeting I've generally aimed at meeting the high end of the cost of living estimates (750 ppm excluding rent), but I am hoping to save on this a bit so I can treat myself to a nice holiday after completing my degree (2-3 months in SE Asia sounds perfect ). So, could any of you give an indication of what kind of standard of living each of the following budgets would provide in Oxford (all excluding accommodation of course).

    -Oxford high end estimate: 750 ppm

    -Oxford low end estimate: 500 ppm

    -An 'averaged' estimate: 600-650 ppm

    Just trying to get an idea of what I can expect and how much I would be willing to save. Thanks in advance!
    Your average estimate sounds about right. Your high end estimate is drifting towards being able to rent your own 1-bed flat outright, but of course if you are not doing it all-year round, that would be harder to find.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    Where have you got these figures from? The uni website will usually have a section which breaks down estimated costs based on their experience so I suggest looking for that. Also have a look at accommodation options to get an idea of what is available.
    Hey, these were retreived from https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/grad...g-costs?wssl=1

    Basically I just added all line items except for accommodation (since that has already been arranged). I was just hoping to see get a feel for what the top and bottom end of the range will get you in terms of lifestyle (that is food, personal, items and entertainment) in Oxford as I find that hard to estimate from the outside.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    Your average estimate sounds about right. Your high end estimate is drifting towards being able to rent your own 1-bed flat outright, but of course if you are not doing it all-year round, that would be harder to find.
    Hi, thanks for your comment. I have already arranged graduate housing within my college so that has been sorted (located very centrally and relatively cheap). Would you be able to elaborate a bit more on Oxford's monthly estimates of other living costs (food, entertainment, personal items)? Particularly in reference to the low end (500 ppm), average (600-650 ppm), and high end (750 ppm) estimates given in my initial post? Thanks!
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    Your question is difficult to answer. How are we supposed to know what you spend money on? :P

    With those figures you will be way way above the minimum you need to get by (I.e. basic food and not much else). How you spend that extra is up to you. Want some clothes? Go for it. Want to eat out once a week? Ok. Your budget does indeed give you those options. Not sure what else there is to say.

    My only specific comment is that transport costs will likely be negligible as you can walk everywhere.
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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    Hey, these were retreived from https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/grad...g-costs?wssl=1

    Basically I just added all line items except for accommodation (since that has already been arranged). I was just hoping to see get a feel for what the top and bottom end of the range will get you in terms of lifestyle (that is food, personal, items and entertainment) in Oxford as I find that hard to estimate from the outside.
    You'll have to think about what you can afford and what you need to spend on. If you can afford only X amount then budgeting a higher amount for personal items and entertainment won't work. Food is a necessity. Other things aren't. Think about how you'd plan food for a week and go from there.


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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    Hi, thanks for your comment. I have already arranged graduate housing within my college so that has been sorted (located very centrally and relatively cheap). Would you be able to elaborate a bit more on Oxford's monthly estimates of other living costs (food, entertainment, personal items)? Particularly in reference to the low end (500 ppm), average (600-650 ppm), and high end (750 ppm) estimates given in my initial post? Thanks!
    You can live really cheaply if you buy your own food, cook your own meals, etc. I hardly spent any money during the week when living in a house share - only the utility bills, rent and council tax had to be worried about. We did a big weekly shop at Tesco on Cowley Rd and planned each day's meals.

    On the other hand, if you eat out at the best places and go clubbing/to bars 3 or 4 times a week, you will need £££££.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Your question is difficult to answer. How are we supposed to know what you spend money on? :P

    With those figures you will be way way above the minimum you need to get by (I.e. basic food and not much else). How you spend that extra is up to you. Want some clothes? Go for it. Want to eat out once a week? Ok. Your budget does indeed give you those options. Not sure what else there is to say.

    My only specific comment is that transport costs will likely be negligible as you can walk everywhere.
    I understand that it is hard to answer, so thank you for making an effort I was simply trying to understand how I should read Oxford's estimates. Does the lower end estimate mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for.
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    You'll have to think about what you can afford and what you need to spend on. If you can afford only X amount then budgeting a higher amount for personal items and entertainment won't work. Food is a necessity. Other things aren't. Think about how you'd plan food for a week and go from there.


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    I understand that, making a budget that is beyond one's means naturally defeats the point of budgeting.
    My main goal here was to try and understand the estimates Oxford provides on its website. Does the lower end estimate mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for. I understand that is hard to answer, so thanks for making an effort
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    You can live really cheaply if you buy your own food, cook your own meals, etc. I hardly spent any money during the week when living in a house share - only the utility bills, rent and council tax had to be worried about. We did a big weekly shop at Tesco on Cowley Rd and planned each day's meals.

    On the other hand, if you eat out at the best places and go clubbing/to bars 3 or 4 times a week, you will need £££££.
    Since I will only be in Oxford for two years I was hoping to make the best of it, i.e. primarily eat in halls, go to formals often, attend a black tie/white tie event every so often. Not necessarily one to go clubbing although I do like to have a few drinks after a long week's work. I was elected to go for simple and cheap college accommodation since I do not intend to spend a lot of time there anyway and this was the easiest to arrange coming from overseas.

