Essentials - Student Living Index 2015 - NatWest

Student Living Index 2015 Essentials

The RBS Student Living Index, compiled in partnership with an independent research company, takes a sample of 2486 students to give you an idea of how students are spending their money, how much they are spending and how many hours they are spending on different activities.

To give our students a hand when they get there, our Student Account comes with a free National Express Young Persons Coachcard, which gives a third off UK and international coach travel. Or why not take a look at the other student products that we offer?

The Essentials section is made up of weekly expenditure on groceries, rent and travel.


  • Students are, on average, spending £24 on weekly groceries.
  • Belfast spend the least on groceries (£16) and Dundee spends the most (£29).
  • Groceries are the biggest weekly expenditure for students, but the amount spent per week has dropped by almost £1 from 2014.
  • Liverpool students are spending over £6 less on groceries this year compared to last year.


  • Students are spending an average of £85 per week on rent.
  • Belfast's rent prices are the cheapest at £46, which is around half of the average spend on rent.
  • Rent is most expensive in Oxford and Cambridge, both at over £110 per week.


  • Students are spending an average of almost £9 on local travel every week and £210 annually on long distance travel.
  • London students are, unsurprisingly, spending the most on local travel, at around £18 per week, which is £2.50 more than the previous year. Bristol, on the other hand, spends the least on local travel, at just under £3 a week.
  • Exeter students spend the least on long distance travel, spending an average of £102, whereas London and Leeds students spend the most (both almost £300).
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