Navigating Student Life in London: 7 Money-Saving Tips (2024)

Our Social Media Ambassador, Kareena Rajani, unveils savvy strategies for students to flourish in London without overspending. From budgeting basics to leveraging student discounts and exploring affordable activities, discover how to make the most of your student experience.

Navigating Student Life in London: 7 Money-Saving Tips (1)

Living in London as a student can be an exciting experience, but it can also be financially challenging. From rent and transportation to groceries and social activities, expenses can quickly add up.However, with a bit of planning and smart budgeting, it's possible to enjoy everything London has to offer without breaking the bank.

In this blog post, we'll explore 7 practical ways for students to save money and make the most of their time in the city.

1. Create a budget:

The first step is to track your weekly expenses against your weekly budget, and yes, having one is very important.

Allocate a portion of your income or budget for essentials such as rent, groceries, and transportation, and set aside some money for savings and discretionary spending.

You might also consider using budgeting apps or spreadsheets to track your spending and identify areas where you can cut back. You will be surprised how much coffees add up to in one month, trust me.

2. Take advantage of student discounts:

Many stores, restaurants, and entertainment venues in London offer discounts for students. Always carry your student ID card and ask about discounts before making a purchase.

You must also sign up for student discount programs such as UNiDAYS or Student Beans to access exclusive deals and offers.

They have everything from 6 months free on Amazon Prime, to £10off your first food order, and include hundreds of other deals on fashion, luxury, eating, electronics, and travel. All you have to do is sign up.

3. Use public transportation wisely

Opt for a Student Oyster card or a 16-25 Railcard to save on public transportation costs. These cards offer discounted fares on buses, trains, and the London Underground.

Consider walking or cycling for short distances instead of relying on public transport, which can help you save money and stay active (do remember to not have your phone out while you walk).

You can also apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard, which can save you up to 30% off regular fares on London's transport network.

Buying weekly/annual travel cards for your trains/underground can also help you save if you plan to use public transport often.

4. Cook at home and meal prep

Eating out in London can be expensive, so try cooking meals at home whenever possible. Plan your meals for the week, make a shopping list, and buy groceries in bulk to save money.

It can be quite fun to get creative with your cooking and explore budget-friendly recipes.

Consider meal prepping on weekends to save time and money during the week.

Once you try meal prepping, there’s really no going back. And you’re going to be so proud of yourself for eating healthy and saving money. Two birds. One stone. You know what I’m saying.

5. Take advantage of free or low-cost activities

London is home to many free museums, galleries, parks, and events. Take advantage of these cultural offerings to explore the city without spending a fortune.

Look for student discounts on theatre tickets, movie screenings, and other entertainment options. Many venues offer discounted tickets for students with valid IDs.

There are also a lot of free events run by the students’ union, and a lot of free events and workshops can be found on an app called Eventbrite. Personally, I’ve never been disappointed by any of these free events.

6. Share accommodation and utilities

If there’s one thing about London, it’s that your utility bills can add up. Sharing accommodation with roommates can significantly reduce your housing costs. Consider renting a room in a shared flat or student housing to save money on rent and utilities.

In addition, be mindful of your energy usage to keep utility bills low. Turn off lights and appliances when not in use, and consider investing in energy-efficient appliances if possible.

7. Part-time jobs

Students' Union UCLhae a wide range of part-time jobs just for students. Part-time work could allow you to earn money as well as give you experience and the opportunity to meet new people.

Living on a student budget in London requires careful planning and discipline, but it's entirely possible to enjoy a fulfilling and enriching experience without overspending.

If you made it to the conclusion, here’s my bonus tip for you. It’s my favorite one, and one that I’ve been gatekeeping.

The "Too Good To Go" app allows users to purchase surplus food from local restaurants and cafes at a fraction of the original price, reducing food waste while also providing budget-friendly meal options. If I’m feeling too lazy to cook one day, I’ll order a surprise meal from one of the nearby restaurants at a fraction of the original price, and it’s always fun to see what meal you get that day.

With a bit of creativity and resourcefulness, London can be an affordable and rewarding place to study and live. Which was your favorite money-saving tip?

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Navigating Student Life in London: 7 Money-Saving Tips (2024)


Navigating Student Life in London: 7 Money-Saving Tips? ›

An Individual Savings Account, or ISA, is one of the most popular places to save money in the UK. ISAs allow you to save up to £20,000 a year totally tax-free. Some ISAs have a specific purpose. For example, you can save for retirement or buying a home with a Lifetime ISA.

How to live in London on a student budget? ›

How To Live In London On A Budget | The Student Guide
  1. Thoroughly Research Accommodation Options. ...
  2. WALK! ...
  3. Swap Out High End Supermarkets. ...
  4. Branded Goods Doesn't Always Mean it's 'Better' ...
  5. Reduce The Amount Of Money Spent On Takeaways. ...
  6. Stick To Free And Cheap Attractions. ...
  7. Make The Most Of Student Discounts. ...
  8. Keep Fit Outside.
Feb 1, 2022

How do people in the UK save money? ›

An Individual Savings Account, or ISA, is one of the most popular places to save money in the UK. ISAs allow you to save up to £20,000 a year totally tax-free. Some ISAs have a specific purpose. For example, you can save for retirement or buying a home with a Lifetime ISA.

