The University is very mindful of the cost of living pressures being experienced by our staff and we believe it is important to pull together as a community and look out for each other during this difficult time. As well as support being offered by government and public services, we want to play our role, so this webpage is dedicated to exploring ways you can save money, make your budget go further and access help and advice. We are a Living Wage employer, in July we announced one-off payments to support colleagues. Of course, this issue is not isolated to the University, and is being strongly considered at a national level, so we are also keeping abreast of any developments and additional support that may be available.
Our list of employee discounts gives details of a range of local, high street, national and online discounts available to you as a member of staff at the University.
We have a variety of catering outlets and shops on campus with reasonably priced, healthy options. The Fresh and Market stores have price locks on 175 essential products, as well as price matches with the Aldi supermarket on more than 60 others.
Each week the Fresh store will also stock ingredients for a meal to Feed four people for £5, so you can cook low-cost tasty meals with friends or family. You can find the recipe and instructions on the Campus Services blog.
For the 2022/23 academic year, we are also ensuring that our outlets offer a hot meal for £1.50. These will be vegetarian and include options such as baked potatoes or chilli noodles.
The University has 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 staff and students.
You can also use the Olio food-sharing app; 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.
These measures are part of our University-wide drive to reduce food waste and meet our Sustainable Food Commitment.
If you find it easier to budget using cash each week, you can pay with cash at the till in the Fresh shop.
Working on Campus
Many of us are now working from home at least one or two days a week. With utility costs rising, some colleagues may wish to work on campus more frequently to reduce their home bills. Our hybrid working model sets the minimum number of days that you should work on campus, but you can choose to work more if you so wish and local arrangements allow.
There will be several things to weigh up, such as costs associated with travelling or other benefits associated with working from home, and this may not be a solution for everyone.
Please discuss with your line manager in the first instance to decide what works best for you. Changing working patterns now won’t affect your ability to move back to agreed home working patterns in the future.
As a member of staff you may be eligible for a loan to cover the purchase of a season ticket for public transport.
The University also supports low cost active travel and there are a number of walking and cycling routes up to the campus, where we have secure bike storage and showers.
You can also make use of loan schemes for cycle to work, or to purchase an electric bike or motorbike.
You could also save money on fuel and maintenance through lift sharing, which also gives access to a car share parking permit.
Borrow from the Bath Library of Things
There is a ‘Library of Things’ hosted by Share & Repair in the centre of Bath. Members can borrow items including tools, garden, baking and camping equipment and more. Find out further information on their website. You can also take broken items to a Repair Café where a repairer can check them and try to mend them.
If you are working part time and are looking for additional work then you can sign up to be notified of new roles being advertised.
Wellbeing and Counselling
We understand that the rise in living costs may be stressful or causing you additional anxiety. It's important to know that you're not alone and that help is available. If you're struggling, or know of others who may be struggling, please reach out and ask for help.
- As staff you can access University wellbeing and counselling resources and services.
- The charity MIND gives information about the relationship between money worries and mental health, with suggestions on how to address them.
- The NHS has advice on coping with financial worries.
- The Money and Mental Health Policy Institute is a charity working to break the link between mental health problems and financial difficulty and has useful information and resources.
- The Money and Pensions Service offers an online guide to help you start conversations about money with family and friends.
If you need urgent wellbeing support or are concerned about the wellbeing of a colleague or student, please refer to our Urgent or emergency wellbeing support resources.
Further advice and support
Cost of living
- Citizens Advice has a range of up to date advice and support on help with the cost of living.
- Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) offers cost of living support on their website, including grants to help low income households and information about monthly pop-ups with energy advice experts. Bristol City Council also offers cost of living support on their website.
- MoneyHelper provides free, impartial help that’s quick to find, easy to use and is backed by the UK government. They have useful budgeting planning tools as well as other money health checks.
- Money Saving Expert (Martin Lewis) shares many ideas and tips for saving money, understanding your consumer rights and highlighting many offers and discounts.
- Mercer have developed a toolkit with practical personal financial guidance and a variety of helpful calculators that can assist you in keeping finances on track and also a Financial Wellbeing guide.
- Working Families, the UK's national charity for working parents and carers, shares cost of living advice and support targeted at families.
- Breathing Space is a government scheme which could help relieve some of the pressure and stress caused by being in debt.
- Step Change has a team of debt experts that provide practical advice and support you to achieve long-term financial control.
- The Debt Advice Foundation is a registered national debt advice and education charity offering free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about loans, credit and debt.