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Cost of living advice and support for students

How to take charge of your spending as a student at Bath, and where to find support if you need it.

Coins representing the cost of living
Help and advice on how to make the most of your budget.

With increases in prices putting pressure on the cost of living, knowing what support is available and where to get value for money is more important than ever.

In this update, we’ll explore ways you can save money while you're studying at Bath, make your budget go further and receive help and advice this academic year.

Comprehensive advice is available from our Student Money Advice service, and you may also find our guide on Considering the cost of studying at University and our tips on Managing Your Money helpful. Blackbullion is an easy-to-use, award-winning online learning platform to help you take control of your finances and make better financial decisions.

You can also read our guide to saving money and the planet, which shows that living sustainably doesn't have to be more expensive.

If budgeting is affecting your mental health, you can also get support from our Student Support Wellbeing Service and other mental health services.

If you're a member of staff, you can read the University's advice on managing the rising cost of living.

Hardship Fund and financial advice

If you are struggling with money, please don’t hesitate to reach out as support is available. We are here to help.

Our Student Money Advice service can offer free, confidential help via appointments or drop-in sessions with an adviser.

If you are in financial difficulty, you may be eligible to apply for a non-repayable grant from the 鶹ý Hardship Fund. If additional support is required in the 2022/23 academic year, we have made provision for double the previous year’s hardship fund budget.

If you have a short-term cash flow problem, you may also be able to receive an interest-free, repayable loan.

The SU also has a confidential, independent for students.

If you find it easier to budget using cash each week, you can pay with cash at the till in the Fresh shop. You can also load an amount of cash onto your Library card at the Fresh till, to spend at the other outlets around campus and avoid going over your budget.

At the Post Office you can also send or receive money, withdraw cash and check your balance, and send or receive parcels without having to travel into town.

Food

We have a variety of catering outlets and shops on campus with reasonably priced, healthy options. Microwaves are available to heat up your food from home in The SU building, lime tree and Fountain Canteen, and the Virgil Building in town.

For the 2023/24 academic year, we are also ensuring that our outlets offer a hot meal for £1.50. These will be vegetarian and may include options such as pasta and pesto or chilli noodles.

We have also introduced the Bath Go app where you'll earn loyalty points to spend on food and drink. You'll also get your tenth hot drink free when you buy nine, and your tenth piece of fruit free when you buy nine pieces. Bath Go is not accepted in Fresh, and The Plug and Tub.

Students also can get a range of discounts, including 10% off in the Fresh shop on campus with a Totum card. The Fresh and Market stores have price locks on 200 essential products, including staples such as bread, milk and pasta so you can do your weekly shop without needing to go into town. Fresh also offers the Co-op '5 for £6 freezer deal', as well as a number of other promotions including a lunchtime meal deal for Fresh. Both The Market and Fresh accept cash.

As part of our plans to tackle food waste, we’ve also signed up to ‘Too Good to Go’. Download the app so you can reserve a discounted bag of food, which may otherwise go to waste. The bags could contain items including fresh fruit and veg, chilled prepared foods, meats, cheese, sandwiches, confectionary, biscuits and snacks. Once you’ve reserved a bag, you then collect it towards the end of the day from The Market shop on campus.

Outside the Fresh shop on the Claverton Down campus, and at the Virgil Building in the city centre, we have set up Community Fridges where you can take or donate any unwanted in-date food to share with other students and staff, and avoid food waste.

You can also use the which enables you to reduce food waste and save money; if you have spare food you can list it for others to collect, or pick up items from your neighbours to build food-sharing communities.

There are also useful sources of advice available online. Both and have advice on how to save money on your food shop with the British Dietetic Association providing . The free app from gives affordable, easy menu ideas and easy to follow shopping lists.

Utility bills

There are several steps you can take to spend less money on utility bills.

You can use the showers available to students on the Claverton Down campus and in the Virgil Building in the city centre, to avoid using hot water at home. If you have a you can also access the showers in the STV.

The and have tips on how to use less gas and electricity, where small changes may be able to save you a lot of money.

The is an independent charitable trust set up to help support people with their energy bills no matter which energy company you are with.

You can also attend a to get answers to your questions about saving energy in the home, keeping warm in winter and lowering fuel bills.

Ofwat provide suggestions as to the many ways you can around your home.

In certain circumstances you can receive financial support from the government towards utility bills. For more information please visit www.gov.uk/get-help-energy-bills.

