Top Tips for Student Groups in the Cost of Living Crisis

You’ve probably noticed that your energy bills, clothing, and even the Tesco meal deal price are hiking up, so it's important to be money smart. Hannah Hockin, your VP Sport and Societies has put together her top tips to help student groups get through the cost of living crisis.

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Photo of VP Societies and Sport Hannah Hockin stood by the Emily Wilding Davison buidling.

You’ve probably noticed that your energy bills, clothes, and even the Tesco meal deal price are hiking up. Despite being one of the best parts of uni, we know that joining a student group can be spenny (‘expensive’- I use the word spenny a lot). So, what does that mean for student group members in the cost of living crisis?

In general, it can be tricky to budget at university, and being part of a student group can be tough on the bank account. However, in my biased opinion, being part of a student group is the best experience that university can offer, and I don’t want anyone to miss out especially not from financial barriers.

My top tips for students part of (or thinking about joining) a club or society

  • Student discount, use it! Everywhere I go I always ask if they have a student discount. That 10% saves a lot. And you’re probably carrying your student ID card with you anyway so why not use it?
  • Travel. Got an external event or an away fixture? You can get a third off train tickets with a 16-25 railcard. Also, it’s a more sustainable way to travel so you’d be saving the planet. Car sharing is always a shout because you can split the petrol money.
  • Second-hand kit/costumes/merch. Check with your committee if they have spare equipment or even run a second-hand kit initiative. This will save you forking out money for brand new kit or merch which is very… spenny.
  • The Access Fund. The Students' Union can help cover up to £150 for the cost of membership, kit, essential travel, and competition costs. Find more about the Access Fund.
  • BUCS Universal Gym Membership. If you buy a gym membership with Royal Holloway, you will also have access to over 70 different university gyms. This will save you big bucks by avoiding another membership when you go home. Why not rep your Holloway merch in another London University gym and have your main character moment!?
  • Whilst we’re on the topic of gyms. The Royal Holloway Sports Centre has facilities where you can shower. So, after your gym session, shower at the gym rather than at home. This will definitely keep your water bill down.
  • Sporting scholarships. You’ve worked hard to excel at your sport, so get that extra support! You can find out more about scholarships.

What should I be doing as a committee member to support myself and other members?

  • Installment options for memberships. I understand it can be difficult to supervise who has paid and who hasn’t, but it makes your group more accessible!
  • Sponsorships. Some groups are receiving £200 from their sponsors. What’s stopping your groups from getting one?
  • Second-hand kit/merch. As previously mentioned, this is a great initiative! Reach out to old members to see if they have any old kit/merch that they no longer need or want.
  • Bring and share! Possibly run community-focused potluck events.
  • “Our membership is £100 but equipment and travel to training aren’t included”. If we do the maths, members will actually end up spending an extra £200 more than they intended. Do not hide these costs from your members! Honesty is the best policy.
  • Signpost your members to the Access Fund and the Financial Wellbeing team.

These are just a few of my top tips. I hope this helps and remember, there are always people to reach out to!