Kids at uni

Parental support

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07/01/2013 at 21:53

So Muttley Jnr and the ex-Mrs Muttley have between them cocked up his finances in his first term at uni. She expects him to live like a hermit in a cave, he gets a sudden large amount of money and blows the lot pronto. Like any normal teenager would.

So it falls to me to a) get him to manage his money properly, if he wants to listen, and b) supplement his maintenance grant if necessary (I'm already paying for his accommodation).

Question: what is a reasonable amount of money for a student to live on these days, meaning food and drink and a fair amount of socializing but not running wild? Halls and utility bills (but not phone) excluded, books and other study essentials also excluded. He's in Penrith, Cumbria.

How do others manage this? Any tips, experiences to pass on? Ta.

07/01/2013 at 22:15
Let the little darling starve, worked for our 4 he won't do it next term
JPenno    pirate
07/01/2013 at 22:19
Other than tuition fee and accomodation grant (via his student loans) JP jnr doesn't qualify for any assistance for living costs etc

We give him ??75 per week plus pay his rail fares or pick him up if he is coming home ( once a month for the football)

I recond on ??35 for food plus a couple of nights out at student places

Last year we had a student card via asda put cash on main card he spends using linked card

He seems to manage ok but I suspect mrs jp gives him some additional ???? when he's home
07/01/2013 at 22:40
Most Universities will publish a guide to living costs on their websites -just google x university living costs and you should get something.

These figures used to come from Student's Union so were quite, erm, generous, but as these figures are a big factor in choice of University in many cases (or at least for parents!) they are likely to be more representative as Universities compete.

Examples are:


There is also an article that covers how some types of student do genuinely need more, in case Junior is making a case for this, this can have some validity! Article is here:

Sorry, still not worked out how to do links...
07/01/2013 at 22:54
Sorry, just saw you did put location. Cumbria unhelpfully don't seem to publish it, but this may be helpful...

Or Lancaster

You've probably already found all this and were just wanting a real world view - sorry (my experience not much use as I'm about 147 years old).
07/01/2013 at 23:16

if you and he don't think it's too patronising, you might get him to do an itemised weekly budget, including things like socialising but not going over the top. Then he can tell you how much money he needs, but you'll be able to see straight away if he's taking the p***. And it'll be useful for him anyway to sit down and add up what things cost.

07/01/2013 at 23:32

I'm a mature student in the 2nd year of my law degree and I have to survive on my student loan. I buy all Asda Smartprice food and cut my cloth to suit my budget. I don't own a television and rarely go out drinking. I only buy new clothes if I absolutely need to, and stich pants and socks up when holes appear in them.

I worked for 18 years before going to uni, so I know the value of money, hence I don't waste it. What annoys me is when some of the teenagers there go out on a Saturday evening and spend £80 from the bank of mum and dad. Some even have their driving lessons paid for by parents and get a car bought them when they pass. Ok fair enough, some people may be able to afford to fund this lifestyle for their teenage offspring, but I was brought up to pay my own way.

I don't mean to appear bitter about this, as I'm not, but will these teenagers ever really appreciate the value of money if they are continually funded by their parents?

gingerfurball    pirate
07/01/2013 at 23:33
Ok I may get burned at the stake for this but our son lives at home and is going to our local uni studying music. I put ??200 a month into his bank account for "living expenses" he's paying his own fees from his student allowance. From this he buys his own clothes, travel (there is some because of performance and recording and stuff) and his beer money lol!! I'm actually saving money doing this from when he was in college!!
gingerfurball    pirate
07/01/2013 at 23:39
Meant to add...he's expected to do a certain amount of chores at home and his friends come here to chill so I have the peace of mind that he's doing his work (enjoying a certain amount of "uni life") and not getting in bother and it works for us...although I did seem to feed a lot of youth this Christmas!!
08/01/2013 at 07:47

When I was a student, I watched with horror how other students would blow every penny they could lay their hands on, as fast as they could. Even the over-draft option didn't stop them the next time a lump of cash fell into their hands.

Interesting to know if Jnr knew the consequences of his actions. It may have some bearing on how he receives funds and how much.

In my experience, the grant (in those days) was quite enough to pay for educational purposes. It was not enough to pay for a full blown social life as if holding down a full time job.

I was also surprised how some students seemed to think they should be able to match a full time workers spending power. Clever and stupid combined.


Edited: 08/01/2013 at 07:47
08/01/2013 at 08:22

Thanks guys, esp Princess Leah for the links. I'll have a good read of them.

All I'm doing here is asking for how others parent their kids at uni so I can come to a sensible arrangement.

Feel free to rant about bloody students, but before you do have a look at the first post for an idea of whether I'm interested

08/01/2013 at 08:30

Do you mean the post where your ex must take responsibility for your son getting in a mess and you only have to be the white knight solving the problem?

08/01/2013 at 09:19

How about Muttley Jr getting a part-time job?

My ex worked all through his full-time degree.

seren nos    pirate
08/01/2013 at 09:28

they are adults not kids...........let them sort their own money out...........if they have to earn or borrow what they need then they will be more careful how they spend it........

the sensible arrangement is to let them be adults ........and make their own mistakes regarding money......

otherwise its just like the mobile phones.............they go over their limit.... daddy sorts them out a bigger limit whilst giving them a lecture..............they spens to much money at uni.....daddy gives them more whilst giving them a lecture...............

they remortgage their homes to the hilt and daddy sorts them out with a lecture........


substitute mummy for daddy where appropriate............

nowadays kids try to grow up too fast from 10 and want adult stuff......and whenthey get to 18 we try and treat them like kids

08/01/2013 at 09:32

+1 for Seren

JPenno    pirate
08/01/2013 at 09:42

I dont really agree with all this let them struggle and suffer to learn the error of their ways,


JP jnr is there to further and better his education and hopefully his future prospects (although personally I think we are all f@@ked and he should really be doing a degee in chinese, but thats another issue)

IF they are struggling, hungry and generally pissed off with life due to struggling with finances then they are not going to do their best,

Is there much point in incurring £30k of student loan debt etc for a 2:3 degree.

If you can afford to help them out without funding a playboy lifestyle, whats the problem?

Dave/ Seren are you seriously saying you have never helped out any of your  kids financially?

gingerfurball    pirate
08/01/2013 at 09:51

+1  for JPenno

08/01/2013 at 09:53

I have found out that last autumn the ex-Mrs Muttley delivered Jnr to campus to start his studies. She also supplied him with a huge stockpile of tinned and dried food and expected him to exist on £20 a week, including for the train fare back home (that's Penrith to Reading!). Hence my question ...

Of the living costs links that Princess Leah posted, I reckon Newcastle should be good for Cumbria. In any event, what JPenno pays was about what I had in mind.

All this should have been sorted out last autumn of course


08/01/2013 at 09:54

With all 4 we have paid accomodation and tuition fees up front (Where required, 2 didn't have tuition fees), After that it was up to them to manage on thier student loan

Youngest came home last weekend, and picked up her own train fare, I did pay my own petrol for picking her up from the station...

Doesn't seem to have done any of them any harm

08/01/2013 at 10:36

I would agree with the suggestion that he gets a part time job to subsidise his social life. By all means give him a small allowance towards travel and course materials but from my experience give him too much and he will never learn the value of money. And don't listen to him saying working would not give him enough time to study; I worked 16-20 hours a week during term time (full time in holidays) on a science course with up to 25 contact hours per week and still came out with a 1st class degree. The only exception could be medicine but I presume that is not the case when he is in Penrith.


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