Cost of living resources

Cost of Living Support

The United Kingdom is currently undergoing significantly increased cost of living expenses, the Union are acutely aware of the impact rising bills will have on student life.

We are here to help, and are working closely with the University to ensure support is available for RGU students. Take a look at some of the below helpful support initiatives and resources.

If you need to discuss your situation with someone, please remember that you can contact the Union's Student Advice department by booking an appointment at this link, alternatively the University has a number of welfare and support services available here


Breakfast Club

As the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact households across the UK, the wellbeing of our students and staff remains a priority. We are continuing to look for ways to provide support to our community, and we are pleased to announce the launch of our Breakfast Club (funded by the University) which will provide a free breakfast, once a week, to staff and students. Our Breakfast Club will be offered every Tuesday between 8.15am and 9.30am, in a safe space within the Students’ Union space on Level 3 of the Riverside Building.

As well as providing breakfast, the Breakfast Club will also create an avenue for staff and students to meet, connect and socialise in a warm environment. We look forward to welcoming you there. The breakfast menu will include, cereal, toast with jam and butter, tea, coffee and orange juice. We ask all users of the service to be respectful of others, follow the queuing etiquettes that will be put in place by the Aramark team, and to appropriately dispose of any waste.


RGU Go Green: Kaim Shop

Kaim Shop is RGU Go Green's student-led second-hand shop where you can find clothes, household items, books, study materials and much more for zero cost or minimal cost. It is located on level 3 of the Union with opening times being announced weekly on Facebook and Instagram (@rgugogreen@_kaimshop_).

Kaim Shop has various pre-loved essentials you will need during your time at RGU ranging from clothing to stationery. Additionally, you can decide to donate items. For example if you are graduating and moving away, you may wish to donate kitchen ware, clothing, books, or items which you don't need any more.

With new students arriving every September, they often have to buy themselves many new items for university life. Each product that is bought new has a big impact on the environment as it takes carbon, water, and raw materials in the production process. KaimShop provides second-hand products for students, reducing this environmental impact.

Donation Rules:

  1. Only donate items in great condition, which you would still use/wear.
  2. Do not donate any underwear, cosmetics and toiletries.
  3. Electronic items must be in working condition.
  4. All clothing should be washed (if there are still any stains, we will not take it)
  5. Please mark on the bag if there are any sharp items inside.

Warm spaces on campus

Throughout the university we offer warm social spaces that students and staff alike are very welcome to use. The library in Sir Ian Wood Building is currently open from 08:00 – 22:30 Monday to Thursday, 08:00 – 20:00 on Fridays and 10:00 – 20:00 at the weekend. The tower has four levels of library facilities including heated space, comfortable seating and group areas to work and socialise in.

The Students’ Union, located in the Riverside Building, equally offers an abundance of space to relax in. Over three floors you’ll find study pods, sofas, our friendly Union staff plus free to use pool tables and gaming consoles. Opening hours are 07:00 - 20:30 during term-time and 07:00 - 18:30 during summer months.

There are also canteens, heated spaces and showering facilities across campus which everyone is both welcome and encouraged to make us of. You can also power your devices anywhere on campus.


Microwaves on campus and value meals

From a food and drink perspective there are microwaves provided in all University buildings on campus, so your pre-made meals can be heated free of charge. The Union team have also worked with Eat RGU to ensure value meals (under £5) are available for students on a daily basis at a lower cost, and ‘grab bags’ for a cheaper rate at the end of the day when catering services have surplus food.


Too Good To Go

Every day, unsold food from your favourite restaurants, cafés, and shops goes to waste simply because it hasn’t sold in time. Too Good To Go lets you buy and collect ‘Magic Bags’ of food at a great discounted price directly from businesses, including the RGU catering outlets!

How to use:

  1. Download the app ‘Too Good To Go’ from the app store.
  2. Follow along the instructions on screen to create an account.
  3. You can opt to allow for location services or input a location. You will then be provided with all the businesses in your area who are providing Magic Bags that day.
  4. Click the business you want to buy your Magic Bag from. Here you can find out what type of items your Magic Bag might contain. 
  5. Click reserve and pay.
  6. Head over to the business’ location at the time advised and pick up your order!
  7. Visit our Instagram for a follow along guide of how to order your own Magic Bag.

Free gym membership

If you are a current student at RGU, you have access to a free membership for the academic year at RGU SPORT! Your membership includes unlimited access to the gym, swimming pool and group exercise classes, as well as discounts on our climbing wall and bouldering room, sports hall activities, RGU SPORT On Demand.  

Exercise is beneficial for mental, physical, and social wellbeing, which in turn will support you during your academic studies. Get your annual free membership and enjoy unlimited access to the gym, swimming pool, and group exercises class.

How to activate your free membership:

  1. Visit MyRGUSPORT
  2. Select ‘login/register’
  3. Select ‘I am RGU Student/Staff (member/non-member)’
  4. Enter personal details (you must register using your RGU student email address)
  5. Read and accept the Terms and Conditions and watch the gym orientation video
  6. Verify the automatic email sent to your email address
  7. Visit the Memberships webpage to activate your free student membership. Select the ‘Free Student Membership’, click ‘Buy Now’ and follow the steps
  8. One complete, you will be able to book into your sessions and activities via MyRGUSPORT Bookings

If you have any difficulties activating your student membership, please email RGU SPORT at rgusportenquiries@rgu.ac.uk

By activiating your free gym membership at RGU SPORT you will also get access to showers! Stay fresh and clean taking hot showers 


Emergency food

There are many local charities who offer support if you ever find yourself in urgent need of important necessities such as food, toiletries, and clothing. The Union is working to support Aberdeen Cyrenians, whose services have provided support to students in need and to those across the local community:

Aberdeen Cyrenians is a local charity who offer practical support for emergency food, clothing, toiletries, plus advice on benefits and hardship funds, access to phones, and more. They provide essentials to help you sustain yourself, giving you time to get back on your feet. If you require their support, visit https://www.weareac.org/food-essentials and complete the form.

If you wish to support and contribute towards these local services, who provide vital help to members of the community, including students, the Union has introduced food donation points on campus where students and staff can drop off much needed food items. You can find out more about these donation points and the most-needed donation items by clicking here.


Welfare Products

The Union provides a range of free welfare products to ensure that students have the necessary items to be safe, secure and supported throughout their time at RGU.

All products can be ordered online for delivery or collected from the RGU:Union office on campus.

If you have any questions about the products listed, or if you would like to pick some items up in person, please email hello@rguunion.co.uk.


Digital Provision Scheme

Applications are open for the University's Digital Provision Scheme, which aims to alleviate digital poverty by providing students with the necessary digital equipment to engage in learning. Students meeting certain criteria can apply for a loan of an HP laptop for the duration of their studies. Please ensure you read the full webpage and guidance document before submitting an application.

For more information please click here.


Smart spending

It isn’t always easy sticking to a budget as a student but there are ways you can keep on top of your spending habits.

Tracking your spending habits - Creating a spreadsheet of your finances can help you budget and determine how much money you have available to spend each month.  Additionally, it can help you identify areas you could cut back on.

Student discount - Being a student comes with lots of perks, including student discount! Apps such as UNiDAYS put exclusive deals and discounts from a variety of leading brands all in one place. Additionally, you can get yourself student discount cards such as TOTUM, which provides lots of offers on big brands, food and essentials, travel, beauty, and lots more. It is important that you grasp all the student deals that these big brands have to offer whilst you can.

Second hand shopping – It is recommended that you buy your course books and materials second hand wherever possible.  RGU has the Kaim Shop located in Union where you can find various second-hand items such as clothing, kitchen utensils and stationery. Additionally, you can find second-hand course books online through sites such as Amazon.

