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Forbes Advisor Student Cost of Living Index – 2022

Forbes Advisor Student Cost of Living Index – 2022

  • After bills, almost a quarter (23%) of students have less than £100 a month to live on.
  • More than half (53%) of students said they were paying more for rent than a year ago
  • Three quarters (78%) of students are worried about the cost of living crisis and seven in ten (70%) say they are affected by it
  • 82% of students who have credit cards and 72% who have overdrafts rely on them to pay priority bills and food

Forbes Advisor, the financial comparison and guidance platform, has created a Student Cost of Living Index, surveying students across the country to find out how the cost of living crisis is impacting student demographics.

More than three quarters (78%) of students say they are worried about the cost of living crisis and 70% say they feel it has affected them.

For the vast majority, going to college will be their first time living away from home and managing their own budget. That, in itself, can be a significant challenge, but for students in 2022, it’s taking place against the backdrop of the worst cost-of-living crisis seen in decades.

Two-fifths (41%) of students surveyed have decided to live at home instead of going to university accommodation, as a direct result of the cost of living crisis, missing out on an essential right of way. Of those living in university accommodation, one in five said that if they had known about the effects of the cost of living crisis, they would have stayed home and attended a local university instead.

More than half (53%) of students who are already in university and living in private rental accommodation said their rent was more expensive than it was last year.

University town Average monthly rent increase since September 2021
Manchester £224
Cardiff £199
liverpool £190
Edinburgh £165
London £152

Unsurprisingly, more than a third (35%) of students revealed that their main source of income was their maintenance loan money and having a job alongside their studies, while some (33 %) used money from their savings.

More than a quarter (28%) of students said their parents provided the main source of income, despite nearly 60% of students surveyed coming from households with combined incomes of £50,000 a year or less . A quarter (25%) of student households had a total income of £25,000 a year or less.

More than two-thirds (68%) of college-employed students reported working between 11 and 25 hours a week alongside their studies to earn enough money to live on. One in five students (19%) say they would have worked full time instead of going to university because of the cost of living crisis.

Two-thirds (69%) of students revealed they had less than £300 a month to live on, after priority bills and 23% had less than £100

Four-fifths (82%) of students who have credit cards say they rely on them to pay priority bills and food while a third (36%) use them for social and leisure activities. Looking at overdrafts, three-quarters (72%) of students who have said they rely on them for priority bills and food – this jumps to almost all (94%) of students aged 25-34 . While around a quarter of all students (22%) use overdrafts for social and leisure activities.

Forbes Advisor also asked university students how their spending had changed, due to the cost of living crisis – 44% said they were going out less, 29% said they were buying less food and 46% had reduced takeout.

What students spend less %
Take away food 46%
Buy clothes 45%
Go out 44%
Personal care (beauty, haircuts, manicures, etc.) 38%
Public transport & taxis 29%
To buy food 29%
Health and fitness (gym memberships, healthy foods, etc.) 29%
Visiting friends and family 22%
Gasoline and diesel 21%
Heater 21%
Source Advisor Forbes

Laura Howard, personal finance expert at Forbes Advisor said:

“Rents in major college towns are skyrocketing, while heating and grocery shopping costs are at record highs. Train fares to and from home can run into the hundreds of pounds, while students lucky enough to have a ‘first car’ will face costs of around £100 just to refuel.

‘Even the old student cliché of eating ‘beans on toast’ for dinner no longer exists, with a can of Heinz baked beans costing £1.20 in all major supermarkets.

“So it’s no surprise that our research found that a staggering 78% of students are worried about the cost of living crisis, while 70% say they’re affected by it.

“But, unfortunately, rising prices are also tarnishing the student experience, with 44% of students reducing their outings and socializing – an important part of student life for their predecessors. Many more students have to spend less on basic necessities, ranging from food to hot water.

“Additionally, the growing number of students who rely on debt to get by on a daily basis are likely to face higher interest rates when they leave college.

“By their very nature, student hostels are filled with young people getting their first taste of self-reliance and paying bills. That’s hard enough on its own, but for the cost-of-living crisis generation, it seems the odds are well and truly stacked against them.


Methodology:
Forbes Advisor – OnePoll survey data – 1,000 current UK students – September 2022
Forbes Advisor Student cost of living index 2022 – URL – https://www.forbes.com/uk/advisor/banking/student-money-hub/

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