Below are a range of case studies from current students at Oxford showing how their living costs vary depending on how they choose to spend their money.
To find out how much the University estimates you should budget to live and study in Oxford, visit the living costs page.
Keller, BA in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
Oxford is more expensive than living at home, so I have become creative at spending money. I eat in hall on a meal deal most nights, go to society meetings that offer free food on others, and will at times prepare something myself. At home I live with my parents, rent free. I have yet to pay for a textbook, as I use my laptop and the college libraries extensively.
Chris, BA in Philosophy and Theology
I live in a college owned flat, with a bathroom and a living room, which is shared by three students. I eat my main meal in college each day. For my other meals, I purchase food from local stores and supermarkets. I never buy clothes during term time, only ever during the vacation, during which I live with my parents. I have several extracurricular hobbies, yet none of these are at any substantial financial cost. I rarely go out in the evenings, which also keeps my costs low. Since the beginning of my course, I have not needed to purchase books and I have owned my current laptop for three years. I, of course, also spend money on basic items such as toiletries.
Lucy, MEng in Engineering Science
I live in a four person flat owned by my college. We split the cost of cleaning materials between us but I buy all my own food and rarely eat in college. I rarely need to buy new clothes, and live with my parents rent free during the vacations, except in summer where I work abroad and accommodation is paid for. I hardly ever go out but do a lot of sport which does incur costs. My laptop was free, and all the books I need are in the college or faculty libraries.
Kate, BA in English Language and Literature
I live in a set in college with one roommate during term time - we have two bedrooms, a living room, and a shared bathroom. I don't really use college meal facilities because I rarely remember to book for hall in advance and there aren't many kitchens, so I tend to use cafés and supermarket meals quite a lot. I try to stay in Oxford over vacations for access to libraries, but if I can't, I live rent free with my parents outside term time. My co-curricular activities aren't particularly expensive - I'm mostly involved in student media, which requires more time and effort than money. There are occasional one-off costs in Oxford (like when I broke my glasses) and I spend a moderate amount on books.
Thanh Cong, MMath in Mathematics
During term time, I live in an en-suite college room and have meals at college almost every day. During Christmas, I stay for free at my friend’s house but for Easter vacation, I stay at college’s accommodation for exam revision. I seldom buy new clothes or any new personal items and I still have my computer since I first bought it during my first year. My social life is active but not too busy. I hang out with my friends once or twice per week for dinner or drinks, and sometimes I attend talks or seminars which mostly are free. Also some of my spending goes towards sporting activities as I have to pay for membership fees and equipment. My spending on study related materials is minimal as all of my text books can be borrowed from my tutors or from the library and I only have to spend on printing and stationery.