As students across the UK settle into their first terms at University, new research from Voucher Codes reveals that the 78 per cent of students who rely on student income support will blow the entire first instalment of their maintenance loan in less than six weeks; by Saturday 18th October.
• The designated maintenance loan will run out in less than six weeks
• 78% of students worry about the state of their finances
• Financial concerns cause insomnia for one in ten anxious students
• 14% of students skip meals to make money go further
With the first university term set to last 13 weeks – more than double the amount of time it takes for the maintenance loan to run out – students are inevitably turning to a variety of sources to help them survive until they break up for Christmas. Part-time jobs provide the biggest source of additional income for 65 per cent of students, while grovelling pleas to the bank of mum and dad will tide 60 per cent of students over. Meanwhile, overdrafts provide a fall back for 57 per cent of university goers.
Average amount students’ receive when their maintenance loan runs out:
• Part-time jobs: £242
• Overdraft: £228
• Mum and Dad: £152
• Grandparents: £97
• Friends: £85
• Siblings: £80
The overwhelming majority (78 per cent) of students admit they have regular concerns about their financial situation at University, with 18 per cent revealing they worry about their finances ‘all the time’. Some students are struggling with their finances to such an extent that nearly one in five (18 per cent) find it hard to concentrate during lectures, while one in ten (10 per cent) claim their financial concerns cause them sleepless nights. Meanwhile, a further 14 per cent admit they skip meals as a result of being cash poor.
Impact On Studies
The lack of money will impact students’ studies too; 17 per cent say they aren’t able to afford the right course materials and 15 per cent reveal they don’t have enough time to study as they need to take on part-time jobs to help fund their degree. In fact, one in eight (12 per cent) will regularly skip lectures in order to go to work.
Norwich students are most worried about their finances, with over a third (36 per cent) worrying all the time about money, followed by those in Portsmouth (29 per cent) and Oxford (29 per cent). Meanwhile, those studying at the University of Wolverhampton are the best budgeters, with nearly half (44 per cent) stating they create budgets to keep on track of their spending, followed by Wrexham-based students (38 per cent) and those at the University of York (35 per cent).
‘‘From textbooks to takeaways, the cost of living the student lifestyle soon adds up, so it’s no surprise that the average student is set to spend their maintenance loan just six weeks into the ten week term,” commented Anita Naik, Consumer Editor, VoucherCodes.co.uk. “For those struggling to get to grips with their finances, there are lots of ways to help make your money go further. Pulling together a budget for each term to help you plan ahead and using voucher websites and apps are just a few of the small steps you can take to ensure you’re a smart spender throughout the term.”