"The BBC has revealed figures collated by Hull's Student Union that reveal a 54% increase in the number of students facing financial difficulties over the past four years."
The BBC has revealed figures collated by Hull's Student Union that reveal a 54% increase in the number of students facing financial difficulties over the past four years.In the past year 2,300 students have contacted its advisors for support compared to 1,500 in 2008.These are not frivolous problems such as not having enough money for a night out or packet of cigarettes, but issues such as not being able to afford food or to pay rent.Gina Rayment, a representative from Hull University's student union, said 'They're coming to us with quite serious problems such as possible rent arrears where they could actually lose a roof over their heads.' In an effort to combat the issue, the union has been issuing increasing numbers of food parcels; last year the union gave out 70 food parcels, compared to just 30 in 2008.Laziness cannot be blamed for the financial problems facing students in Hull; there simply are just not enough part time jobs to meet the demand of students needing to work their way through university.
If you are a student struggling to cut costs, take a look at GRB's favourite fifteen tips for scrimping.Some of these will also be useful for any graduates out there who may be looking for work, currently doing unpaid work or may be on a lower salary and a bit strapped for cash:
·Share food costs with your flatmates - Organising a cooking rote and/or splitting the cost of some food items will save you money and reduce waste
·Get on your bike! Get fit and save on public transport/petrol costs by walking when safely possible or, if you need to travel long distances, get cycling
·Take in a packed lunch - it is much cheaper to buy a loaf of bread and a filling from a supermarket as opposed to buying a freshly made, and usually over priced, sandwich every day
·Ask for a student discount - This tip only works if you have a valid NUS card.You will be surprised at how many shops, cinemas and restaurants,including independently owned establishments, will have a discount to offer
·Stop paying for haircuts - Many hairdressers are looking for 'models' upon which staff in training will cut your hair for free, under the beady eye of trained professionals
·Exercise for free - gym memberships are expensive, so why not switch to jogging instead of paying for the gym, or use YouTube for free access to exercise videos you can do at home
·If phone bills are the bane of your life, use free services such as Skype to keep the costs down
·Selling unwanted possessions on Ebay/Gumtree/Amazon is a fantastic and easy way to make money. Remember, one man's trash is another man's treasure!
·Always make a shopping list before you go to the supermarket and calculate costs in advanced to avoid any nasty surprises at the till
·Supermarkets often reduce items in the evenings, so have a late night peruse and see what bargains you can find
·Avoid buying ready meals/getting takeaways - it is much cheaper and healthier to make your own
·Buy supermarket brands - the packaging may not be as pretty but you will an abundance
·Use discount websites - there are loads of fantastic voucher websites such as Groupon and Student Beans out there, so you can still do the things you love, but for less!
·Use Freecycle.com - collect items such as laptops, TVs, phones, textbooks, microwaves and bicycles for free from people who no longer want their items.
·Leave your card at home - When you go out take only the amount of cash you need to avoid any spontaneous splurges
Mona, GRB Journalist