How do students save money? ›

Tip 1: Set a savings target

Set yourself a savings target, a realistic one, because that's what keeps your saving plan sustainable especially as a student. Going for the extreme claiming that you will save 90% of your money at the beginning only gives you an excuse to give up easily.

How to live frugally in London? ›

50 frugal money-saving tips
  1. Plan meals.
  2. Choose cheaper recipes.
  3. Make a shopping list.
  4. Don't shop when you're hungry.
  5. Visit cheaper supermarkets.
  6. Buy supermarket own-label products.
  7. Eat less meat.
  8. Buy in bulk – but only if you'll use it.

Is $1,000 enough to live in London? ›

The question of whether you can live in London with £1,000 a month largely depends on various factors, including your accommodation, lifestyle, and financial management. But the short answer, is this: It's gonna be tough. Don't be discouraged, though! If you're determined, you can make it work.

Can you live on $1,500 a month in London? ›

Some people survive on £1500 a month to cover their expenses. But that is literally surviving: rent (a room in a shared apartment/house), utilities, food and travel to work (unless you walk or ride a bike). With £1500 after all those expenses, you can a a good time.

Is saving $1,000 a month good UK? ›

Saving for retirement is essential to ensure a comfortable and financially secure retirement. By saving £1,000 a month, you can significantly contribute to your retirement savings and potentially enjoy a more fulfilling retirement lifestyle.

What is the average savings in London? ›

Londoners have the highest average savings with an average savings amount of £28,978.40, which is more than double the next highest average savings region; the West Midlands with an average savings amount of £13,318.35.

How can I save in London? ›

How to save money in London
  1. Get a Visitor Oyster card. Oyster cards, Visitor Oyster cards and contactless payment cards offer the cheapest ways to travel in London. ...
  2. Leg it! ...
  3. Free attractions. ...
  4. Cheap West End tickets. ...
  5. The London Pass. ...
  6. Book online in advance. ...
  7. Cheap events and activities. ...
  8. Small shows.

What is the 50-30-20 rule? ›

The 50-30-20 rule recommends putting 50% of your money toward needs, 30% toward wants, and 20% toward savings. The savings category also includes money you will need to realize your future goals. Let's take a closer look at each category.

How to save money as a student paragraph? ›

On this page
  1. Learn the basics of budgeting.
  2. Cook meals for your housemates.
  3. Reduce your travel costs.
  4. Take advantage of student deals.
  5. Don't pay full price for course books.
  6. Save money as a household.
  7. Sort out your student bank account.
  8. Deal with debt as early as possible.

How many students save money? ›

The majority of college students (71%) report they have a personal financial goal they are working towards, 60% have a job, and half (50%) keep a personal budget. In addition, 44% report saving in college while 14% also invest.

How to live in London for free? ›

However, options that require minimal life alterations, such as moving back into your parents' house, might be feasible.
  1. Move back in with parents.
  2. Work as a chef living rent free.
  3. Volunteer at a homeless shelter.
  4. Become a live in Nanny.
  5. Work in tourism.

What is low income for London? ›

The poverty level for 2021/22 equates, for a couple with no children, to around £300 per week. However, there are different ways to measure poverty, and this brief analysis also outlines some of the key findings on those different measures for London.

How to live affordable in London? ›

However, there are a few tips and tricks that can make London living cheaper.
  1. Flat Sharing. Finding yourself some flatmates is one of the best ways to reduce expensive rent costs. ...
  2. Stick to public transport. ...
  3. Choose your area wisely. ...
  4. Shop smart. ...
  5. Become a Live-in Property Guardian.
Jul 11, 2020

Is London affordable for a student? ›

On average students can spend around £475 per week on rent and living costs in London. This might be more than you expected.

How much does it cost to live in London for a year as a student? ›

As an international student coming to the UK without dependants, you can expect to pay around £1300-£1400 per month in London or £900-£1300 in the rest of the UK to cover your accommodation, bills, groceries, and a range of other living expenses during your studies.

What is the cheapest way to live in London? ›

However, there are a few tips and tricks that can make London living cheaper.
  • Flat Sharing. Finding yourself some flatmates is one of the best ways to reduce expensive rent costs. ...
  • Stick to public transport. ...
  • Choose your area wisely. ...
  • Shop smart. ...
  • Become a Live-in Property Guardian.
Jul 11, 2020

Is it hard to live in London as a student? ›

You can be sure that there will always be something to do with your pals. However, London is known for its high prices – whether that's rent, food, drink or entrances fees – London is way more costly than all the other cities in the UK – making it difficult to manage a monthly budget.

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