Many students have received their first instalment of student loan, and would have clapped and shouted in joy. You are now officially not broke. You can pay for food, society memberships and lots of other important things.
Or you could buy something that was previously out of budget because your parents did not think you actually ‘needed’ it, and then live off beans on toast for the rest of the term. It seems like many students do this with at least one student loan instalment, and really who can blame us.
Apple did not randomly decide to launch its new iPhone 6 in the UK in September. They strategically plan when people can afford such things. Like how long people have to save until it can be bought as a Christmas present, or at what time students go back to University with money in their bank accounts.
Launching gadgets in January; after Christmas present buying, New Year’s parties and higher heating bills, would not be beneficial to any company. The student body can be a lucrative market. The dozens of fast food flyers and discount vouchers flooding through letterboxes are evidence of this.
At the same time, there will be a time when money is running low and every penny counts. You should always pay for important things first. As silly as that sounds, it is always tempting to spend now and top up funds later, especially if students have jobs.
With student jobs, as they are usually part-time, casual or zero hour contracts, it is not always guaranteed how much money you will receive each month. Pay days are also not the same for each company or job. Paying rent, bills or membership fees first and topping up going out funds is always the way to do it.
It will become apparent, once the novelty of student loan wears off, that students are actually not well-off at all. People with full-time jobs have to pay rent and bills, the same as students who are receiving a lot less money.
It can be argued that student rent is lower than normal rent, or that each individual pays less because of shared houses. However, in proportion to the loan received, it is still a large chunk of money.
There is a misconception in society that students are scrounging money for no reason, coming from individuals who ‘pay their taxes for the NHS and public services, not for student loans.’ They are actually paying for students to study Midwifery, Biomedical Science and Nursing so that there still is some sort of an NHS in the future.
These students will then be paying back the loans and their taxes. It is one big circle of life. However, due to job uncertainty, differences in pay and outsourcing, how much of these loans will actually be paid back is unclear. There could be so much debt in the future that student loans will have to be scrapped, or Universities could have to give back a percentage of fees to the government.
Maybe we should be starting to save for our pensions? Or maybe we should bend the budget and buy the iPhone 6, laptop and bridge camera now before we really cannot afford it after University. What have you, or are you planning on buying with you student loan? Tweet @DemonMedia #TheCWord