70% of students are 'skint' and currently living in their overdrafts
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There is no doubt that university students are expected to be in a fair amount of debt once they graduate - however, new research has found that 70% of students are already ‘skint’ and living in their overdraft. The campaign, ‘Expectation vs Reality of Student Life’, by Help-Link.co.uk, found that students were living in their overdraft within two months of starting university. With students becoming more independent as they venture off to university they have a huge responsibility when it comes to managing their money. However, distinguishing between the essentials and occassional treats can be difficult for some - 42% of students spending the majority of their first student loan payment on going out, leaving very little left for food, rent and bills. On average, students spend £65.70 a month on food, £354 a month on rent, £93.50 a month on bills, £38.50 a month on travel, £62 a month on treats (beauty/fashion items), and £64.50 on partying. With total outgoings of around £678.20 a month but an average income of a student being £469 a month, it's easy to see why 70% of students are skint and in their overdrafts. Despite hard times, over half of UK students don’t take up part time employment whilst at university. Instead, the bank of mum and dad is the next port of call, with many expecting nearly £200 a month to fund their student lifestyle. Over £1.4 billion is provided by parents every year. 50% of students receive no financial support from their parents whilst at university. As well as loans and grants, 14% of students own a credit card in order to make the most of their time away from home. Many students can barely afford to pay for heating, having to layer up during the winter months in order to stay warm. One student, Robert, who studied at York St John’s university, lived in a corridor with a bed sheet as a curtain for a year to avoid high rent in the city. Of course living costs for students across the UK differ throughout the regions - nevertheless, many students are struggling financially whilst trying to live what some may call the "best years of their life."