Money Money Money: handling the student cost of living crisis

How can you make your student budget stretch a little further?

Scarlett Welch
16th May 2022
Image from Unsplash @Konstantin Evdokimov

The cost of living crisis is affecting every part of society, and it’s not easy for anyone to deal with. But on fixed maintenance loans, with the amounts set before prices have soared in the last few months, many students are struggling to cope financially. 

There is unfortunately no way to magically fix the challenges presented by this crisis. However, there are some ways in which you can make your student budget stretch a little further. 

Firstly, one of the biggest price increases in recent months has been energy costs, meaning that bills have skyrocketed for many. Living in a student house, it can be easy to accumulate a huge energy bill without even realising. It can help to have a discussion with your housemates about how you can reduce your energy usage as a house, whether that be by putting the heating on less often, making sure to switch off lights, or taking shorter showers. Whilst you shouldn’t be going without necessities, making a few simple changes can save you all money in the long run. 

Over 60% of students nationwide admit to being worried about their financial situation

Food costs have been another sharp increase recently, once again making the cost of necessities challenging for students. With the cost of even basic ingredients going up, it can be helpful to plan your meals in advance and save some money by bulk buying and meal prepping. This won’t appeal to everyone, but even having a schedule of what to cook and when can help to avoid food waste and impulse purchases which ramp up the price of your food shopping. 

There are other common ways of saving money - not buying lunches or coffees whilst you’re out and walking rather than using public transport to name a few. 

Having said this, it can still sometimes seem impossible to live a normal life with the current financial situation, and this can have a huge mental impact. Handling a cost of living crisis is as much about your state of mind as it is about your spending habits. 

Whilst it can be daunting to talk about money, many students are in the same position, with over 60% of students nationwide admitting to being worried about their financial situation. It can be helpful to talk to friends or family about your concerns, even if it’s just for reassurance. Additionally, the university can offer financial support in some cases. Most importantly, the way to handle a cost of living crisis as a student is not to suffer in silence, but to speak out about your concerns. 

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