Student Living has shown to become more and more expensive as the years go by.  Every year our students require more expensive equipment and books in order to keep up with the expectations of what it take to be able to finish their tertiary education.  This constant change in expenditure creates a problem for our parents, they don’t know what we as students require and how much they will have to budget for.  This is especially true for our parents that didn’t have the fortunate advantage of going to university or college back in the day.

As such I have constructed a quick table to showcase what our we will have to budget for.  This does not include the actual class money of the courses, seeing as the courses differ greatly.

Please note that these are but mere estimated figures and it will differ depending on your our lifestyle expectations.  The figures range from entry level items to mid level item cost.

1. Getting settled into your new home


Johannesburg is privileged with some of the top universities and technikons in South Africa, the three biggest are Wits University,  the University of Johannesburg and Wits Technikon.  All three of these institutions have residential student accommodation, however with the increase in student applications each year it has become a bit of a problem getting into any of their existing dormitories.  Parents find themselves concerned with where will their child be living next year?

The best advice that can be given to this is to apply for the dormitories as soon as possible, perhaps even a full year in advance.  For those of us that forgot or couldn’t make it happen there are a lot of off campus student accommodation available. Which ever way you and your parents choose to go there will be some expense to creating your new home.

Here are some of those once-off Home creation expenses.



Where to find it


R 2200.00

Makro & House and Home


R 550 – R 650

Makro, House & Home, Hifi Corp

Cutlery & Crockery

R 700.00

Mr Price Home


R120 – R 200

House and Home



House and Home

Pots & Pans


MR Price Home

Note:  In regards to the Kettle and toaster, I find it best to buy a combo set.  They tend to be better quality products and together they work out cheaper.




Where to find it

Bed and Base set

Single Bed Set  = R1600

Three Quarter Set = R1800

Bed King

Bed Linen and 2 Pillows

R 800.00

MR Price Home

Note:  It is important to first find out if your student accommodation comes with a base and/or mattress set.  Some student res gives these items to their renters other leaves it up to each individual to make their own choice.




Where to find it



Mr Price Home

Bathroom Accessories


Mr Price Home

Note:  The bathroom Accessories are not absolutely needed.  This includes items like a laundry bag, dustbin, soap holder,  est.




Where to find it


R 2000.00 – R 2500.00

House & Home, MR Price Home


R 300.00

MR Price Home


R 3500.00

Hi Fi Corp

Note:  These are of course luxury items and will make no difference whether you as a student does well in your course or not.  It will however make your little space feel more like home. You are also advised to first find out what your student accommodation offer in this regard.  Some residential units come with a shared living room where most of these items are already supplied.




Where to find it

Study Desk

R 1400.00

House & Home, MR Price Home

Study Chair

R 750.00 – R 800.00

House & Home, MR Price Home

Desk Lamp

R 170.00

Mr Price Home

Entry Level Laptop

R 5000 – 8000.00

Incredible Connection, Hifi Corp

Inkjet Printer

R 1000.00

Incredible Connection, Hifi Corp


R300/ semester


Text Books

R 6000.00/year

Ask the Prof.

Note:  It is important that you rather spend the budget in making sure that you have all the necessary tools to succeed in your course.  As such a small laptop and good study chair is quite essential.  You will be spending many hours in front of the books and on the internet researching all your assignments, a good chair will prevent long term back problems.




Where to find it

Summer Fan

R150.00 – R250.00

House & Home

Winter Fan


House & Home


ONCE-OFF TOTAL: R19 850.00

So this is some what off a big once off.  If this is not an option for you then don’t worry too much.  Mafadi has great student accommodation options that include many of the ‘first fix’ furnishes you may need.  Don’t wait, don’t hesitate, go have a look now and make that booking today.  The spaces are going fast, especially with these amazing student spaces available.

2.  Monthly Expenses


We all need to eat, drink and party.  This is of course also why we are spending time apart from the folks.  As such there will be monthly expenses to this.





R 2500.00 –

R 4000.00

Dedicated student accommodation tends to be cheaper compared to just renting a bachelors flat.


R 2000.00

Pocket Money

R 1000.00


R 800.00

This will  vary a lot depending if you use public transportation or have a small car.  Also consider the location of your student accommodation.


R 150.00


R 100.00

IBurst seems to be the cheapest, using your phones’ internet is going to cost you in the long run.  Several of Mafadi’s Student accommodation even includes free WiFI

Medical Insurance

R 400.00 –

R 1000.00

It of course depends on what you get for medical insurance.




This article should give you a good indication of what you will need to get started with your studies.  The once off expenses can of course be minimized by a great extend and not everything needs to be bought brand new.  It is an old student tradition to receive family hand me downs from mom, dad and ouma.

The main concern for you will be to find a nice place to call home, make lots of friends and study your hiney off.  You are there to prepare for the future, hopefully this will help with that.

Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here


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