How to tackle the student cost of living crisis


How to tackle the student cost of living crisis

If you study in the UK you will be aware of the current cost of living crisis that is affecting millions of people across the country, including students unfortunately. The recent rise in prices and high inflation has resulted in many students struggling to even pay for their food which is completely unacceptable.

You may be thinking that there is nothing you can do to prevent yourself from struggling in this economy, with food bills now increased by 20%; however, that is not the case. With planning and budgeting, you can manage your money and avoid being left with next to nothing to survive off.

In this blog, we have put together some tips to help students move in the right direction during the current cost of living crisis. Continue reading to find out how to save that dosh!

Bite Back and Squeeze More!

In this section, we will discuss how to fight high prices in basics such as food, heating, water and electricity, and even luxuries such as new clothing.

Food shopping

Instead of falling victim to high food prices, don’t be afraid to try out alternatives that are cheaper. You never know, you might end up liking the alternative more than the original product itself!

The best way to find value items for a small amount is to shop in supermarkets that offer low-cost prices, such as:

- Aldi

- Lidl

- Asda

- Tesco

Don’t buy the brand, buy the product! What we mean by this is for example if you are buying washing detergent you don’t need to buy brands like Persil or Ariel, instead, use the supermarket's own products. When it comes down to it, the products both do the same thing but one is just 1/3 of the price!

There are also many ways to gain student discounts and deals on food by simply signing up to the following linked student discount sites:

- Totum

- Student Beans


- International Student Identity Card

Heating, Water and Electricity

If you are living in a house with other students, you may realise that not only has inflation hit food, but it has majorly affected the prices of heating, water and electricity leaving many people deciding between money for food or a hot shower.

So, to save you from having to make difficult decisions, here are a few tips that should reduce how much you’re spending on these bills.

- Use libraries, student areas or cafes to study and charge your devices. This will prevent you from having to use up more electricity at home and save you money as it’s completely free!

- Save water by giving yourself a limit to how much time you spend in the shower. Any longer than five minutes isn’t necessary and is a waste of water, money and time!

- Waiting to wash your clothes until it’s a full load and also washing at lower temperatures will help reduce how much you spend on water, whether you use a launderette or have a washing machine where you stay.

- In the winter it can get cold, especially if you’re studying up north in Bolton. Reduce how much you spend on heating by layering up and investing in some fluffy blankets, clothes and socks that will last throughout your student years. Or simply turning your thermostat down by 1 degree could save you £65 or more per year!

- When it comes to electricity, the rules are pretty simple; make sure you turn everything you’re not using off! No unnecessary lights or appliances need to be left on as you’re only going to be making your bills higher.

By following these tips, you will notice the difference in how much you spend on these things after making money-saving changes.

Luxuries and Student Discounts

As a student, you should be able to treat yourself occasionally for all the hard work you put in… whether that’s by buying yourself a new piece of clothing, make-up or game that you’ve wanted since it came out! However, the current cost of living crisis is making it harder to do these things due to students not being left with enough disposable income. Well, if you take a look at the student discount sites that we recommended earlier, you’ll see they probably have discounts on some of your favourite brands. These include:

- Nike

- Adidas

- Asos


- Boots

- JD

- Gym Shark

- Oh Polly

- Foot Asylum

And many more exciting brands!

Did you know that you can even get discounts on things like:

- Phones and other tech

- Jewellery

- Cinema tickets

- Travel

- Home appliances

- Books

You can also find companies that offer student discounts discretely. Not every brand likes to display that they offer student discounts, so you won’t find it on these discount sites. However, if you do a bit of research, you’ll be able to find those hidden gems to help you and your friends get cheaper prices.

You can also use sites like the Student Pocket Guide or Money Saving Expert that regularly upload new discounts for students that may not show up on discount sites. If you don’t want to miss out, definitely sign up for them.

Bolton Uni are #HereToHelp

Despite the money-saving tips given today, you may still find yourself in a position where you’re still struggling; and that’s ok. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to reach out for help. That’s what we’re here for.

Check out our cost of living page for further assistance by clicking here.

At the University of Bolton, we want all our students to enjoy their learning experience as well as gain a quality education. We know that money issues can have a serious effect on students’ mental health, therefore we will do anything we can to support you from start to finish of your university journey.

If you decide to reach out for support, simply contact our Student Funding Team which can provide you with further information or book you in for a one-to-one appointment if they feel you need further help. We also provide a drop-in service where students can come by between the times of 10:00 – 12:00 and find out if they are eligible for our Student Support Fund.

#UniAsItShouldBe, where we put our students first!

For any further information contact us at or 01204 900 600. We are always happy to help.





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We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant