What To Do If Your Finances Are Affecting Your Mental Health
With the current cost of living crisis and rent, bills and everyday items soaring in price it’s understandable if you’re feeling worried about the coming winter and beyond.
Being a student and being in charge of your own money for the first time is tough, but it’s even harder when the whole country is struggling and the cost of living is going up and up, while financial support and income stays the same.
How is the cost of living crisis affecting students?
Our research shows that the average student starts off £7,000 in debt each year, thanks to student loans not rising in line with the cost of living and rent and electricity prices soaring. As a result, 60% of students have turned to part-time jobs on top of doing uni full-time to try and make up the costs. This extra work on top of uni work, socialising and downtime can be detrimental to the mental health of many.
55% of students with part-time jobs confirmed that money worries had an impact on their studies while 74% of students with part-time jobs said that money worries had impacted their mental health as did 67% of students without part-time jobs.
The students we spoke to also admitted that financial worries had an impact on their relationships with significant others or family, their friendships as well as their sex and dating lives. This financial strain is more likely to impact those from low-income backgrounds who are twice as likely to think about dropping out of uni due to money-related concerns.
How much does the average student spend per month?
The average student monthly maintenance loan is £422.50 while the average outgoings are £992.10, which is a £569.90 difference that students have to make up.
Research shows that the average rent per month for students is £606, while grocery shopping for 1 costs £125.67 monthly. As of September 1st 2022, research from British Gas shows that the average cost of energy bills in a 4-bed house split between tenants is £104.44. Other monthly costs include wifi, phone bills, takeaways and eating meals out, water bills and bus passes.
Where to go for help if you’re struggling with your mental health due to your financial situation
58% of the students we surveyed said that they were not confident about where to turn for support if they were struggling financially. Here are some of the places you can turn to if you’re struggling with your mental health due to the cost of living crisis.
Places to turn for support
- Your personal tutor or university lecturers– they can help with coursework deadlines and flexibility around workloads
- Your students’ union – there may be dedicated teams to help support students through financial worries as well as help you apply for coursework extensions due to mitigating circumstances
- Your GP – for general mental health support
- Your university counselling service – they can either talk to you about your worries or refer you to an external mental health support team
- Disability support – if you’re eligible to apply for the disabled students’ allowance
- University and college hardship funds – check here to see if you’re eligible
- Search here to see if your university has set money advisors that you can talk to
- National debtline – online tools and webchats to help you discuss your financial worries, plus a cost of living hub with information around making the most of your money and dealing with debt
- Stepchange – for debt solutions and confidential advice
Mental health websites and helplines
- Student Space from Student Minds – phone, text messaging and email support for students suffering from mental health problems or concerns about uni
- Samaritans – call 116 123 for free 24/7
- Nightline – most unis will run a confidential Nightline service
- Mind – call 0300 123 3393 for support
- HOPELINE UK — call 0800 068 41 41
- Shout – text shout to 85258 to talk to someone via text message 24/7
- CALM — call 0800 58 58 58
Don’t forget that at Student Beans we have plenty of discounts to help offset the cost of living on essentials such as grocery shopping or student essentials from brands such Iceland, Wilko, WH Smith, Kortext, The Times, Specsavers, Virgin Media and many more.