Being a student is synonymous with penny pinching, freebie finding and digging for discounts. Unsurprisingly, managing money at university is often a new experience, with many students facing difficulties with funds at some point in university life. Sometimes these difficulties can be more significant and prolonged, the cost of living crisis being one such example.
The cost of living crisis is affecting households in the UK and beyond, and, as a result, students may find themselves with even less funds than usual. Whether that’s reduced contributions from family members or a decrease in cash due to the increasing costs of everyday items.
When we’re anxious about something, its common to try and avoid thinking about it in an attempt to keep difficult thoughts and feelings at bay. The same goes for when we experience money worries, we’re more likely to keep those worries to ourselves. However, this can actually serve to make our anxiety and stress worse.
Sometimes we feel shame when thinking about money worries, which further push us to try and hide the problem or avoid talking about it with others and seeking solutions. We may also feel guillty talking to friends and family about money if we fear they are struggling financially.
Here are Dr Tara’s top tips for navigating the cost of living crisis:
- Try reaching out and talking to someone about your money worries
- Check in on your friends and peers, they may be struggling too
- Remember, the cost of living crisis is impacting us all in some way – you are not alone. This may make it easier to start conversations about money and concerns.
- Put a pen to paper and write down your worries or identified problems, this can help alleviate some of the stress you may be dealing with
- Many universities have resources and hardship funds available to help their students during money crises. Talk to your university about your options for financial and emotional support. Talking to someone who can advise on money worries has been shown to positively impact problem solving and reduce shame around money worries. If your ability to study is being impacted by money worries, it is important that you reach out for help.
- Remember your wellbeing baseline and look after yourself. Eat nourishing food, hydrate well and move your body. Take some time out for yourself when you can, and engage in your hobbies to provide some respite from thinking about money worries.
If you’re worried about money and debt, here are some great resources:
P.s. If you’re a Nido resident, make sure to download the Nido App and check out the Wellbeing Hub for more wellbeing resources curated with Dr Tara Quinn-Cirillo.