The average student spends £364/month: How does your uni compare?

News Editor | Iffah Ahmed

Following the cost of rent, it has been identified that on average, students spend £364 per month on living costs, where most of the funds contribute towards socialising and food. It has been recognised that students across the nation, from Scotland to the Midlands are spending equal amounts to those located in London but are receiving less Student Finance to help manage their expenses.

The National Student Money Survey 2018 disclosed the following significant information that it’s a student’s university which heavily affects spending and not just your location and background. The data gives evidence that even though students in London receive a higher maintenance loan, students studying in various parts of the UK also have similar costs.

Money advice site, Save the Student conducted a survey which asked 3,617 students what their money goes on. Students were asked to answer how much they spend on essentials from bills to food, course materials, travel and clothing. The figure for UK student spending differs depending on the university they attend; however, the UK student average summarises at £364 a month.

It is shown that food takes up nearly a third of the budget (coming in at £108 a month on average) after rent has been paid. Although, students at Cambridge, Aberdeen and UCL have been shown to pay at least £140 a month on food. Institutions at Robert Gordon, Sunderland and South Wales pay less than £74 a month, which equates to £18.50 a week on eating out, groceries and snacks. Despite university, 50% of students said they lack money which in turn affects the diet they have.

The average a student spends on socialising comes up to £62 a month however, students at Keele, Bournemouth and KCL spend at least £80, whereas with students at Goldsmiths and Kingston, their socialising expenses round up to more than £100. Noticeably, Huddersfield and York St John, both Yorkshire Universities, display that students can spend just £35 a month on socialising, paralleling to expenses of £8.75 a week. Ultimately two thirds of student acclaimed they do not have the funds to always go out either.

Jake Butler, Save the Student’s money expert states that, “No matter where you go to university, it can be expensive, And the student loan most likely won’t cover your costs. I’d recommend any student to try and hunt down extra funding by contacting their uni student services. It’s a harsh reality that a part time job is a key part of student life these days too.”.

Full results from the National Student Money Survey 2018 can be viewed at

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