As Freshers find themselves well and truly into their first term, and now the haze of going out every night is gone, so is the majority of that student loan.
NatWest’s Student Living Index 2017 did some digging to find out exactly what students were spending their money on, and which university cities were overall the most affordable.
The Breakdown of Student Income
Consider this; the average UK student has a term time income of £1,143.20 – sounds impressive. The average student receives £414.40 a month from their student loan and £205.30 from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ (according to NatWest’s recent report).
However, when the student spending gets broken down, it’s understandable that students are susceptible to dipping into their overdraft. Rent alone costs on average £448 per month (£584.32 if you’re a London based student). Then, add on monthly costs to cover food, household bills, going out, alcohol and clothes – that’s £236.10 extra a month. In fact, all those extra items equated to a whopping £356.10 a month!
Therefore, it is becoming increasingly essential that students get themselves a part-time job to ease the stresses of money. Roughly £200 a month can be earned from part-time work during holidays and term-time (£96.70 during the term-time, and £78.90 during the holidays). Students in Aberdeen were found to benefit the most from having a part-time job earning £219.80 a month during term-time, and £267.30 a month during their holidays.
Having the part-time job ensures you’re gaining experience for when the time comes to hunt for that first graduate job. Skills such as time-keeping, communication, teamwork and customer service are all transferable into a future career, and bonus points for showing you worked throughout your time at university. You will also meet new people, some may be other students, some may be your superiors who are local to your new university city. This widens your network of people and hopefully, your previous boss can provide a great reference for you when it comes to applying for graduate jobs.
There are numerous options when it comes to getting that part-time job, such as recruitment agencies, asking around in your university student union, social media, online search and handing in your CV directly. Social media is often overlooked during a job hunt, so look out for local shops, bars, and restaurants which are recruiting students on their social media pages. Making sure your CV is distributed quickly helps fight off competition and always think about ways your CV can be improved, such as mentioning volunteer work, hobbies, or specific skills you have learned through education.
NatWest found there was significant variation between how much students received from the Bank of Mum and Dad, with Durham students receiving £412.90, compared with Hull students receiving £129.20. A part-time job can help those who receive less to still be able to socialise without worrying about pinching pennies.
The Degree Can Still Remain A Priority
Having a part-time job should not need to interfere with your studies. Working a couple nights each week, or even just at the weekend, will still leave sufficient time to go to your lectures, get your assignments done and socialise. And the money you’re earning will help you feel less stressed spending money on those extra meals out or nights out which can make your university experience even better. Just speak to your employer about exactly how many hours you’ll be working and on what days to help and maintain structure in your busy life.
Securing that part-time job can ensure you survive until the end of the semester on more than just tinned baked beans, and that you’ll still have money left over for the holidays.