Student Living Index 2014 - UK University Costs - RBS


Student Living Index 2014

See what students are spending across the UK, with our eighth study on student living costs

Student Living Index 2014 See what students are spending across the UK with our eighth study on student living costs

With help from the Student Living Index 2014, we have pulled together some useful information to help you with your student budget, after you've decided what student bank account you want.

Get an idea of how much other students around the UK are spending on things like travel, eating out and food shopping every week. You can also find out how much time they're dedicating to part-time work & studying.



Headlines from the 2014 Student Living Index

1. 22% of students claim to be receiving less financial support from their parents this year, with males more likely to say so (rising to 24%)

Parents are however contributing an average of £114.10 to their children each week, interestingly with males saying they receive roughly £5 more a week than females.
2. Overall students spend 4 hours per week working and 28hrs 42mins studying

Females are spending more time studying (+1hr 24 minutes). Londoners are spending twice the amount of time working than the average student (7hrs 48 mins), followed by Brighton (6hrs 30mins).
3. Glasgow students use their money the wisest, according to the Student Living Index

They spend 2.5x more than they earn (dividing term time income by average weekly expenditure). Brighton & Edinburgh spend 4x more than they earn and students in Birmingham, Portsmouth & London spend 4.5x more.


Student Living Index 2014 So where has the most economical students in the UK?

As part of the Student Living Index 2014, We've ranked 25 popular university towns and cities in an order that shows us where in the UK has those students being smartest with their money. By that, we mean who has managed to pay the least but got their hands on the everyday essentials needed to survive whilst studying. 


Icon expand See the results!

City Position
Glasgow 1st
Brighton 2nd
Edinburgh 3rd
Birmingham 4th
Portsmouth 5th
London 6th
Manchester 7th
Reading 8th
Belfast 9th
Leeds 10th
Dundee 11th
Norwich 12th
Cambridge 13th
Sheffield 14th
Southampton 15th
Plymouth 16th
Exeter 17th
Leicester 18th
Oxford 19th
Nottingham 20th
Bristol 21st
Liverpool 22nd
Newcastle 23rd
York 24th
Cardiff 25th
Student Living Index 2014 Spending on essentials

Icon expand How much are students spending on weekly groceries?

The Student Living Index 2014 shows that students on average are spending £24.60 each week on weekly groceries (based off an average of 2236 students).

  • Students in Reading are spending the least on weekly groceries (£19.00), closely followed by those in Belfast (£19.20)
  • Surprisingly, those in Glasgow are spending the most (£28.90) followed by those in Edinburgh and Oxford. 



Icon expand Where are students spending the most on eating out?

Students in Cambridge, Oxford and London are all spending the most eating out, but on average students spend £11.90 eating out each week (based on a survey of 2236 students). 

  • Students in Norwich are only spending £8.40 each week eating out
  • Students in London are spending £17.10 each week which is £3.70 more than the biggest spenders next placed in Manchester.
  • The biggest spenders in Cambridge spend £21.50 each week. This is over double that of last placed Norwich which is under 65 miles away

Icon expand What's student spending like on alcohol each week in the UK?

One area students appear that they're being financially savvy is with spending on alcohol.

On average, students are spending £9.80 each week on alcohol (based on a survey of 2236 students).

  • Students in Bristol are spending the most: £12.90 each week
  • Students in London are tied in 6th place with Belfast, spending £10.90 each week
  • Those in Cambridge who spend the most eating out, spend the least on alcohol! (£6.80 each week)
  • 12 places have students spending under £10 each week including: Southampton, Reading, Edinburgh, Brighton, Nottingham, Birmingham and Norwich. 

Icon expand Who's spending the most on travel?

Not too much of a surprise, but students in London are spending the most every week on travel (£15.10). On average though, students are spending £6.50 each week on travel. (Based on a study of 2236 students)

  • Students in Brighton are just behind those in London, spending £12.50 on travel each week
  • Students in Cambridge spend the least each week (£1.50) - Explaining all the cyclists on the road there! 
  • The majority of students spend between £5-10 each week on travel such as those in: Liverpool (£8.30),  Manchester (£7.00), Nottingham (£6.10), Bristol (£6.50) and Leeds (£6.00)
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