Frugal Freshers Ditch Booze for Books

By Credit Confidential, PRNE
Thursday, September 29, 2011

LONDON, September 30, 2011 -

Despite university students planning to spend more than a billion pounds on alcohol this year, the threat of a double-dip recession is making Britain’s freshers trade the bar for books, finds new research from Credit Confidential.

The study reveals the economic situation has brought about dividing lines between first years and older students, with new starters slashing their alcohol spending by over 40 per cent compared to freshers in previous years.

Rising inflation and worsening graduate prospects has changed freshers’ spending habits, with money previously spent on going out now being channelled to academic texts and food shopping. ¬†First years’ spending on books has increased 25 per cent in the past year, while outlay on food has increased by over half in the past two years.

Paul Lewis, Vice President of Credit Confidential, said: “The continuing economic gloom is having an impact on how students spend their cash - with many freshers choosing to open their wallets at the bookshop instead of the bar. These findings fly in the face of the commonly held view of student life. With fees set to increase next year, and a tough job market facing new graduates, it may be that students are becoming more focussed on their studies.”

Britain’s weak economy is also limiting term time employment opportunities for students to help fund university life, with more than half (52 per cent) not having a job. As a result, many are getting cash and credit from other places, with a quarter (25 per cent) of first years and more than one in three (36 per cent) third years borrowing from family and friends to cover the costs of student life. Debt is now so common among students that almost one in ten (8 per cent) students now see it as a ‘rite of passage’ and one in six (15 per cent) say they have no choice but to use credit to get by.

Lewis continued: “It is concerning that so many university students have no other option than to borrow heavily in order to pay for the day-to-day things. Borrowing funds from family and friends can place a great strain on relationships. The alternative of relying on credit is potentially more damaging, building up expensive debts for the future that can be difficult to repay and have a negative impact on personal credit ratings.”

Andrew Farmer, +44(0)20 3451 9403 /


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