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Prudent students embrace ‘generation sensible’ to combat rise in living costs

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

University students have been hit three times harder than the rest of the UK by rising living costs, so more are having to adapt to afford their further education, research reveals.

Students’ essential spending has increased by 13.3% in a year, leaving them with an average of £235 in disposable income after tuition fees, groceries and rent are paid for, according to Barclay’s survey of prospective and current students.

Meanwhile, the rest of the UK has experienced a 4.5% increase. To battle this disparity, 14% of undergraduates are ditching alcohol and over half (53%) of the 2,015 respondents surveyed think spending less on nights out is the best way to save cash.

A third (34%) are spending less on the weekly shop and the same amount are also opting for ‘pre-loved’ items including clothing, technology and books.

More traditional ways of saving money are still popular for those in further education too. A total of 38% chose to move home (38%) and 68% have taken on paid employment to improve their bank balance.

Students remain ‘resilient and resourceful’ amid cost-of-living crisis

Despite the many ways in which students are battling the cost-of-living crisis, one in five are using food banks and seven in 10 have concerns about money ahead of the upcoming academic year. This has led to 82% deciding to budget for the year ahead already.

Esme Harwood, director at Barclays, said: “Many students are having to adapt in the face of climbing costs, but they remain resilient and resourceful, finding clever ways to balance their budgets. Whether it’s cutting back on alcohol or taking on more paid work, students are responding to and defining a transformed university experience.”

Financial adviser, Emmanuel Asuquo, added: “My chief piece of advice to students is to start budget tracking.

“It sounds tedious, but it’s particularly important for those with student loans to understand how much they’ve got coming in and where their money is being spent. That way they can truly enjoy their university experience, by ensuring their ‘needs’ are covered, and setting aside some cash for ‘wants’ – whether that’s a holiday or a night out with friends.”