“Scary” university living expenses cause more student debt stress than tuition fees

New Research from Epson EcoTank reveals that more than 78% of students experience stress

“Scary” university living expenses cause more student debt stress than tuition fees

“Scary” university living expenses cause more student debt stress than tuition fees

New Research from Epson EcoTank reveals that more than 78% of students experience stress

For most young people, attending university signifies the start of their independent life, filled with fun, friendship and broadening knowledge. However, most aspiring university students are not aware of the pressures that university life can bring. New research commissioned by Epson for its EcoTank printer range, shows that more than three quarters (78%) of UK students experience significant levels of stress at university. While the transition to a new lifestyle, exams, deadlines and tuition fees are the usual triggers, high living costs are equally troubling.

The research revealed that 64% of UK students worry more about living expenses than tuition fees and this figure rose to 69% among 18-19 year olds. For 54% of students the cost of living at university is ‘stressful’, 41% describe it as ‘worrying’ and 24% describe their living expenses as ‘scary’.

With 55% of university students getting stressed about making ends meet financially and 62% stating that the cost of living at university is higher than they envisaged, it is clear that students can easily find themselves in a situation where every penny counts.

While some expenses are simple to cut out, it is the essentials, such as accommodation, food, transport and even printing, that blow a hole in their budgets. In fact, 64% of students agree that the cost of printing from their university library or print shops is very high.

Despite the unsettling outlook, there is a lot that parents and aspiring students can do to prepare themselves ahead of starting university. The top recommendations from current and former university students are having a realistic understanding of the costs of living and putting yourself forward for work experience to help secure a well-paid part time job alongside studying.

There are also some less obvious ways that students can make significant savings on their daily expenses, from getting the best deal for their mobile phone contract to swapping bus fares for a bike. Learning how to cook and shopping for groceries in the evenings when supermarkets price-down many items can make a substantial difference in a student’s budget, especially if combined with going vegetarian for a few days each week.

Some of the savvy ways to save money on life expenses in the long run include making wise choices and investing upfront. For example, students may pay for a fitness app to replace expensive subscriptions at big gym chains or buy their own coffee maker instead of spending money on daily visits to cafés and coffee shops. Similarly, over a third (40%) of students recommend buying a personal printer before starting university. 

In fact, three quarters (75%) of students who had a printer at the start of university agree that it helped them to save money when compared to printing at the library or in a print shop. 60% state that having a personal printer was a weight off their minds.

Annika Fagerstrom, head of consumer products at Epson UK says: “We know how much stress students are under, but it is surprising to find out just how much they are concerned about covering their living expenses. It is important that they put the right resources in place and prepare ahead of their university life to ensure they handle what can be a stressful transition. Part of this will of course be learning how to manage budgets, but it can also include making wise investments that are cost-effective in the long run, such as getting a printer with a refillable ink tank. Our EcoTank range delivers a low-cost printing option and can also help students save time and money as the printers come with three years’ worth of ink, giving the user the freedom to print for much longer between refills.”