Edinburgh most expensive city in UK for students to live finds survey

Edinburgh is now the most expensive city in the UK for students to live, a survey by Royal Bank of Scotland has found.

Outgoing costs for students are 29 per cent higher than last year but Edinburgh is the only city in the UK where student spending outweighs their income, according to the student index which looks at lifestyle and spending habits.

This year has shown that household bills have more than doubled for students – but a quarter of students felt that their universities do nothing to help with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

Students in the capital have the lowest of all the cities ranked in monthly term-time income of £934 but their total monthly spending is at £949.

Edinburgh is the only UK city where student spend outweighs their income PIC: Chris Ison/PA

Edinburgh students are also the least likely to combine studying and working during the academic term, while Glasgow University students report the highest levels of stress.

Cardiff was named most affordable student city with below average rent prices combined with higher-than-average term-time incomes.

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Almost nine in ten, 88 per cent, said they have made lifestyle changes with most opting to slash the amount they spend on items bought online.

Supermarket spending was the single biggest monthly bill at £76.29 on average each month.

To make ends meet almost half said they’ve swapped to own-brands while 43 per cent said they were buying fewer takeaways.

But while supermarket budgets have tightened students are spending an average of 63 per cent more on going out than the previous year, following the end of Covid restrictions.

When it came to budgeting, more than a third have found themselves running out of money by the end of term –up by eight per cent since 2021.

Laura Behan, head of Royal Bank student accounts, said: “Despite the cost of living increasing dramatically, we’ve not seen that hit students quite as hard as may have been expected this year.

"Rents were set well in advance of the academic year and inflation increased much later into the academic year. However, with the cost of living increasing, especially as we look towards the start of the new university year in September, it is vital that students properly manage their finances.”