Money On My Mind

4 years ago

Lives with her parents during holidays, while she commutes to a charity internship; rents a room in a university houseshare in term-time. Household income: none, plus a student loan. Has £8,500 from an inheritance and in savings from a part-time waitressing job. Parents a semi-retired teacher and nurse earn £50,000 a year combined.
Do you feel rich or poor? "Poor compared with my friends, but not compared with poor people."

"Well-off students are fine, and people whose parents don`t earn very much tend to get a lot of loans. I`m in the middle I found it really difficult. When you factor in all the different payments my parents have to make, like mortgages, it doesn`t leave them with very much, and I don`t get any extra help. Sometimes, when I was younger, I`d have to loan my parents money. They contribute half of my rent and I pay the other half, then I pay my living costs as well.

"A lot of people at university are from private schools. When they complain about having no money, I sit there thinking, `You kind of do have money.` I just wasn`t able to keep up with their spending. One of my housemates will have Tesco Finest parma ham and mozzarella and olives and stuff in the fridge, and think it`s completely normal, not realising that`s extortionate.

"We had a cheese party, and one of the girls was talking about how she had spent £8 on a cheese and someone else had spent £3, and she found that really out of order. I didn`t say anything at the time, but if you can afford to spend £8 on a cheese, that`s fine for you!"

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