The UK is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, and each year tens of thousands of students enrol in universities to live, learn and work in the capital.
Despite being one of the most expensive places in the world to live as a student, London more than makes up for it by offering stellar education and networking opportunities, excellent transport, culture, travel and entertainment.
According to International Student, aside from university fees, rent, groceries, and entertainment are often the three most significant student expenses. This is dependent on where you shop and stay, as well as how much socialising and partying you plan on doing. A solid budget and knowing your financial limits will help keep you within budget every month. Fortunately, there are also ways to make living in London more affordable on a budget:
- Avoid the tourist traps
Save money and time by steering clear of all the major tourist traps and explore the road less travelled in some of London’s parks, beer gardens, lidos and galleries. There are also loads of cheap shopping opportunities with bargain cafes and boot sales around the city.
- Travel light
Get an Oyster card to travel around London on the Underground, overground, riverboats and on red London buses. As a student, you may also be eligible for a Student Oyster card which gives you 30% off the price of adult-rate travel cards.
- Get a bicycle
London’s public bike-sharing scheme is a great way to save cash, and with Santander Cycles you’ll find over 750 docking stations dotted around the city, with rentals starting from just £2 for 24 hours!
- Choose accommodation wisely
Distance from your uni and travel budget will play a big role in helping you narrow down your London student accommodation choices. Rentals right in the centre of London are pricer than the outer areas but will put you in close proximity to several universities and colleges, so you’ll save on travel costs.
- Use your tech
Downloading apps to help you budget and shop smarter is the best way to save cash while living in London. Stocard enables you to load up a bunch of loyalty cards into one convenient app and allows you to make purchases using loyalty points. Yolt helps you link all your bank accounts into one convenient dashboard to help you budget.
- Flash your student card
Plenty of restaurants, bars, retailers and entertainment spots will offer great student discounts, and discount providers like UNiDAYS can help you find the best deals.
Shopping smart, researching discounts and spending wisely, will ensure you not only have money in the bank for a rainy day, but can even treat yourself when the mood strikes!