VoucherCodes.co.uk, has discovered almost half of students (47%) have less than 10% of their loan remaining following Christmas celebrations with family and friends, causing over a third (36%) to confess they need to borrow money from their parents until they receive their next student loan.

With the average student expecting to spend over £140 so that they can join their family in celebrating Christmas, four in five (81%) admit they have to significantly cut back during December in order to afford the festive season. The average student will spend £34.70 simply on travelling home for the celebrations, £64 on gifts for their loved ones on Christmas Day, and an additional £42.50 on socialising with friends from home.

With typically less disposable income and a heavy dependence on their loan, the season of giving can be a difficult time for students hoping to embrace the festivities without the means to do so. Two out of five students (43%) even say they consider Christmas an inconvenience because it’s expected they will spend money, causing a third (32%) to confess they sign up for a part-time job in December specifically to afford the festive season.

This pressure to spend money is arguably at its peak when buying presents for their loved ones, with almost a third (29%) saying they spend over £100 on gifts despite three-quarters (75%) saying their family and friends understand they can’t afford to spend too much. This generosity quickly bites back, however, as money is at such a premium that three out of five students (60%) admit they’d rather receive cash than traditional presents from their family.

Student finances at Christmas

I search for discounts when buying Christmas presents


My family understand I can’t afford to spend much


I’m grateful for not having to pay for bills while I’m home


I would rather receive money than traditional presents


I don’t like that I’m expected to spend money at Christmas








Christmas shopping is particularly tough for students. Indeed, with almost a third (29%) having less than 20% of their student loan remaining when they start searching for gifts, four out five (81%) admit they target sales and discounts when deciding what presents to buy. Half (46%) even awkwardly joke that being home from university should be their parents’ present.

Anita Naik, Lifestyle Editor at VoucherCodes.co.uk, said “Christmas is a special time of year to celebrate the festivities with family and friends. For students, it can mean so much more as they try to break free from the stresses of university life and briefly enjoy the perks of being surrounded by familiar faces, not least Christmas dinner and not having to pay bills! However, the season of giving can also bring unwanted pressure and become a heavy burden for students looking to nurse their loan through to the next semester. “