If you are struggling to pay your utility bills, you can apply to the Hardship Fund for assistance.

If you are living in University-managed accommodation your utility bills (water, heating and lighting) are included in the cost. Please continue to reduce the amount of energy and water you use wherever possible, to reduce your carbon footprint and demand on natural resources.

Warm places to study

There are plenty of places to study in the warm in winter, both on campus and in the Virgil Building and in town.

You can also use any of the study spaces to charge electrical items such as your phone and laptop, to save on energy bills at home.

Bath & North East Somerset Council also has a in and around Bath, where you're welcome to spend time.

Accommodation

We have a range of University-managed accommodation to suit different budgets. We have also more than tripled the amount available in bursaries to support students in our accommodation in the current academic year, compared with 2021/22.

The ResLife Team also provides advice on finding private accommodation, including a free contract-reading service.

Travel

Public transport is a sustainable way to travel in Bath. As a student you can apply for a range of depending on your travel needs. If you live on campus, you may not need a Term or Semester ticket.

If you are using the Day Ticket more than three times a week or the 2-Trip Ticket more than four times a week, then it is generally more cost effective to buy a Uni Year bus pass.

If you live in the West of England Mayoral Combined Authority or North Somerset Council region, you will receive a free month of bus travel throughout your birthday month. .

If you are travelling by train then you can apply for a for 1/3 off rail fares throughout Great Britain. For coach travel, the gives 15% off fares.

We also support active travel and there are a number of walking and cycling routes up to the campus, where we have secure bike storage and showers.

The SU also has loan schemes for .

Laptops, books and media for your studies

The University has a supply of laptops available for short-term loan, and we can also help with purchasing reasonably-priced laptops. There are also computers for free use in our Library, in the Virgil building and elsewhere on campus.

Before buying any textbooks for your course, check the catalogue from our Library that you can borrow at no cost.

You can also read thousands of magazines and newspapers for free through the PressReader App.

And if you need to watch broadcast media you can log into the using your 鶹ý account, for on-demand TV and radio for education.

Work opportunities

We understand that some students will get a part-time job while studying. The 鶹ý, which is a Living Wage employer, often has part-time vacancies available and the Students’ Union (The SU) .

The vast majority of retail casual staff on campus are current students and we pay great casual rates of pay; we also have a number of casual supervisor jobs, which offer increased responsibility and increased pay.

Please consider the balance between your studies and work commitments. If you are struggling financially, please seek financial advice, and check to see if you could be eligible for a scholarship, bursary or hardship grant. This blog from one of our Master’s students provides useful insight and advice on the .

If you are on a Student or Tier 4 visa, please be aware of the restrictions on the amount and type of work you can do, and seek advice from our Student Immigration Service through appointments or drop in sessions if you have questions.

Sports Pass

We know that lots of social and recreational activities cost money, so 鶹ý students can access a . This allows access to a host of facilities at the University’s Sports Training Village including our Olympic Legacy Swimming Pool; tennis, squash and badminton courts; athletics track; astro pitches; and indoor sports hall. Other activities, like gym membership, do have a cost, but look out for student membership offers.

The SU also run a social sport and activity programme you can get involved with for free. includes sessions of yoga, badminton, wheelchair basketball, running, HIIT and more.

And the SU offers .

Health costs

You may be able to save money on prescriptions via the or buying an .

We don’t want any of our students to worry about the cost of essential products such as tampons and sanitary towels. So we now provide free period products at various locations on campus; find out more about Free emergency period products for staff and students.

The Fresh shop now stocks menstrual cups for a zero-waste option. They cost under £10, you only need one and it will last for years, so it will quickly pay for itself compared to the ongoing cost of tampons.

The SU has launched a Gender Expression Fund, so gender non-conforming, nonbinary and trans students can apply for up to £50 to spend on gender-affirming items and services. This is a community led fund, which will not require information about your personal financial situation. .

Borrow from the Bath Library of Things

There is a hosted by Share & Repair in the centre of Bath. Members can borrow items including tools, garden, baking and camping equipment and more. on their website. You can also take broken items to a where a repairer can check them and try to mend them.

They're offering a 25% Student discount on all loans; you'll need to and select Student as the membership type, then show your valid student identity card when you pick up your first loan.

You can also have items delivered for a £2 charge each way; select the delivery option when you reserve your items.

Other useful sources of advice and support

Bath & North East Somerset Council also has available to assist the local community with rising costs.

There are 50+ tips on how to stretch your student loan via .

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