Second jobs and rising costs: Why Christmas isn’t that merry for skint students

If you’re a student in Sheffield and out of pocket at this time of year, the chances are you’re not alone.

New statistics released today show the average university student spends over £140 on Christmas.

This leaves almost half of students with less than 10% of their student loan, and many students at the Steel City’s two universities are among those feeling the strain, with many resorting to getting second jobs.

The data released today, which covers a sample size of over 1,000 and was carried out by Voucher Codes, also shows four out of five cut back on other December spending to afford the festive season.

A third of students surveyed (32%) said they sign up for a part-time job before and over the holidays.

JUS News spoke to a range of students at The University of Sheffield about their experiences of Christmas as a student and how they are managing their money.

Stuart McMillan, 21, who studies politics and philosophy, said it is a tough time of year for a lot of students – especially first years.

“Ultimately, students are having to get second jobs just to get by,” he said.

“To that I’d say campaign for fairer and cheaper accommodation, and also join a trade union.”

Stuart isn’t alone in acknowledging the struggles students face at this time of year.

Masters student Shuhong Biswas, 22, told JUS News he “definitely” spends more in the run up to the festive season.

Shuhong described the Christmas period as “uncertain” in terms of finances and, while he is not as worried this year, he has struggled with previous winters at uni as an international student who pays course fees upfront.

While most students are finding this time of year difficult, this is not the case for everyone.

Wonsuk, 18, a first year law student, said he had managed to budget well, and was not struggling for money as a result.

However, students like Wonsuk seem to be an exception to the unwritten rule which says students must spend – and struggle – more as Christmas draws closer.