Money, Money, Money: The Student Cost of Living Crisis

One of the most talked about topics amongst students is money.

Sit down with a student for more than five minutes and I guarantee it will be mentioned. We are either waiting for our student loans to come in, deciding how much to spend on a food shop when Crisis Jägerbombs are calling, or complaining how little money we have.

Money has always been something students constantly talk about but with a recent NUS survey showing on average students will be cut short by £7,693 for living costs, maybe my lack of money is not completely down to how many drinks I buy in Ocean on a Friday. Perhaps student loans simply don’t cover the costs?

Indeed, how are students supposed to fund themselves through university when in an alarming number of cases the student loan does not even cover the rent?

If you’re lucky enough to have loaded parents they should be ready to bail you out, but shouldn’t university be encouraging independence not leaving you to rely on the good old bank of Mum and Dad?

The majority of those in the ‘squeezed middle’ who don’t have the luxury of relying on Mum and Dad to help them have to find money elsewhere. That usually means getting one of those horrible things that students go to university to avoid, a job.

I think I should be spending more time at lectures than at work

Sure, getting a job alongside your studies at first glance sounds like a good idea; with a few extra pennies you might be able to upgrade from Tesco everyday value. I thought working was a brilliant idea until I realised that I work almost double the number of hours I have contact hours at university. Even though I do a course which is famous for having minimum contact hours I still think I should be spending more time at lectures than at work.

So I am now stuck in a position that no doubt other students find themselves in; I am now able to fund my living costs, but should I have to sacrifice the time that I should be doing university work simply because I don’t want to rely on my parents?

Surely, if the government are going to raise fees they should at least provide the bare minimum of living costs. Yes, every student, me included, could cut down on the number of nights they’re ‘dragged’ out and the number of times they’ve justified a new Topshop purchase because it was in the sale. But I’d hardly call being able to cover rent a luxury.

Charlotte McIntyre

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Photo: Stuart Pilbrow (Flickr)


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