How to Reduce the Cost of Living Effects on Students

By Student Digs on September 15th, 2023

Everyone has faced financial trouble sometime in their life, but the cost of living crisis has been on everyone’s mind recently. Unfortunately, the crisis is on the rise for students too. But what advice do we have for students?

What is the Cost of Living Crisis?

In 2021, the cost of living crisis arose around the world, affecting both landlords and students. Disposable income fell as inflation rose, leading many students to work longer hours. The Guardian states 34% of students had jobs in 2021, but that figure is now 55% as of 2023. 28% of those students work more than 10 hours a week to support living costs, studies, and caring responsibilities. 

But how does the cost of living crisis affect students?

91% of students are worried about the cost of living crisis, and how it will affect their mental health and studies. Many have reported even skipping meals and leaving university societies to tackle the crisis. To put it short, everything is getting more expensive, but wages are not going up. So, if you’re unable to receive much support, students may be forced to work instead as getting by on government loans doesn’t seem possible anymore.

What is the Average University Living Cost?

According to Save the Student, the average student spends £924 per month on rent, bills, groceries, transportation, and more. Whereas, maintenance loans average at £485 per month. Our previous article is full of handy tips on how to tackle the energy cost crisis, and use the Government’s official student finance calculator to see how much maintenance you might be eligible for.

So, if you can’t cut university living costs, what can students do instead to cut the average cost of living?

What Cost of Living Help is Available for Students?

1. Apply for student grants

Besides applying for government-funded tuition and a maintenance loan, check if your university has a grant, scholarship, or bursary scheme available. For example, you may be eligible for disability or childcare support. 

Students studying particular courses, such as healthcare, are also more likely to be eligible. If your university does not offer these, check online for charity-funded support, such as Family Action, or use Turn2Us to see what support is available across the web.

2. Create a budget

If you struggle to save money, the next thing you need to do is create a budget. Analyse what’s important, what can be saved for next time, and how big of a safety net you need. Money Helper’s Budget Planner is great for factoring all your costs and giving quick tips on saving.

3. Avoid debt or credit

Buying that blazer will make you look smart during classes, but if you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Likewise, if you have to use a credit card or pay-monthly method to buy it, then save it for later – the debt is not worth it. Besides, most students show up to classes in comfy clothes after a couple weeks! (Also, don’t just think of the short-term benefits, think about what extra you might need for winter too!)

4. Live below your means

You may be used to ordering from the same supermarket and eating the same food each week, but when you start adding those items, you’ll start to see the cost adding up too. Add necessities first and luxuries after – and why not make it fun by trying something new every week?

5. Prioritise in-house events

Are you an adventurous person always looking for fun? Going to that theme park with your friends back at home or travelling during summer may sound great, but that’s not always possible on a student budget. Remember that your family and friends are only ever a phone call away. Maybe that course dinner or school trip is more important this time around.

6. Find alternative ways to make money

There are so many ways to make money nowadays, and if working strict hours isn’t for you, try your hand at remote work. Instead of playing games alone, why not stream online and have a whole community by your side as you earn? If you’re looking to save money, try selling items you no longer use, or check online for discounts at second-hand stores. 

Now you’re prepped with all the best advice on university living costs, view our fresh and modern student properties to book your room and start your adventure. 

Student Digs

Student Digs