Parents in the dark about students’ secret spending

26 Sep, 2016

New findings from Endsleigh’s 2016 Student Survey show that many parents are in the dark about their child’s spending habits, as more than a quarter (28%) believe their child never uses an overdraft, when in reality, less than 2% of students surveyed said they never use the facility.

The study of over 4,300 students and parents also reveals a majority (70%) of parents believe their child does not have a credit card in their first year of studying, despite 94% of students saying they do own one. And those who have a credit card make good use of it – over half (58%) of students in this group said they use it always or regularly.

Likewise, students are failing to budget properly, with over a quarter (26%) admitting their first student loan instalment lasted less than a month, whilst almost two-thirds (60%) of students admitted it only lasted a couple of months. The first loan payment is usually made just a few days after registration in move-in week.

Two out of five (41%) parents admit money management is their main concern for their children’s first year of university; and the majority (70%) believe their child also worries about finances. Although managing their money ranks high on many (44%) students’ list of concerns, it comes second after achieving academic success, followed by applying for jobs after graduation (40%).

To add further potential worry, the survey finds UK households are hit by £683.30 of unexpected costs when a student goes to university. Food is the highest of these – for almost a third of students and a quarter of parents; followed by course book costs which took nearly a fifth of students and a quarter of parents by surprise.  After food and course book costs, the price of travelling to and from university was unexpectedly costly for over one in ten students and one in five parents.