A new study has found that a third of young people are too frightened to check their bank balance.
The findings come during national student money week,and it’s feared that money worries are putting many off from taking up higher education. Concerns have also been raised about a generation struggling with debt as they try to get an education in the hopes of securing their financial future, The Guardian reports.
Student’s financial struggles were also found to be having a major impact on their health, with 46% of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming they lost sleep over their financial situations with more than a third believing they’d go into debt this year.
Chris Coates, 23, a sports management student at Coventry University, told The Guardian he and his friends often prioritised convenience over responsibility when it came to spending money.
It’s a vicious circle – the longer I don’t check it, the higher the pressure when I do finally get round to taking a peek. My money management has led to some pretty embarrassing situations – my card actually got declined on a first date once and she ended up having to pick up the tab. Not a great start.
The National Union of Students (NUS) vice-president for welfare, Shelly Asquith, said the study’s findings line up with the NUS’s research into student debt, which found more than 50 per cent of students struggled to cover basic living costs.
With rents on the rise and grants being cut back, we are facing a national crisis of student poverty. This is not just having an impact on students’ wellbeing, but on who can and cannot access education. At NUS, we are making the case for more generous financial support and calling for action on the living costs students face every day.
Only last month ministers were accused of a ‘legislative sleight of hand’ after they used an executive order to scrap maintenance grants, which had helped half a million of the poorest students pay for university life.
Despite huge opposition to the cuts, with students taking to the streets to demand ‘grants not debt’ and an attempt by Labour to block the proposal, students who start their studies from September 2016 will now have to borrow the money they need to support themselves.
David Webber, the managing director of Intelligent Environments, a developer of online banking software, which commissioned the study, said banks need to do more to help young people keep track of their spending.
This ‘ostrich effect’ is one that must be turned around if young people are ever to regain control of their own finances. Greater visibility around spending habits will make people more aware of their bank balance, making it harder for them to go into debt unnecessarily.