- Student Support & Wellbeing
- Campus Life
- Life Sciences
- Preparing for University
- Social Life
University is renowned for being expensive. You have course fees reaching over £9,000 a year (be grateful we aren’t in America) and moving out from your parent’s house means accommodation fees, maintenance fees, bills, food, entertainment etc. It all adds up! So let me give you a little bit of insight as to what living costs you might incur.
Budget meals are certainly an option with the presence of ALDI on campus. Costs can also be kept down by opting for vegetarian meals. In fact, I have anecdotal proof of this. When I would go shopping with my omnivorous former boyfriend, he would get the standard By Sainsbury’s products in his weekly shop, whereas I would select organic, vegetarian options. I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when our separate weekly shops came to the same price! Food costs can also be kept at bay by making your meals from scratch. For example, supermarket pizzas are normally around £4 each, but they cost about 50p to make at home. Do note that this also extends to veggie options. You can’t just swap your chicken for a different meat substitute and expect to be quids in. If worse comes to worst, just buy a hefty bag of pasta.
Weekly cost: £25 – 30 (using Sainsbury’s as a reference)
Unlike your year 5 teacher, University doesn’t require you to use a fountain pen to write notes. In fact, they don’t care one bit if you use cute stationary you bought from a boutique on holiday, if your entire pencil case is from Poundland (which is also on campus I think, lol), if you type everything or if you make zero notes altogether. You don’t even need to buy textbooks. Of course, you’re welcome to if you want, but I haven’t met a single student who bought a textbook and we’ve all made it through exams okay! Don’t forget, of course, there are textbooks available in the library.
A big question is whether a laptop is necessary for Uni. I shall answer this assuming everything is back to normal. In one word, no. However, it does make life easier. SLS have an entire suite of gorgeous Apple Macs which are free to use. This means you can write your reports, search up the difference between ‘transcription’ and ‘translation’ and watch lectures on Lecture Capture. The catch is that you must save all your work onto an external drive e.g., a memory stick, as it won’t be saved after you log off. With all this in mind, my opinion is that a laptop is not necessary for Uni. But if you can afford even a cheap second hand one, I would recommend it because it does carry benefits, including the ability to work in your room and type notes in a lecture theatre.
Weekly cost: £0
Bills are included in all campus accommodation fees. Check out my blog on accommodation if you’re deciding which one to go for. When living off-campus, bills may or may not be included in your rent price. Mine weren’t, so my house of 7 were paying around £50 a month each for all of our bills. You’ll have to look into different suppliers yourself when you cross this bridge, for I am not a utility supplier. Sorry.
Weekly cost: £0
Sports, Societies and the Gym
Up until now, things have been looking good. £30 for food is probably the greatest living expense you’ll have. If you are a gym goer, this is where things will begin to add up. Warwick Uni have invested a lot of money in building a sleek, decked out gym. It’s humongous. There are courts, swimming pools, gym equipment and even a ginormous rock climbing wall. I won’t lie, I’ve only gone in to do fitness classes in a specific room so I haven’t checked out all the facilities myself, but I know there is a sauna and a steam room and an athletics track and even a bouldering room, whatever that is*. It’s pretty grand, but so is the price. As a student, you pay £105 for 3 months if you want the ‘Gym & Swim’ pass. There are loads of different options for access to different things, all at different prices, but I’m assuming if you’re a gym rat, this pass is what you’ll be after. So really £35 a month isn’t that bad. Where I live, even with the friends and family discount my mate sorted for me, I was paying more than that. (My gym days lasted 3 months when I was 18, for those who were wondering).
*Just checked, it’s basically rock climbing but no harnesses as you don’t climb as high.
Societies and sports also carry some of their own costs. There is a division between sports and societies, in that they are two separate things. Let me tackle sports clubs first. To sign up, you have to pay a yearly joining fee: £31 for sports and £19 for societies. Then, you need to decide whether you want an on-campus sports pass or an off-campus sports pass, depending on which clubs you want to join. I can’t quite remember but I thiiiink that’s another £30, however it’s definitely a once-per-year fee again. Next, you need to pay a little joining fee to the club you want to join. For example, if you fancy joining ladies’ hockey, it’ll cost £6.50. Depending on the club, practice may be free or may have a session cost. Ladies’ hockey was free. Polo was £40 per session, but that makes sense when you require a horse. Thai boxing was, like, £2 a session. Really depends on the club.
Societies are very similar, but you don’t need the sports pass. I think the joining fees are also £1 instead of £6.50. Again, some are free but this time I think most have low-level costs for each session. For example, you’d pay £2 each time you turn up.
I hope all that makes sense. Let me recap:
Sports: £31 one-off fee + ~£30 one-off fee + £6.50 joining fee + potentially free practice.
Societies: £19 one-off fee + £1 joining fee + ~£2 per session.
Do note that every club will require you to pay a joining fee. So if you want to join 3, you’ll have to pay 3 lots of joining fees.
Gym: £35 / month
Sports: ~£65 initial fees
Societies: ~£20 initial fee + £10 / month
If you made it through the above section, give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t be put off by those initial fees. Yes, they’re a lot all in one go but joining different sports clubs was the best decision I made. Trust me when I say you won’t get this opportunity again. When you graduate, you’ll realise how cheap and convenient they all were.
This final bit is, again, all down to your preferences, really. When I say entertainment, I mean all the other stuff. Clubbing, pubbing, purchasing drinks, going to the cinema, going out for food, clothes shopping. All of that. This could definitely add up, so I’d be careful. The on-campus club has £5 entry, much like the clubs in Leamington Spa. (Imagine my shock after being used to London prices, lol). Drinks on campus are also ridiculously cheap as they’re subsidised by the SU (I think). I’d say set aside some money every week to allow yourself to have some fun. Anything you don’t spend, you can carry over to the following week. When you’re on campus, costs are rather low, especially as you don’t have to worry about travel. I mean that both normally and also in terms of taxis back after a night out. As for clothes shopping, just stop. You don’t need that new top and for goodness sake, learn how to sew. I was appalled to discover adults at the age of 20 have never touched a needle and thread. Don’t let that be you!
Weekly costs: £10.
Grand total: £120 – £165 a month.