Living with inflation and the rising cost of living
The UK is amid a cost-of-living crisis. Prices are rising at rates we have not seen since the 1970s – energy, broadband, water, council tax, food, fuel and more. This is a guide to saving money to get yourself through this situation.
The University and Reading Students’ Union are working together to support you during this time. We have launched a Cost-of-Living Taskforce with Elizabeth, your Pro Vice Chancellor for Education & Student Experience and Sheldon, your 2022/23 Reading Students' Union President. Listen to Elizabeth and Sheldon explain how we are supporting you.
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 can be used towards unexpected living costs of £1,500 - £3,000 depending on your circumstances.||Applications for the Support Fund will re-open at the end of October 2023.|
|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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Students can also be referred via the Student Welfare Team, Reading Students' Union advice specialists and the Chaplaincy.
|Essentials Cupboard: 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 email@example.com 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. see our advice on Getting the Most out of your money.||Please enquire via firstname.lastname@example.org 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 and cover a variety of plans including partially catered 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). Several locations such as Eat at the Square operate all you can eat, offering excellent value for money for a varied meal. All Meal Plans include free hot drinks saving students even more and can be used outside of mealtimes.|
|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.|
|The SportsPark offers a variety of membership options. The VO2 membership of £24 per month includes unlimited gym and classes. Membership is via flexible direct debit payment scheme that you can cancel anytime you like.|
Earn while you learn
Consider working 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 will 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 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 of 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, but the rate of pay will always be clear from the job advert. You can register to view the latest roles, 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 it's 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.
- Reading Students' Union Advice Service all students have access to Reading Students' Union's free Specialist Money Advisors, trained and experienced in offering confidential, independent advice and information on all money related matters. Advisors can also support in applications to various support funds and offer debt advice and welfare benefits advice.
- Create a personal Budget Planner with Money Helper
- Turn2Us have a grants search on their website, so can help you to find any funding which might be available from trusts and charities. They can also offer information which may be useful to 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 help and advice.
- Citizens Advice Bureau offer specific advice on managing the cost of living crisis - speak to someone 0808 278 7819.
- 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.
- Too good to go is an app to connect you to local food stores and restaurants offering surplus food waste.
- Help for households from the government, see if you are eligible.
Support in your local community
Winter Watch is available to Reading residents who are on a low income and either over 60, have young children, have a disability or health concerns, have never lived independently, or struggle financially.
Citizens advice support and savings for the Reading area with suggestions for reducing costs, consumption and making savvy savings in all aspects of your daily life.
Suggestions for reducing costs, consumption and making savvy savings in all aspects of your daily life: