Friday, 28 March 2014

Blink and you miss it!

Apparently that is what I did yesterday!  A few days away from proper internet access, and I missed out on the Aldi voucher for the month - I hope that some of you managed to get one and benefit from it anyway... I won't really miss it this week as I have another of those "Spend £30 and get £10 off" vouchers from that other place, and I won't really have time to get to Aldi this week either.  Sometimes life is like that, eh?!

The EFG has bitten the bullet and accepted the conditional offer of a place at Aberdeen - hooray!  Now we are going to have to enter the murky world of student finance and managing on a small budget.  I did nearly have a fit in one of the talks when the woman was telling folk that the students should budget to spend £60 a week on food per person in the self-catering residences - I soon told the EFG that she would be finding strategies to live more cheaply than that!  We will be looking into that, and to bus passes and all sorts of other exciting things in the months ahead - if there are other parents out there with children at uni already or about to go like the EFG, I'd love to hear from you, and please share any money-saving ideas you have!!

12 comments:

Helen Graham said...

Good luck to EFG with her Uni choice. My DS2 has found it very hard adapting to living away from home although he's only about 20 miles away. He's certainly found budgeting difficult. He'll be moving back home during the summer months and has yet to decide what he'll be doing for a place to live for his final year which will be at another branch of the University in a different town. Financially I think he'd do better living at home and travelling in every day but he might not agree. We will see what happens. I didn't know about the Aldi voucher either, but don't need it this month (I still have 7 packs of toilet paper stored in the airing cupboard and a full freezer).

Mindo said...

I don't know if it will be possible for your child, but we required our two to have a part time job during term time at University, and a full time job during the long summer holidays.

Both of our children managed to find on campus jobs, one as a lifeguard which was also her summer job, and the other as a computer technician during term time, and he worked as a student advisor during the long break.

We provided what we thought was a reasonable grocery budget, paid the apartment rent, and they were on their own for the rest. Working the summer before going away set them up well, and they stayed at University year round, sometimes taking summer classes where available.

Morgan said...

Lovely to hear from you, Helen! I'm not sure how the EFG is going to take to it, but she is going to be so far away that she will have to get used to the idea! She seems very keen, and it is an excellent department there, with a good reputation, and 500 years of experience, so she has a lot going for her there. I think she will make some friends and settle in relatively quickly - fingers crossed!

Lyssa Medana said...

Congratulations on EFG getting the offer. I think £60 is a bit of a shock, but she won't be able to use bulk savings the same was as a family will. It is a lot more expensive for a single person with limited storage (possibility of food being stolen?) and limited cooking facilities. Thank goodness she has you and knows what the basics are! WS xxx

Angela said...

Ny two had got used to budgetting by the time they went off to London, and I was so pleased and proud of the way they coped with student finances. I am sure EFG will cope with a role model Mum like you!!

Scarlet said...

Wow - £60 per week to feed one person. I spent most of last year feeding 4 adults for £25 per week! My younger daughter feeds herself for between £5 and £10 per week. She cooks from scratch and bakes, a fact which appeared to be completely shocking to one of her tutors. She also looks out for yellow stickered items. She is vegetarian, which helps to keep her costs down,and she shops at Lidl which is a 2 minute walk away from her flat. She lives in the centre of Manchester and walks to uni rather than hopping on a bus which saves her money. She is moving out to Fallowfield next year but her bursary card can be used to buy a bus pass, something she researched before deciding where she wanted to move to.

Bridget said...

My daughter went on a visit to Cardiff Uni back last summer. She doesn't go for another two years but a lot of them seem to do this to encourage youngsters to go as the numbers are falling.They had a lecture on debt and how much they would leave Uni with like it was such a great thing and no problem to pay back. I was astounded

Lesley said...

£60 a week! I'm sure that she has imbibed lots from you, and will manage on less than that.

SarahElisabeth Jones said...

My son is at university and finding the local Aldi was a help to him. In his first year, he didn't have access to a freezer or an oven which made cooking more challenging. This year, he has both.
Having some storage containers helps as it is cheaper and more efficient to cook food for a couple or three days.
I am sure that your daughter will manage well.

SusanM said...

I think there is a Lidl not too far from the University campus so that may help to keep her costs down. My friend's son is at Aberdeen University and I believe that if you're quick enough, you can purchase second hand books for courses, but you have to be quick. If Scottish children go to Scottish universities, their fees are paid so I'm afraid I can't offer much advice on this. I know of local students who have applied for and been granted bursaries, even if it just covers some of the costs. Good luck.

mallowlark said...

A lot of being frugal at uni is about make it fit in with the social side of things. Meeting with friends for a 'picnic' lunch, either outside or in the common room, is a lot cheaper than lunch out, especially if it's a regular thing. When you do eat out, check for discount vouchers or student discounts and try to go with 'why don't we pass the bill around and all put in what we owe?' rather than splitting the bill evenly. Then some people (vegetarians, those who didn't have alcohol, as well as the frugal-minded) don't have to subsidise the others. Learning to nurse a drink is also useful, and not just from a financial perspective...

Also, if possible, live where you can walk or cycle (in all weathers --- except snow/ice) most days. Unless the university has a special deal, the cost of a bus pass adds up pretty quickly. And it ensures you get some exercise, even when you're busy.

Wendy P. said...

Hi Morgan...exciting times! DD1 currently making up her mind. Has received 2 offers...still thinking. Wish I could change places with her, lol. We've already been thinking about some of the practical stuff -- railcard, student bus pass for one of the choices (other one is a fall-out-of-bed-and-cross-the-road location!). Not sure yet but maybe pay for TV licence (not worth risking a fine for the sake of £3 a week if she forgets it's only 'catch-up' viewing on her laptop). Obviously, food parcels to take back after visits home -- our family call them 'Red Cross Parcels'--the look on her face before I explained! I think she was expecting a load of old bandages and stuff.
Sainsbury's and Asda do cards that the parent can top-up and the student keeps the other one, so even if they run out of actual money, they need not be stuck for their grub or loo rolls or whatever! They can only spend what's actually on the card, so no debt. I'm sure there are a couple of other things too, but can't think for the moment. Time to go up the wooden hill (have been up finishing an essay myself...argh!)
I know from reading your blog, that your EFG is very capable and resourceful (runs in the family, y'know). I bet she'll love Uni, and she'll be a winner all round! Happy days ahead! :-)
Wendy P.