    My main goal was to try and understand the estimates Oxford provides on its website (excluding accommodation). Does the lower end estimate (500 ppm) mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate (750 ppm) mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for. Do you have any input on this? I budgeted for the high end estimate (750 ppm) but I was hoping to stay below that by 100-150 ppm to give me some room to do some travelling during the vacations or plan a big trip over summer.
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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    I understand that, making a budget that is beyond one's means naturally defeats the point of budgeting.
    My main goal here was to try and understand the estimates Oxford provides on its website. Does the lower end estimate mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for. I understand that is hard to answer, so thanks for making an effort
    Agreed and lots of people have given you some ideas here of what to think about. Now it's up to you to do the research and 'make an effort' to find out for yourself. Good luck!


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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    Since I will only be in Oxford for two years I was hoping to make the best of it, i.e. primarily eat in halls, go to formals often, attend a black tie/white tie event every so often. Not necessarily one to go clubbing although I do like to have a few drinks after a long week's work. I was elected to go for simple and cheap college accommodation since I do not intend to spend a lot of time there anyway and this was the easiest to arrange coming from overseas.

    My main goal was to try and understand the estimates Oxford provides on its website (excluding accommodation). Does the lower end estimate (500 ppm) mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate (750 ppm) mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for. Do you have any input on this? I budgeted for the high end estimate (750 ppm) but I was hoping to stay below that by 100-150 ppm to give me some room to do some travelling during the vacations or plan a big trip over summer.
    TBH I think they are a little meaningless, because there are so many variables - lifestyle choices, what you consider 'cheap/expensive', etc.

    I think if you have an affordable place to live, you can do the rest pretty cheaply and still have fun - especially if your nature is to be a saver. So you should be able to get your travel plans provided you are careful, eg, not eating out too often, using a bike not public transport, avoiding expensive trips out to London in the meantime, etc, etc.
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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    I understand that it is hard to answer, so thank you for making an effort I was simply trying to understand how I should read Oxford's estimates. Does the lower end estimate mean one is barely scraping by? Does the higher end estimate mean luxury? Without context these high end or low end labels are rather meaningless in my opinion, so I was trying to get an idea for the lifestyle these budgets would allow for.
    Depends how you define 'barely scraping by' and 'luxury'!

    I think if you were to only eat Tesco value bulk-bought foods and bare course essentials (never going out, never drinking, no societies etc) then the minimum you could get by on is about £100pcm. Its possible that your course has hidden extra costs I don't know about but to my knowledge it shouldn't (and you shouldn't need to buy any books). So the minimum budget there is £400 above that. Personally I'd call that far above 'scraping by' but it really depends what you're used to.

    Are you not from the UK if you can't work this out for yourself? Or is it that you're worried about course costs etc? What do you spend currently?
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    (Original post by alleycat393)
    Agreed and lots of people have given you some ideas here of what to think about. Now it's up to you to do the research and 'make an effort' to find out for yourself. Good luck!


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    And that is all I could have asked for. Thanks for your comments
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    TBH I think they are a little meaningless, because there are so many variables - lifestyle choices, what you consider 'cheap/expensive', etc.

    I think if you have an affordable place to live, you can do the rest pretty cheaply and still have fun - especially if your nature is to be a saver. So you should be able to get your travel plans provided you are careful, eg, not eating out too often, using a bike not public transport, avoiding expensive trips out to London in the meantime, etc, etc.
    Haha, yeah guess I will have to show some self restraint regardless. Thanks for your comments, they have been very helpful.
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    (Original post by nexttime)
    Depends how you define 'barely scraping by' and 'luxury'!

    I think if you were to only eat Tesco value bulk-bought foods and bare course essentials (never going out, never drinking, no societies etc) then the minimum you could get by on is about £100pcm. Its possible that your course has hidden extra costs I don't know about but to my knowledge it shouldn't (and you shouldn't need to buy any books). So the minimum budget there is £400 above that. Personally I'd call that far above 'scraping by' but it really depends what you're used to.

    Are you not from the UK if you can't work this out for yourself? Or is it that you're worried about course costs etc? What do you spend currently?
    (Original post by nexttime)
    Depends how you define 'barely scraping by' and 'luxury'!

    I think if you were to only eat Tesco value bulk-bought foods and bare course essentials (never going out, never drinking, no societies etc) then the minimum you could get by on is about £100pcm. Its possible that your course has hidden extra costs I don't know about but to my knowledge it shouldn't (and you shouldn't need to buy any books). So the minimum budget there is £400 above that. Personally I'd call that far above 'scraping by' but it really depends what you're used to.

    Are you not from the UK if you can't work this out for yourself? Or is it that you're worried about course costs etc? What do you spend currently?
    No Im not from the UK., Im from Western Europe. Still relatively expensive but nothing compared to the UK.(its a good 10 percent cheaper over here, more if you include rent but I got that figured out). My expenditures here were significantly lower but 1) I know my town very well so knew where to get the best deals, 2) participated in a lot of societies and events, most of which are fully sponsored by various companies (so basically free drinks, hotels. meals etc. several times a month and 3) we do not have many formal events here (no food in halls, formal halls, balls etc) and I was hoping to participate in these quite a bit to get the full oxford experience. But you and others here have given me some great feedback. Thanks for your comments
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    (Original post by MphilPhil)
    ... fully sponsored by various companies (so basically free drinks ... several times a month
    Well this at least should continue!

    we do not have many formal events here (no food in halls, formal halls, balls etc) and I was hoping to participate in these quite a bit to get the full oxford experience. But you and others here have given me some great feedback. Thanks for your comments
    So if you look up how much these cost at your college you'll be able to budget. They're usually very good value. Once maybe twice per week would seem like a reasonable estimate for "the Oxord experience" I'd say, depending on college and your preferences once you arrive (probably more at first less later).
 
 
 
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