Northern Ireland is among the best value regions in the UK to live with cities here being more affordable than other major student cities in the UK. But it’s still very important to plan and budget your money so that you do not have any financial difficulties during your studies. The British Council Education UK has advice on budgeting, including tips on how to budget when you first arrive, how to map a budget, eating on a budget, etc.
A rough guide to what you might expect to spend per week would be:
- University accommodation - £90 – may be more expensive, depends on your room choice.
- Food - £50
- Utilities – if staying in University accommodation these will be included in your rent.
- Private rented accommodation - £50-£100 per week depending on your requirements
- Utilities in private rented accommodation - £30-£40
- General expenses - £40-£50
- Travel (depending on campus) - £10-£20
We have calculated what it might could cost you for the major items you will need when you are in the UK:
- Food – if you buy your own food try to budget approximately £50 per week to purchase groceries. You can of course shop around to find the best bargains. some examples of food prices: milk 80p/litre, bread £1/loaf, eggs £1/half-dozen, rice £1.50/1kg, coffee (instant) £3/200g, potatoes £2/2.5kg, shampoo £1.50/200ml.
- Telephone (landline) – BT has a base rate of approx. £10/ month for just line rental. Other tariffs will apply depending on internet/TV use.
- Telephone (mobile) – the cost of mobiles varies depending on the provider and tariff you are on. Prepaid is generally cheaper to control costs, but if you make a lot of calls a contract will start at £5/week.
- Internet/Broadband/WiFi – most companies charge a base of £8+/week for a standard package.
- Bills – if you live in a house or apartment you will need to calculate heating and electricity into your budget - this can be anything from £30/week for all bills depending on the time of year.
- Travel – if you live away from university you will need to include travel expenses in your budget. This can be approximately £10-£20/ week depending on campus.
- Study Materials – books, notepads, paper, printer cartridges are all things you will need and you should budget about £10/week for this.
- Social – it’s not all about study when you come to Northern Ireland, there will be time for some fun (or as they say here, “the craic”) so you need to think about the cost of this. A cinema ticket in the UK costs around £8, a pint of beer £4, nightclub entrance £5+. These are all costs you will need to budget so set aside what you’ll need for fun!
You’ll find this price comparison website helpful.