Four in 10 students struggle to afford living expenses, survey finds

Total of 71 per cent plan to work part-time to cover costs, survey finds

More than half of the students surveyed were anxious about travel expenses, finding and keeping a part-time job and missing out on social occasions

More than half of the students surveyed were anxious about travel expenses, finding and keeping a part-time job and missing out on social occasions

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Four in 10 college students say they struggle to afford living expenses, while 88 per cent report worrying about money, according to a new survey.

An online study carried out by youth website SpunOut alongside the Irish League of Credit Unions found that young adults in higher education stress about finding a job, travel expenses, rent and affording college fees and books. Most Irish colleges charge an annual student contribution, which can be up to €3,000.

Of the 1,026 respondents, 88 per cent were concerned about money, while 40 per cent stress about money all of the time. Seven per cent said they struggle all of the time to afford living expenses.

More than half of the students surveyed were anxious about travel expenses, finding and keeping a part-time job and missing out on social occasions.

Are you about to begin a third-level course and trying to find accommodation?

Rent and accommodation expenses, college fees and the cost of books and materials were concerns for 40 per cent of survey respondents.

To cover the costs, 71 per cent plan to work part-time, while 59 per cent will rely on some support from parents and 40 per cent will use a student grant.

A quarter of students surveyed said they did not have much of an understanding of financial topics, while 60 per cent said they would like to improve their budgeting skills.

The Irish League of Credit Unions and SpunOut have launched a new information series aimed at addressing the financial knowledge gap among 18-25-year-olds. The campaign encourages young people to reach out with financial queries to SpunOut’s youth information officers through a new online chat service that went live on Tuesday morning.

SpunOut director Kiki Martire said the August survey clearly showed that the majority of third-level students felt worried about their finances.

Ms Martire said it was “very important” that young people could access trustworthy information on managing their finances.

The Irish League of Credit Unions’ head of communications, Paul Bailey, said the guide, published on spunout.ie, would provide “simple, jargon-free” financial information and support for young people.