The most expensive and the cheapest cities for students

23 October 2018 | University Advice | Guest Author

NatWest’s Student Living Index 2018 looks into which university cities are the most affordable and what students spend the most on, from household bills to how much they expect to spend on a pint of beer.  

Expected costs of popular items

  • A pint of beer is expected to cost the most in Belfast at a £7.20 – nearly £4 more than the UK average
  • To get a cheaper pint, head to Leicester and Durham where student expect to pay just £2 and £2.20
  • A spirit mixer is expected to cost the most in Belfast at £9.10, followed by Oxford at £8.70. The cheapest is in Sheffield or Aberystwyth at £2.50
  • Belfast come top of the list for coffee too, at £6.10 – £4 more expensive than Swansea and Southampton
  • A night out is expected to cost the most in Glasgow at £25.60, closely followed by Brighton. The cheapest night out is in Durham, where student expect to pay just £11.50

Actual spending on activities and amenities

  • Despite only expecting to spend £2.70 on a pint and £3.40 on a spirit mixer, students in Newcastle spent the most on alcohol, at £45.70 each month
  • Glasgow students are right to expect a costly night out, with an average of £37.70 being spent each month on partying
  • Durham students were right in expecting a cheaper night, with just £19.30 being spent each month
  • Despite Brighton students anticipating a pricey night out, they only spend £21.50 each month
  • Students in London on average spent the most each month on eating out, including coffees, at a gigantic £60.24 each month
  • Norwich students only spend on average £24.25 eating out each month
  • Belfast students on average spend £64.79 each month on their car whilst Durham students only spend £8.23

So where is the cheapest city?

  • Belfast seems to be most expensive for a pint, spirit mixer, coffee and car costs, with one of the highest spends on eating out. That said, it also has the lowest monthly rent of all university cities
  • Durham is cheap for a pint, a meal out and nights out but one of the highest for monthly spend on academic study
  • Students at Durham are, however, spending the least on public transport and household bills
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