Students find creative ways to cope with rising living costs

The Momentum UK Team 18 October 2013

New research reveals the money saving methods used by students who are seeing their incomes increasingly squeezed.

The research, carried out by Santander, found that the average student says they live on an income of just £118 per week - that’s roughly a quarter of the average UK weekly wage. Rising costs like rent, food and energy bills mean that students are increasingly having to find ways to cut corners and save their cash, with some groups raising concerns that students are being driven to high interest payday loans.

One way that students are saving money is by staying at home. Twenty-two percent of students live at home with their family, and 71% of these say that they do so purely for financial reasons. Over half (57%) of live at home students say that their choice of university was heavily influenced by a need to stay at home.

Of the students who do leave home for university, 20% are considering moving further away from their university or out of town to reduce the cost of their rent. Eight percent are considering returning to their family home next year, and a further 8% are considering sharing a bedroom.

As well as accommodation, students are finding inventive ways to save money on their day-to-day spending. One in four students sells possessions on eBay to generate extra income, with others trying to limit their spending as much as possible. The most popular way of doing this is making use of student discounts, which 83% of students said they do. The next popular money saving method was buying reduced price food, a habit of 78% of students. Thirty-three percent said that they seek out cashback and group discount deals online.

Hetal Parmar, head of banking at Santander, said:

“Students are very forward thinking and proactive when it comes to saving money. With costs of basics like food, accommodation and travel all rising, students need to be clever with their cash.”

With 15% of students saying that they have seen a “significant” reduction in their income compared to this time last year, it is now more important than ever for students to learn the basics of budgeting and money management - skills that will certainly come in handy as they get older.