Kippers or Red Herrings?
Recent news has made much of parents stretching their finances
to cover costs for their twenty and thirty something children.
Debts and high property prices have forced many offspring to
return home, tail between legs, under the attractive new
marketing term of "kippers": kids in parents' pockets eroding
Many graduates have developed significant debts from
university and have accumulated further debt in the competitive
graduate market. Student life provides an incubated protection
from the reality of financial concerns and fresher fairs become
increasingly populated by banks, mobile phone companies and other
brands wishing to tap into the students' borrowed finances.
It is true that many young people have got themselves into
very uncomfortable financial positions because of careless
spending. The ethics of student finance are somewhat dubious with
many financial products branded "student", not necessarily
offering the best deal. Most shops, bars, cafés and
restaurants on university campuses are fully commercial
enterprises designed to make profit, without wanting to fit
around a student's pocket. Tuition fees, whilst significant, are
not the biggest problem for students.
Most students run up debts because of inadequate life skills.
They're not used to doing their own washing, they don't sew, some
can't cook and most have never been in charge of their own
finances prior to university. If it's broke, just buy a new one.
One male student reported preferring to buy take-away food,
rather than cook his own food, also often buying new shirts to
save washing and ironing old ones. An American exchange student,
who had never been taught to do her own cooking, used some of her
$90,000 loan to live on take-ways, convenience meals and
restaurant food whilst studying in London.
If 16-18 year olds were forced to take a gap year before
university and undertake a period of community work and life
skills training, it is unlikely that they would graduate with the
same level of debt. Just like binge drinking, smoking in public
places and increasing levels of obesity, debt accumulation is
part of a distorted value system. The kids deserve some of the
blame, though the government also needs to take an interest.
There is no reason, even with tuition fees, why even the poorest
students cannot go to university, but expectations of a suitable
standard of living have to be lowered, with a genuine concern for
a suitable standard of education at the heart of the matter.
To get the best deal on financial products: http://www.moneynet.co.uk/
Information on student finance:
Citizens Advice Bureau http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/
Rachel loves garlic. She is very good at raising one eyebrow
and giving disapproving looks, but she is not a witch. Rachel
writes for the personal finance blog Cashzilla:
MORE RESOURCES updated Sat. October / 20 / 2018
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