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24 September 2014

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You are in: Cambridgeshire > Entertainment > Students > Hey, Big Spender!


Students spend this every couple of days

Hey, Big Spender!

Next year could be the most expensive year of your life to date. That’s certainly the case if you’re starting at university. So what do our students spend their money on?

According to a recent Royal Bank of Scotland survey, a student’s biggest outgoing is their rent. At £78 a week, that’s more than they spend on going out, eating and transport combined. That’s no surprise, but with a year in Cambridge costing some £7,000, it’s increasingly important for students to manage their money.

Ama Uzowuru is Vice-President of Welfare at the National Union of Students (NUS). She has some simple advice for freshers: "Budget. Take an average month and list all your outgoings and incomings. If your outgoings exceed your incomings then you need to cut back”.

The good news is that it’s possible to save almost everywhere, even on health. If you get an HC1 form from the local doctor, you can get means tested discounts from the NHS. With the average student spending nearly £50 a month on their phone bill, she warns us not to get “bought over by gimmicks” and to compare “like with like”.

High Street shops in Petty Cury, Cambridge

Another place to splash the cash

With university costing more than ever, students are having to work harder in their spare time. For the first time, Cambridge’s students are earning over £100 a week. Frankie Whiffen is President of Anglia Ruskin's Student Union. He says “students are the richest they have ever been; however they will also leave with the most amount of debt”

Perhaps there’s no time left for students to enjoy themselves now. Students spend more on books and course materials than they do going out. Far from being layabouts, today’s undergrads seem to be on a mission. Frankie says "gone are the days when students lived on a liquid diet", though admits some surprise at the findings.

The survey produced one more unexpected result. Our scholars spend over a tenner a week getting around. Given the city’s compact layout, and the popularity of cycling, where does the money go? Frankie reminds us not only do some people commute but also that the "Park and Ride does not offer student concessions".

…so what of his own finances? He says his "personal weakness is probably sandwiches", and estimates he spends £60 a month on the seemingly innocuous snack. It's a timely reminder that if you watch the pennies, the pounds will take care of themselves.

last updated: 07/09/07

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