More young people need better financial education according to study from credit checking site

  • Recent study from ClearScore shows students struggle with their finances during their time at university

  • They say it comes from a lack of financial education before leaving home

  • Students tell NQ about their financial worries

The credit checking site ClearScore has been calling for better financial education for young people before they live away during university.

After analysing data from 1,002 UK undergraduate students living away from home, they have discovered that 55% of students run out of money before reaching the end of their first term with 23% having never spoken to their parents about money before heading off to university.

Reasons for students spending so much include the pressure to be sociable and make more friends from the start as well as what is known as ‘FOMO’ – the fear of missing out.

Justin Basini, the CEO and Founder of ClearScore has said students and parents need to be having regular conversations about money.

He added: “At university, many students will be managing their own finances for the first time and with higher fees and rising living costs, it’s never been more expensive for students to study in the UK. Without sound advice from parents, relatives or teachers, it’s easy for freshers to fall into unhealthy financial habits that could impact them for years to come

The ‘pennies and pounds’ conversations need to become as commonplace as those about the ‘birds and bees’

ClearScore Spending hotspots
ClearScore’s map of student spending hotspots

Students tell NQ about their experiences with handling their finances.

Olivia Spyrka, a second year student from Bristol living in Manchester said: “University puts a big strain on you financially and nothing really prepares you. Lots of parents give allowances and go from that to being given a big lump sum by student finance with no guidanace and it takes you out of reality a little bit.

“Money problems can have a big impact on your uni experience when you find yourself without any money to go out with. I was taught by my parents to save money but I wasn’t taught how to set up bank accounts or any of the important adult stuff”

Sophie Paul, a third year Psychology student said: “Uni affects our financial lives a lot as it leaves us only being available to work weekends as well as needing to pay rent. It also leaves us having to choose between work and your social life. You sort of teach yourself while you’re at uni how to manage your finances”

Maisy Plater, a graduate from BIMM Brighton said: it took me a good while to come to terms with budgeting. Once I got a job, things picked up a little but I found over the summer all my money was going on rent. The major thing I struggled with the most was having money left over to do a regular food shop which meant I ended up living the typical student life of pasta and noodles.”

Some companies are also following ClearScore’s lead in helping students with their finances.

Barbara Cox from Bloom Finance Group says they’re launching a unique set of managed accounts to manage payments, bills and repair credit.

She said: “There are many scenarios students have issues with. Here’s our top 3 and how you can avoid problems:

  1. Budgeting: Have your money or loans come into one account and then split into envelopes so you prioritize your bills and spread the leftover money for food, etc.
  2. Rent: If you’re in a shared housing then make sure you budget rent as above and your flat mates do the same.
  3. Credit cards: Pay off the monthly gull amount on your card to avoid charges and spiralling into debt.”