FINANCE

Student finances exposed: How do they really spend their money?

  • More than half of students find managing money stressful, yet 39% still don’t create a budget (Natwest Student Living Index)
  • Collegiate AC accommodation offers inclusive billing and luxury communal facilities to ease budgeting (Collegiate AC)
  • Student spending prioritises groceries, utility bills and eating out (Natwest Student Living Index)

As the new academic year begins, many students are leaving home for the first time and one of the key lessons they will quickly learn is how to budget. Mastering this particular skill can take some time as students acquire new spending habits in fitting with their university life.

Student finances exposed: How do they really spend their money?With this in mind, Natwest, in partnership with an independent research company, have produced the Student Living Index report to unearth the true realities of student expenditure, from what is considered essential spending, to the real financial impact of socialising and the true cost of students’ hobbies and interests.

Based on data from 2,500 students living in 25 popular university cities across the UK, the enlightening research reveals that 52% of students admit to finding money management stressful. However, a substantial 39% are still not using any form of planning or budget when it comes to managing their money.

Heriberto Cuanalo, CEO of the leading provider of luxury student accommodation in the UK, Collegiate AC , explains the importance of budgeting and how a modern student property can help,

“A key aspect of planning for university life is understanding your finances and creating a budget by which to stick to on a week by week basis. Every student budget will vary depending on individual circumstances and it is advisable to create your own to include personal requirements, estimating weekly expenses as you go.

“Whilst an important skill to learn, financial planning when you have left home for the first time can be challenging and this is where modern purpose built student accommodation can help. At Collegiate AC, not only are our properties close to university ensuring that money is saved on travel, we also provide extra amenities included in our billing. This can help reduce day-to-day expenses whilst enhancing the living and studying experience: this is the future of university living.”

Student finances exposed: How do they really spend their money?-2According to this year’s Student Living Index report, students still spend more per week on groceries than anything else, with utility bills and eating out ranking second and third, swapping places in comparison with 2015’s results.

Monthly utility bills can fluctuate and allowing for this within a weekly student budget can become difficult, especially when unexpected costs occur. In order to eradicate this monetary concern for residents, Collegiate AC properties have utility bills and unlimited Wi-Fi included in the rental price as standard, meaning that students know where they stand with their finances in advance.

As Cuanalo indicates, alongside inclusive billing, Collegiate AC properties also boast a variety of additional facilities available to residents at no additional cost, again assisting with budgeting and in turn reassuring parents and guardians from afar.

With eating out remaining in the top three of student expenditures, Collegiate AC’s Water Lane Apartments in Bristol benefits from a private dining room that provides residents with the ideal venue to throw their very own dinner parties, eliminating the need to eat out so frequently.

Student finances exposed: How do they really spend their money?-3Leeds’ premier student residences, Pennine House, also boasts an array of excellent inclusive facilities. These range from an on-site cinema to provide the ultimate in home entertainment, to the on-site private gym, exclusive to residents and stocked with the latest exercise equipment to allow students to save on expensive gym memberships, a key advantage when calculating a weekly budget.

With Natwest’s latest report also highlighting that, contrary to popular belief, the majority of students’ time is spent studying – approximately 30 hours a week compared to just 8.9 hours spent socialising – Collegiate AC understand the importance of effective study areas in their properties.

Student finances exposed: How do they really spend their money?-4With reading and work rooms available for individual study or in a group, Collegiate AC’s high-specification and beautifully designed Saxon Court Apartments, set in Reading, are equipped with study and common rooms, ideal for just this purpose.

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