Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Kenneth Fox

Close to half of college students struggle to afford living expenses, according to a new survey carried out by the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU) and spunout.ie.

It found that 40 per cent of students sometimes struggle to afford living expenses, while 7 per cent say they struggle all the time.

The survey also found that 88 per cent of those surveyed worry about money and 40 per cent are concerned about paying for rent/accommodation.

Finding and keeping a job, travel expenses, paying rent, as well as college fees and books, were some of their biggest financial concerns.

In order to cover third level expenses, the majority (71 per cent) plan to work part-time, followed by a mix of support from parents (59 per cent) and the student grant (40 per cent).

When it came to financial topics, over a quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed said they do not have much understanding at all. When asked what areas they would like to know more about, nearly two thirds (60 per cent) said they’d like to improve their money management/budgeting skills.

Financial advice

When it comes to understanding financial topics, over a quarter (26 per cent) of those surveyed say they do not have much understanding at all.  Over half (52 per cent) have some understanding, while 20 per cent said they have a good understanding.

The majority of students (72 per cent) go to friends or family to learn more about finance, followed by news websites and social media.

As part of the Money on Your Mind campaign, young people are encouraged to access the Youth Information Chat service where they can talk to a Youth Information Officer who can answer questions and point readers in the right direction.

The service is available through spunout.ie/question.

Speaking about the survey, Kiki Martire, director of spunout said: “The Money on Your Mind survey clearly shows that the majority of third level students feel worried and stressed about their finances.

“Relying on a combination of familial support, student grants and part-time employment to fund their education, almost 90 per cent of respondents say they feel stressed about money.

“Being able to connect with others and access the activities you enjoy is a mental health issue. Not everyone has people they can turn to for information on managing their finances, so providing trustworthy information that isn’t full of jargon is very important to the financial wellbeing of young people.”

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