Mum & Dad Set To Help Freshers Make It Through Their First Term

NatWest’s 2017 Student Living Index reveals that parents fork out more than £200 a month on average to help with their children’s finances at uni

It’s that time of the year again when students begin their new life at university. NatWest’s 2017 Student Living Index investigated the typical financial behaviour of students – revealing that despite them taking their first steps towards independence, many still rely on the bank of mum and dad.

With freshers’ week being a rite of passage, it looks like students may be relying on this financial help from their parents, as  first year students spend an average of £286 during freshers’ week alone, according to UCAS. We’ve looked into the main sources of income, and how students are spending their money at Uni.

Key survey findings

What sources of income do students receive?

  • More than two thirds of students (69%) receive the maintenance loan to support living costs during term-time, with the national average being £161.14 a week
  • After student finance, almost two thirds of students (61%) get help from their parents – receiving the national average being £205 a month
  • Personal savings are also crucial to support students financially, with more than a third (37%) relying on this
  • A third of students rely on working during term-time (33%), receiving an average of £96.70 a month
  • Almost one in five (17%) use an overdraft for financial income during term-time

Why are students going to mum and dad for financial support?

One of the biggest outgoing for most students is rent, spending an average of £448 a month on this. For a lot of students, their maintenance loan is just enough to cover this cost each month – leaving no money left for other essential living costs. Food shopping, toiletries and household items is the second biggest monthly spend, costing an average of £78.10 a month, and household bills costing on average £43.10 a month.

How can students look after their finances post-freshers’ week?

After a hectic week of partying and socialising, students finances can look fairly dim for the remainder of the first term. Luckily, there’s several ways students can help to make their bank accounts look less frightening.

  • Figure out monthly budget: It’s important students have an idea of their in-and-outgoings, to avoid sudden surprises when checking bank balances. NatWest’s Budget Calculator will help with this process.
  • Create a Student Budget checklist. This is an overview of all monthly outgoings, to make sure that all payments that need to be made have been covered.
  • Get a part-time job. Not all students may receive help from their parents or have any savings, so getting a job will help to top up the bank account each month.


About the data: The findings were taken from NatWest’s Student Living Index 2017. This was a survey conducted through YouthSight asking 3,407 university students across 35 cities in the UK how they spend their time and money.

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