Money troubles come as standard with student life, it seems — and even more so as it’s announced the total bill for student loans will reach £1 trillion over the next 25 years, while the interest rate on loans is set to hit 6.3% in September.
As a result, reports suggest, many students are resorting to increasingly extreme measures to make ends meet — particularly those whose course requirements mean it’s impossible to get a part-time job.
Research from the Gambling Commission shows that two-thirds of students gambled in the last month, with over half of those admitting they do so to make money. One in eight has missed lectures due to gambling.
This echoes the recently published findings of the National Student Money Survey, which suggest 11% of students turn to gambling, drug trials or ‘adult work’.
And a recent report revealed the increasing number of young women — including students — engaging in ‘naked cleaning’ work, whereby they’re booked for £20-an-hour and upwards to clean clients’ houses topless, in lingerie or completely naked.
Stacey Turner, managing director at online student bill-sharing tool Split the Bills, said: “The fact that many students are putting themselves in exploitative, sometimes dangerous situations to help fund their time at university shouldn’t be taken lightly — it shows just how much financial pressure they are under, with overall costs set to rise even further.
“It’s worrying that, out of unavoidable need for extra cash, students are doing things they wouldn’t necessarily choose to do otherwise, which in addition to the money worries could affect their mental health in the long run,” she added.
A number of student support sources offer tips on how to earn extra money safely. They include:
- taking part in online surveys
- reviewing music, websites and apps for money
- blogging or starting your own website
- no-risk matched betting
- selling second-hand textbooks and/or your course notes
- mobile phone recycling
- entering competitions
- selling your photos to image library websites
- selling clothes on eBay.
To find out more about these money-making side lines, Save the Student provides useful advice.
Stacey also advocates sharing money worries with friends and housemates and finding solutions together.
“If you can find ways to minimise the stress of paying bills while at university, and potentially save money in the process, you might feel less inclined to resort to unsafe ways of making extra cash,” she added.