(Original post by Hyvry1)
I have a question for all the people that have already done their first year. How much in the whole year did it cost you? (this includes freshers week and not between terms and years). I ask this because i have saved £3700 of my own money and with my loan (which adds £3k) i have £6700. I have my tuition fees being payed by my parents. I am very sure what i have is enough, but i don't want to use it all. I think £5000-5500 will be enough (ignoring tuition fees) to cover the year.
I spent just over £6000 but it’s easy to cut that in half excluding rent and live reasonably,
£2500 - Rent
£700 - Travel, this included a trip to Paris though which was around £500
£700 - Electronics, new digital camera, replacement parts for computer after the board fried.
£1100 - Food
£900 - Going out
£200 - Books
£500 - misc (clothes/soap/insurance)
A lot of it depends where you are, if you are in London your expenses will be more than a less developed area, I'm in Plymouth where living costs are very low. You also have a lot more than most students start with so you shouldn't have a lot to worry about if you watch your outgoings.
I managed to keep my spending on books down by getting all but one of them second hand, Amazon Marketplace will allow you to get £35 books second hand for as little as £5 in many cases. A lot of it depends on the demand, getting a book a couple of editions back will save you a lot as there is much less demand, of course you should check your university library to see the old editions cover the subject as well but this is very likely with books that have been reprinted a lot. Don't use Waterstones unless you have vouchers from your bank or have checked Amazon prices, you can often get the books on Amazon for a good 20%+ less.
I'm aiming to knock at least £1000 perhaps £1500 of last years budget this year and it should be pretty easy so long as I keep food/electronics spending down.
The most expensive living expenses are food and going out, if you can control these you should have nothing to worry about.
If you can live on the stereotypical student diet of beans/tuna etc you will find food no problem. I can't stand that stuff myself so I will have to put more effort into cooking, it's easy to spend £2 on that carton of Covent Garden soup but you can make something similar for much less. I would usually spend a good £50 a week on food but most people can do £25 or even less.
Going out you should learn which pubs/clubs are cheapest on for the day you plan to go out, most will have offers on certain days, look for amount of alcohol/£ to decide what to drink as opposed to number of drinks/£, most places have great value on doubles but rather expensive singles.
Edit: If you don't have a contract phone don't get one until you have been at uni for a month to see if your calls on PAYG are costing more than they on contract. You won't likely use your phone as much even though your going out more as people communicate a lot over MSN (if your halls have internet). Contracts arn't nice at the end of term when you have little in your bank and an expensive phone is just something to lose when you are drunk.
Mobile communications will probably mainly via be text messaging as other people want to save money; they also don't want to phone you if you might be in a lecture. Your halls will likely have an internal phone system which will allow you free calls to other people within the university, I find I use less credit on my phone at uni than at home. If your on Orange PAYG get the "Out Here" pack if you don't already have it, you will get 5 free texts a day for a year for £15, this cuts down your credit use a lot as you will probably send that many on a normal day.