Beans on Toast for Dinner Again?

Everyone knows that being a student is tough and getting harder, with not only the cost of tuition tripling, but also the cost of living continuing to creep up. What does that mean? Well, you’d better start saving, or else you’ll be eating beans and toast for dinner again. In a recent survey about the costs of being a student, 46% said that beans on toast was their go-to meal when on a tight budget.

Beans on toast might very well be a “superfood”, what with the nutrients (especially when combined with wholegrain toast) but that doesn’t mean students should be eating it every day. Some of the other most popular responses were cereal for all three meals at 18%, followed by 14% saying that their favourite low budget meal is noodles with butter. Other responses include lots of chips, fish finger sandwiches, and cheesy pasta.

More in-depth analysis of the data shows us that beans and buttered noodles are more popular choice for male respondents of the survey, and women prefer cereal. For the under 35s, cereal is the most popular choice overall at 28% identifying that they’ll eat it three times a day, whereas older groups prove that the British favourite beans on toast is a classic student dish.

Besides a varied diet and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, some other things that students have identified as having to cut back on include travel, clothing and fun activities. The under 35s said that one of the biggest sacrifices to make is participating in fun activities – 56% find it a struggle to have to cut these out, compared to 36% who find it hardest to stop shopping for clothing, and 20% who find travelling that most challenging to go without.

budgeting

Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rmgimages/4882450962/

It might not be a surprise that women acknowledge the difficultly in curbing their spending budgets for clothing, but it is interesting to note that more men find it harder to minimise their travel budgets: 31% of men, compared to 18% of women would rather spend their pocket money on travelling. Other sacrifices people found challenging to make were building a family and actually being able to living within the budget they’d set for themselves.

What does this mean? Well, going to university might not be as easy to fund as it used to be, and of course student living isn’t always the most glamorous, but with tuition and the cost of living increasing, making sure to get a head start on saving is a great idea. The survey data also shows that of the under 35s represented in the survey, the majority are either undecided (35%) about whether university as worth the debt they had to take on in order to finish, or thought it definitely was not (23%).

We can also see that with 72% of those surveyed between 18-34 not having any of their own savings, or their parents savings, to draw on for the cost of tuition and living expenses, it looks like beans on toast, buttered noodles, and old clothes are going to remain a common university experience for a long time to come.

Survey supported by Family Investments provider of the Junior ISA.

Bill Weston writes about his experiences as a student, and gives his views on how people can prepare for their own education and their child’s education. Bill believes that if you can afford it, saving for your child’s education will help your child afford to continue with their education. For information on saving options visit Family Investments, a provider of Junior ISA http://www.familyinvestments.co.uk/

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