Accommodation costs - If you're sharing a student house, you may be responsible for bills such as gas, electricity, and water. To ensure you are getting the best deal and keeping your costs down, you should use comparison websites. It is recommended that you set up direct debits for regular bills, so they're automatically paid each month which will help you avoid any late payment charges. 

Student banking - There are various additional services that can provide you with support for banking and debt purposes. All high street banks offer dedicated student bank accounts, that can help you to save money with freebies and discounts and pay less for borrowing money in emergencies or if you overspend. For advice regarding student bank accounts visit the link here.

Debt - If you find yourself in debt during your time at university, do not panic! Seek help as early as possible as your situation may be quickly resolved with the right guidance. You can contact professional debt charities such as the MoneyHelperStep Change or the National Debtline, where you'll receive free and impartial advice.


Financial planning

The Union is engaging with Money Advice Scotland with plans to run free student workshops which would cover topics such as budgeting, money management, borrowing, financial planning and general advice on the cost-of-living pressures.

University services, such as ResLife, are staffed by full-time welfare professionals and offer advice on a range of issues including finances, crisis management and health and wellbeing.


Travel to campus

Bus Travel - RGU has great public transport links from the city centre, so it is important you take advantage of current student discounts on travel. In January of 2022, the Scottish Government launched the Young Persons’ (Under 22s) Free Bus Travel Scheme where under 22-year-olds travel for free. All you need is a National Entitlement Card (NEC) or Young Scot NEC with the valid free travel entitlement with you whenever you want to take the bus. If you don’t already have this card, you can apply for this at getyournec.scot.  Mature students can download the digital-only 26-30 railcard, costing £30 per year while also offering a third off fares, saving you around £251 a year.

Bike Hire - You can rent a bike for as cheap as £20 for one semester or £40 for the whole year (September-August), plus a £40 deposit on the bike and equipment. Find out more here.


University funds

Emergency loans are available on a discretionary basis to assist students with an immediate financial crisis. These are not grants and must be repaid nor are they a solution to long term underfunding or cash-flow problems. As these funds are extremely limited, the maximum loan that can be made is capped at £600. Emergency loans are available for international and domestic students, check if you are eligible here.

The Discretionary Fund is available for UK students in financial hardship at the time of making application. The fund makes awards in the form of a grant which does not need to be repaid. Awards are intended to assist students with basic living expenses, study-related costs and travel to and from university. Funds cannot be used for the payment of tuition fees. Find out more here.

The International Fund has been set up to assist international students who, since starting their course, unexpectedly find themselves in financial difficulty. It is accepted that all students have some financial difficulty, but given the limited nature of the Fund, it will only be possible to assist those in most financial difficulty. Find out more here.

The International Students Emergency Fund aims to help students with basic living costs such as food, utilities and rent.   Students must be able to demonstrate they are in financial difficulty and provide evidence of having applied to the Home Office for a form of leave or extension of right to stay in the UK.The fund is not available to support the payment of tuition fees. Find out more here.


Resources

Below are some handy resources which have some top tips!

Leaflets:

Home Energy Scotland - Stay In Control Of Your Energy Bills

Home Energy Scotland - Imagine Being Cosier and Saving Money

SCARF - Save Money Stay Warm Info Flyer 1

SCARF - Save Money Stay Warm Info Flyer 2

 

Videos:

Energy Saving Trust - Understanding Your Energy Bills

Top stories from Radar

[PODCAST] Radar Interviews: Shed Seven

Arvind chats to Rick Witter, lead singer of the band Shed Seven, as they promote their No.1 album "A Matter of Time".

 
Ticket to Solidarity
Airplane flying over a series of red placards with slogans "Defend our Jobs" and "Strike!". A blue s

Aviation Unions Join RMT in Summer Strike Action

 
Rural Disconnect
Radar Media: White background with two rails crossing over each other.

Signaller Strikes Leave Scotland Stricken