University is hellishly expensive – on top of the roughly £9000 many students are paying per academic year, you have loans and rent and things like, you know, food. Living. The occasional nicety (just because we’re students doesn’t mean we can’t have nice things). I’m just about to graduate from university, so these things aren’t going to be university living costs for me much longer – just… living costs. Fun! Anyway, before I spiral into an existential crisis, let me impart some wisdom. Having lived on my own for about five years now, I’ve come across some university living expenses I didn’t expect/prepare for, and to help you avoid my mistakes and be a bit more prepared. I’ve compiled university living expenses into a handy little list for you:
Flat deposits can be crazy expensive, and they came as a total surprise for me – when flat-hunting, you’ll need to make sure you have around a month and a half’s rent on your bank account to secure the flat. Don’t worry, you’ll get this back at the end of your tenancy – just in time to pay for your next deposit!! What fun renting is!
Printing’s expensive. Like, really expensive. I once saw someone print out a chunk of a book that ended up costing around £30. It costs around £20 to get your dissertation bound and printed. Thankfully, a lot of courses are now doing electronic submissions.
This one is maybe not totally unexpected, because books can be expensive. I do have friends who have had to spend around 100 quid on a single textbook – purely because the course requires the newest version. Fun! Thankfully, I did English Literature and was able to get most of my books from the library – see if you can do this, too, to avoid the cost of new books!
4. Clubs and Societies
A lot of clubs and societies have rather unexpected (and high) membership fees – especially if you do sports. At Glasgow University, you need a gym membership to belong to a sports team, which is £100 for a year, as well as buying your entire university-issued kit yourself.
5. Technology Issues
My MacBook charger broke last year. It cost 75 quid to replace it, even with student discount. I’m still bitter. If you have a Mac, make sure you have money put aside to account for the extortionate repair costs.
6. Graduation Ceremony
Thankfully, Glasgow University recently abolished graduation fees – but we still have to pay £42 for gown rental and another £40 or so if we want pictures taken. Graduation can, then, easily cost over a hundred pounds – and we’re not even including your actual graduation clothes, here.
7. Medicine or Prescriptions
Luckily, I go to university (well, went) in Scotland, where prescriptions and medicines are free. However, if you’re going to university in England these can become living expenses you didn’t expect. For example, the morning after pill costs around £30 south of the border.
8. Replacement Student Cards
This is easily avoided, and yet I still managed to lose my student card three times – and had to buy a new student card three times. It cost £10 each time, and more often than not it was handed back in days later/I found it in my room/bag/purse/general vicinity. Try be more careful than I was.