Sussex town among the most affordable areas in the UK for students to live in

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A Sussex town has been named among the most affordable areas in the UK for students to live in.

The current cost-of-living squeeze is a real concern for students. Even during more stable economic times, students are known for their careful budgeting.

However, with rents rising sharply and the price of essentials like food increasing, financial pressures are even greater. Simply put, those starting university soon will naturally be thinking about the potential costs involved.

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To help students navigate the financial landscape, the research team at Deskup conducted a study to identify the most and least affordable UK cities for students to live in.

A Sussex town has been named among the most affordable areas in the UK for students to live in. Picture by Steve RobardsA Sussex town has been named among the most affordable areas in the UK for students to live in. Picture by Steve Robards
A Sussex town has been named among the most affordable areas in the UK for students to live in. Picture by Steve Robards

The study considered factors such as monthly expenditure on rent, going out, and alcohol, as well as average spending on transport, groceries, and other essentials.

Eastbourne is ranked fourth on the list of the cheapest areas for university students. Compared to Doncaster, which takes the top spot in this ranking, Eastbourne ranks 41st for rent, with rent being a hefty £1,000 monthly.

Although utility bills are cheaper (average £29.40 per month) than in Doncaster (£35.90), Eastbourne’s grocery expenses, such as food and drinks (£40), as well as monthly gym memberships (£32.60) and monthly cinema tickets (£52), are more expensive than those of Doncaster's (£30, £17.90 and £51.10 respectively).

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Doncaster is the most affordable city for students in the UK, with a total living cost of £802.60 including rent, bills, and groceries. Doncaster boasts the cheapest monthly transportation pass and is fifth for rent cists (average £525 per month).

Additionally, grocery prices and coffee options are easy on the wallet, keeping you fuelled for those study sessions. One caveat is the slightly pricier internet bill, averaging £35.80 monthly.

Burnley secures the runner-up spot for the most affordable UK city for university students. While rent costs place it seventh (£565 monthly), and transport passes rank ninth (£51.20), Burnley boasts even cheaper internet than Doncaster at around £30 a month.

The true champion for affordability in Burnley, however, is its access to low-cost food. From groceries to the occasional fast-food treat, and even weekend pub trips with friends, staying fed and entertained won't break the bank.

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Southend-on-Sea takes third place for affordability, with apartment essentials costing £854.5 on average. Monthly transport passes (£35) and utility bills (electricity and water at £127.50) add to its student-friendly budget.

Beyond the cost benefits, Southend offers nine parks for unwinding during exams, and ranks fourth for affordable beer – perfect for those post-study pub sessions.

Kingston-upon-Hull, Darlington, Blackpool, Bury and Cheltenham round out the top 10.

A spokesperson from Deskup said: “Students are renowned for their budgeting skills. It's therefore fantastic to see so many affordable UK towns and cities where university life doesn't have to come at a premium cost.

“This ranking proves a valuable tool for prospective students, helping them identify where in the UK their student loan will go the furthest.”

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