Money is always an issue at the moment; I spoke to a university student (who wishes to remain anonymous so for the purpose of the article I will call him Chris) who finds that he is living off of tinned food most months because he can’t afford anything else.
Chris has a job and attends university, a lot of people would think that he would make enough to sustain himself comfortably, however Chris is a compulsive spender;
“I find that every month when I get paid I just need to buy things, whether it be new clothes or fast food. By the second week of the month I’m usually skint.”
I asked Chris why he feels the need to spend his money straight away and he says that he finds it hard to say no to people. He doesn’t like letting people down so will go out a lot and spend money on needless things;
“I work in retail and this doesn’t help because I find myself buying a lot of clothes that I don’t even end up wearing.
I like to treat myself but sometimes I just forget to check my account, I often find that I do not want to look at my account in the fear that there is no money in there.”
Chris is probably not the only student out there who has these problems, it is the beginning of a generation of people who are going to be cursed with debt for much of their lives.
With university fees, rent payments, living payments along with all your other luxuries such as phones, gym memberships etc. it is easy to see how debt can mount up.
I asked Chris how much debt he was in and he had this to say;
”I’m in two overdrafts quite significantly. I have missed a few rent payments so I’m currently behind on them and I usually struggle to pay my phone bill. I also owe my friends some money, they understand, but I really want to pay them back”
I then asked him how long does he think it will take for him to get out of debt;
“A while, it’s hard to say because I don’t know whether I will get a job straight out of university. I can stay where I am at the moment but it’s not the best pay.
With summer coming up, I want to go away. If I do get money I can see me spending it, instead of helping myself out of debt.
So it will be a long time before I start paying anything off.”
All this debt can be worrying especially for a student;
“I often find it hard to get to sleep, there was a time when I was threatened with debt collectors, at this point in my life I didn’t sleep for days and my degree and friends suffered because of it.
I don’t want to go back to that place in life; at the same time I find it hard to start paying things off. I know I have to though, so I think I should start saying No.”
Chris continued to tell me that he is going to seek help from advisors at his student union.
If you are like Chris and in money problems there is a lot of help out there. If you are a student most student unions offer financial guidance and help. If not then there is the money advice service that gives you free unbiased guidance with your money.