You may have heard horror stories about the price of a pint or meal out in the capital. But living in London doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. With careful budget planning and an eye for a bargain you can survive and still have a good time.
Here are ten money saving tips:
- Take advantage of whatever Student Finance is available to you (eg Maintenance loan and grant) as you will need the maximum financial help you are entitled to every year.
- If you experience financial difficulties once enrolled have a look at the Living Expenses Support Scheme (LESS) as you maye be eligible to apply
- Make sure you have a student bank account. This means you should be given an interest-free overdraft which can be useful if you do need to borrow extra money, but don’t want to be charged for it.
- Avoid store cards and credit cards. If you are unable to repay the money you’ve borrowed at the end of the month, you will find the charges can be very expensive.
- Shop around for the best deals for things like your mobile phone contract, and use comparison websites such as Money Supermarket and Money Saving Expert.
- Have you got a Student Oyster Photocard yet? The TFL student travel discount scheme gives you 30% off travel in London on weekly and monthly travel cards.
- Don’t buy lunch every day. If you spend just £3.50 four days in a week that’s over £50 per month! Bring in packed lunches. Also don’t buy bottled water. It’s a waste of money, and there are water fountains available at all university sites, so bring a bottle from home and you can refill for free.
- Always ask for a student discount when making a purchase. Many retail shops, restaurants, cinemas, and online stores will offer NUS discounts. Check out the Student Beans website for inspiration.
- Check your bank balance and check statements regularly. This way you’ll be able to monitor your spending, and also see if any odd transactions are listed (which may be unauthorised by you).
- Ensure you have adequate insurance for your belongings. You may own a laptop, mobile phone, MP3 player, camera, TV and DVD player. All of which will add up to a lot of money which might be impossible to replace if you are not insured.
- Try to stick to a realistic budget. Can you survive on £5 a day? £10? Try it!
You can work out your own budget on the Student Calculator website.
Check out our living costs guide to get a rough idea of how much it’ll cost to study here.
If you do find yourself in financial difficulty or you’d like to get some help managing your money, speak to our Student Advice team.