So, you’re thinking about going to Swansea for uni – but you’re unsure about the cost of living here? That’s where I’m here! To (hopefully) give you good financial estimates to budget and plan your year.
Firstly, it is without a doubt that university is expensive. Everything – from the big costs, such as rent, to the small expenses, such as society memberships – adds up. Thankfully, loans, grants, and bursaries from student finance (as well as other sources) can have us covered to an extent. But be prepared, unless you are a budgeting connoisseur, there will be times when you’ll be relying on your overdraft, or your family, to give you an extra push for funds. The most important bit, though, is that it’s okay to have that safety net! It’s there for a reason after all.
Secondly, a good way to start budgeting effectively is making a list/spreadsheet/mental note of everything have you have to pay for and how much it’ll cost. Here are some tips for you to think about where you want your money to go to:
Everybody knows that this is where most of your money will be going. Honestly, halls can be pricey – but you pay for what you get (i.e. whether you want the luxury of an ensuite or a room with catering included). Also, prices for accommodation tends to vary on location. For example, rooms on Bay and Singleton campus are generally more expensive than off campus, or in the Student Village. Either way, you’re sure to have a great uni experience whichever residences you decide on!
For more info: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/accommodation/residences/
Depending on where you live, buying a pass for the buses (or god forbid if you live that far away, the trains) may have to be an essential purchase for the year. Sadly, this isn’t cheap, and living close to campus may be worth the extra tens of pounds per week to save on buying a bus pass.
Thankfully, if you have to travel among both campuses, your bus pass for the Swansea area will be free. If you’re sticking to one campus, your best bet is living within walking distance to uni to save money. If you require a bus pass, this Unibus page will give you the best prices to accommodate your needs per term.
The cost of academic textbooks can vary massively depending on subject, the number of which are recommended (due to some being optional), and how many second-hand books there are available – thus bringing down the price.
In my first year of university, I remember students with subjects such as biology grabbing all their recommended readings for around £100 overall. On the other hand, Law and Psychology students may be looking up to £300-400 for book bundles which are mostly required for 1st and 2nd year.
However, don’t let this put you off! If you’re struggling for funds, remember that the library will probably have copies of the books you need. Also, some subjects (such as Psychology) have second-hand book sales at around mid-October, so hanging on for a few weeks after lectures start may get you a better deal than brand new!
A great way to connect with people and have a more buzzing social life is to definitely get involved with societies. As for prices, this always depends on a societies’ committee, which is formed each year. Usually, a society membership is around £3, whereas a sport’s society membership can be a lot more (not including a £15 fee for joining Sports Swansea – giving you benefits including actually being able to join sports groups).
Nonetheless, no student should go without being in any societies, and there are so many choices! For a large list of them, follow this SU link.
Other Living Costs
The final bit of your budget should be for any money you have left. This should be used for food, emergencies and nights out (if that’s your thing). Of course, however much you spend is this section is up to you – but remember that the more important payments (such as rent, bills, and transport) should always take precedence!
Hope I’ve helped you out! x