2022 has seen the highest rates of inflation in over 40 years. The price of the weekly food shop, utility bills and petrol are all increasing. You may have also seen that the 99p McDonald’s cheeseburger is no more. Students are particularly feeling the affects of the cost of living crisis. Financial worry can be a massive burden on your overall student experience at University, and it is not right for students to be feeling anxious during this uncertain period of economic hardship.
You don’t have to worry about utility bills when living in student accommodation. At DIGS, all bills are included in the flat rate you pay for your room. This includes WiFi, all utility bills, including water and electric, and free contents insurance. As students, you also don’t have to pay council tax.
Here are some ways you can get be more savvy with your money and access support:
Make changes to your spending habits
- The term “budgeting” can be quite negative, the first step is to understand your spending habits. From there, you can be conscientious to how you spend your maintenance loan. You don’t want to blow all your student loan at once during fresher’s! Take advantage of fresher’s freebies at University. If you go out with your friends for a food shop or a night out, split the cost of a taxi on the way back to your accommodation. Drink before you go out so you don’t have to buy as many drinks at the club, pre drinks are the way forward! When you make a purchase, make sure you use your student account if the retailer accepts it. You can sign up for student discount through Totum and Uni Days.
Finding work alongside your studies
- Getting a part time job whilst at University gives you more flexibility with your finances. When Student Finance England drops your maintenance loan throughout the academic year, put a bulk of that into a savings account. That way, you can have some of your maintenance loan as a reserve and live off the income you get from a part time job. Of course, work to study balance is crucial so you don’t overwhelm yourself, but it really helps if you have some additional income aside from your loan.
Sell things you no longer need
- An easy and hassle free way to make a bit of extra money on the side is to sign up to selling platforms like Depop and Vinted. You can sell anything, so long as you have an internet connection! Post your items on these apps. On Vinted, you keep 100% of your earnings. All those impulse clothing purchases that you find you don’t wear, you can sell them. One mans trash is another mans treasure.
Contact your University about hardship funds
- If you are experiencing financial difficulties during your studies, contact your University for support.
- Each University will set aside money for students in need of emergency funds (hardship funding).
Look into grants and bursaries
- See you if you are eligible for any extra funding alongside your Student Finance.
- DSA (Disabled Students Allowance) can help students who have a disability, learning difficulty or students who are experiencing mental health struggles.
International Students and cost of living
- For international students, the conversion rate between home currency and British Pound Sterling is always fluctuating.
- International students may be on tighter budgets when it comes to money management.
- Your International Office at University will be able to support you with financial difficulty.
- Check out our International Guide to help you navigate life in the U.K, including all the essentials you need to arrange when moving to the U.K.
All students are being affected by sky high prices. There are concerns that maintenance loans are not increasing enough to account for inflation, as well as wages for part-time jobs alongside University studies. For many of you, it will be your first time being financially independent away from home, setting up a student back account and managing your money.
Over 50 Students Union’s (Including Huddersfield SU, Hallam Union and Wolverhampton University) have come together with National Union of Students (NUS) to demand action from the government over the student cost of living crisis.
Sign the petition for the cost of living crisis here