Chris faces the credit crunch
With loans, mounting debts and without a highly paid job, how are students coping with the credit crunch? University of Gloucestershire postgraduate Chris Hodgkins shares his experience...
'The Credit Crunch', that's that new breakfast cereal isn't it?
Not a day goes by when we aren't told that the cost of living is increasing and it's been this way for months now.
With the price of food, fuel and general amenities increasing each week it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep the bank balance in the black.
Never was this more apparent than the last year of university.
Not working at the time I relied, as many students do, on a basic student loan to keep me going; a loan that totaled three thousand pounds a year.
'less than you think'
I have always been a firm believer in the ideal that you should never check your bank balance as you will always have less than you think.
The mere act of checking seems to decrease the total drastically. Couple this with several direct debits and you start to see why I could never hang on to my money.
I shared a house with four other students, each fans, as I am myself, of various electrical devices, constant central heating and leaving everything light in the house switched on.
As such our quarterly gas and electricity bills usually pushed around six hundred pounds.
Add to these the cost of food (takeaways), drink (pubs) and entertainment (DVD's) you can see why the last year was such a strain on our accounts.
It's no wonder every bank is trying to push larger overdrafts on students.
So, now I've left university. I am living at home and I am working full time, so why am I still skint?
Is it the rising costs or my own frivolous attitude to money that's the problem, well it's a bit of both.
I have had to drastically cut down on my spending; comparing prices of things rather than just buying the first one I see and cutting out some of my more pointless expenses.
For instance; the other day I discovered I am still paying nearly fifty pound a month for a gym membership that I don't have time to use; goodbye gym membership.
The main problem we have as ex-students is that most have us have gone to university to get into a certain job field.
To do this we need to start at the bottom of the job ladder.
This means that we have to take a step down in pay from our holiday jobs whilst also paying rent, trying to save money to buy somewhere, food, power, insurance…the list goes on.
Looks like my parents will have a lodger for a little while longer yet.
This article is an external contribution and expresses a personal opinion, not necessarily the views of the BBC.
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last updated: 28/01/2009 at 13:41
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