Living with inflation and the rising cost of living
For months now, there has been an abundance of news about the continued rise in inflation, interest rates and the cost-of-living. It may appear that there is little that can be done about this on an individual level, but there are many opportunities to reduce cost and consumption and take advantage of student funding, offers and discounts to make considerable financial savings.
Here we have highlighted the most relevant support and practical suggestions for making your money go further.
What support is available?
|SUPPORT AVAILABLE||HOW TO ACCESS IT|
|Student Support Fund: designed to help alleviate unexpected financial hardship that may affect your ability to study or support yourself. Awards from the Support Fund an be used towards unexpected living costs of £1,500 - £3,000 depending on your circumstances.||Applications for the Support Fund will re-open on 24 October 2022. Find out more and apply|
|Clever Cuisine Eating Plans: the student financial support team have a limited number of free eating plans it can offer to students during term-time for up to 11 weeks if you are in unexpected financial hardship. These meal plans provide access to home-cooked meals including the University's all-you-can eat locations.||Enquiries for specific discounts to meal plans can be made to email@example.com. Students can also be referred via the Welfare team, RUSU Advice specialists and the Chaplaincy|
|Essentials Cupboard: set up and designed to give in the moment support and can provide three to four days’ worth of essential items including food with recipe ideas, household items and personal care.||Enquiries for access to the Essentials Cupboard to be made via firstname.lastname@example.org or book an appointment to talk with one of our advisers.|
|Digital Supermarket Vouchers: We have a limited number of £50 supermarket vouchers available if you are struggling to pay for essential items and feed yourself.||Please enquire via email@example.com or book an appointment to talk with one of our advisers|
How is the University keeping costs down on campus?
Continuing to make campus more affordable by freezing costs and making it possible for students to make savings.
- University accommodation costs are set a year in advance and include all utility bills and council tax as well as some insurance.
- Clever Cuisine Meal Plans are open to all students in the University and there are a variety of plans including partially catered options covering various options from three meal swipes and five hot drinks each week which can be used at any time to three meals a day (21 meal swipes per week). A number of locations such as Eat at the Square operate all you can eat, offering great value for money for a varied meal.
- All Meal Plans include free hot drinks saving students even more and can be used outside of meal times.
- Cafes on campus will no longer charge for milk alternatives when you purchase a hot drink, smoothie, or milkshake. Available milk alternatives include Oat, Soya, Coconut, Lactose Free
- SportsPark offers a variety of membership options. The VO2 membership of £20.50 per month includes unlimited gym and classes. Membership is via flexible direct debit payment scheme that you can cancel anytime you like.
Average living costs for students in Reading
The below cost-of-living figures are put together by the Student Financial Support team using the National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) Higher Education Support Fund Guidance by region, it incorporates living cost ‘trigger figures’ used in the Standard Financial Statement and using localised information specific to Reading.
This offers a guide for the cost of living and studying during 2022/23
|Expense||£ per week|
|Food and household bills||50.00|
|Mobile phone and Internet connectivity||8.00|
|Books and Stationery||13.00|
|Clothing and personal care||18.00|
Earn while you learn
One way to invest in yourself and meet your bills is to work part-time during term-time, and potentially full-time in the University holidays. As well as paying the bills, your work experience will help you develop your skills and learn more about what you want from work. Recruiters love to see people with part-time and short-term experiences applying for them too, so it’ll help you secure more interviews later in your life too.
View Careers webinars on finding work, earning money, freelancing and hustles to help you identify what to do, and how to do it:
- Finding work & earning money – UK students
- Finding work & earning money – international students on a Student visa
- Freelancing and hustles - making money through self-employment
You can find jobs on campus via Campus Jobs, and part-time work off-campus via MyJobsOnline. There are lots more ideas for where to find work in the videos.
If, after you’ve watched the videos, you want to talk your options through with someone you can book an appointment with one of the Careers Consultants via MyJobsOnline
What is Campus Jobs?
Campus Jobs is the centralised service that provides part-time work opportunities across the University of Reading campuses. There is a wide variety of jobs available including, but not limited to, Bars & Dining Assistants, Student Ambassadors, Student Content Creators, Reading Scholars Mentors and Administration Support roles.
All the jobs are flexible meaning you can decide how many hours you can work without impacting your studies. The rates of pay vary depending on the role and the rate of pay will always be clear from the job advert. You can register and view the latest roles and find out more about applying, and becoming a Campus Jobs worker
Further Information, advice and support
Keep yourself informed and up to date with the latest financial landscape, help others and gain access to money saving tips, discounts and offers.
- Blackbullion is available to all current students providing online advice and support on money related matters.
- The Student Financial Support team are here to help with your financial questions, whether its regarding your tuition fee or maintenance loan, Bursaries and Awards or advice on how we can support you if you are experiencing unexpected financial difficulties.
- RUSU Money Advice Service all students have access to RUSU's free Specialist Money Advisors, trained and experienced in offering confidential, independent advice and information on all money related matters.
- Turn2Us simplify grants, support and funding for students.
- Money Advice Trust's offer a range of support and advice including debt management.
- The Money Charity highlight savings opportunities for students.
- National Debtline 0808 808 4000 offer support and ways to avoid slipping into debt.
- StepChange Charity: 0800 138 1111 offer free debt hep and advice.
- Citizens Advice Bureau: 0808 223 1133 offer specific advice on managing the cost of living crisis.
- Save the Student pulls together the top offers from discounts sites available to UK students.
- OLIO connects neighbours with each other and with local businesses so surplus food can be shared, not thrown away.
- Help for households from the government, see if you are eligible.
Suggestions for reducing costs, consumption and making savvy savings in all aspects of your daily life.