22/12/2014 08:09 GMT | Updated 20/02/2015 05:59 GMT

Students Spend £170 on Christmas

cost of christmas

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The festive season will cost the average university student £170 this year, according to a Save the Student survey.

That's roughly £300 less than the general UK population, but £9 more than students in 2013. £119 of this will be devoted to buying presents for family and friends, with £51 left over for getting merry.

77% of students admitted that they will struggle financially this Christmas, with many spending beyond their means. Despite this, only 57% have saved any money to tide them through this money-tight period.

With retailers ruthlessly encouraging us to part with our cash (or credit card) all year round via never-ending sales, and seasonal promotions such as 'Black Friday', it's not hard to understand the saving challenge.

Students love a good deal and many feel the pressure to 'keep up with the Joneses' (whoever they are), no matter how tight the purse-strings.

This all just reinforces the importance of learning how to balance the books and plan out budgets ahead.

Student christmas survey

Female students seem to feel the squeeze more than most, with 79% of them worried about financing their lifestyle over Christmas. This is not helped by the fact that they spend £14 more on gifts than their male peers.

In the nationwide survey of 2,166 students, almost one-in-ten struggling students are still preparing to splurge £200 - £300 on Christmas presents. In comparison, just 7% of their financially independent counterparts fall into the highest bracket.

Whilst young women are spending more on gifts during the festive season, the guys are instead planning on splashing out elsewhere - the survey revealed they would be spending an additional £7, compared to the girls, on socialising.

Aside from the gender divide, of course there are some interesting variations across regions and even subjects. For example, only 72% of Maths students in the South East claimed that they would find Christmas taxing, compared to 85% of Arts, Media & Design students in the North West.

christmas wordcloud

Popular student money saving ideas this year included Secret Santa, 'Black Friday' bargains, group Christmas dinners and homemade gifts.

As ever, I would encourage students to sleep on any big purchases (I'm not talking beds) before splurging out, regardless of how good a deal might seem.

With the next student loan installment due in January, it might also be wise to set a New Year's resolution (or budget) to ensure it lasts the whole semester!

Merry Christmas!