You might feel like winning a jackpot on receiving your student loan, but how are you going to afford it all? Surviving your stay in London, one of the most expensive cities of the world does not mean that you will be forced to huddle over a can of baked beans in an unheated flat. In London with so much going on, managing finances can be overwhelming. But by getting smart and playing your cards correctly, you can enjoy your London life to the fullest and still make sure you stick to your budget.
Forget the Tube, Ride Bicycles
Escape the hustle and bustle of the Tube and follow the Walking Tube Map. As an alternate, you can get a good enough road-bike for the cost of a monthly tube pass. Use Santander Cycle bikes, which are available at docking stations throughout London, for a whole day for just £2, with the first 30 minutes of your journey costing nothing. It will not only cut down on your transport costs but also make you catch some air. Perhaps, you won’t need to join the gym.
Ditch the Gym
If you had ever a regular gym attendance back home, this will definitely not be feasible here without breaking the bank. Get involved in the much cheaper sports clubs at your university. Join free fitness classes with Sweaty Betty or take up to jogging in London’s beautiful parks and bridges.
Sign up for an Archway Card
These handy cards encourage holders to use local businesses in the city by offering discounts and deals on everything from shops and cafes to exercise classes. Check their website regularly for updated offers!
Cook your Own Food
While London’s eateries may seem too tempting but the fact is that dining out too often can empty your wallet at a much faster rate than you had ever thought. Instead, use communal kitchens in your student hostel and cook your own food. Sites like Student Eats have great, tasty recipes you can cook on the cheap as a student.
Get Free Tea or Coffee at Waitrose
What could be better than a nice hot beverage for free? Yes, of course. The UK supermarket chain Waitrose has a myWaitrose membership scheme where you can sign up to get a free cup of coffee or tea whenever you shop there.
Drinking in London is a bit expensive, but not always for students. Download the Drinki app and check in on Facebook to receive a free cocktail from a number of venues. If your choice is beer, opt for the Match Pint App that allows you to claim a free pint at a number of local pubs in return for a review.
Scout out the Discounts
With a university card, you can secure some percentage discounts in shops and restaurants – and to unlock your online potential, don’t forget to register with UNiDAYS for a code, in order to use your ID online. And if you want access to an even greater array of deals, get yourself an NUS card for £12 a year.
Find the Freebies
If you keep your ear to the ground, you can always discover great student freebies, including free coffees, free meals, free cosmetics, and free event tickets. Remember, your birthday is an especially good date to claim a deal or discount. To find out more, the Save the Student site is a great resource that lists the most up-to-date student freebies.
Get a Job
Apart from enjoying student life, consider the value of a part-time job. It not only gives you work experience but also helps you to figure out what you want to do, along with the extra pocket money. To find a job in London check out sites like ratemyplacement.co.uk that help connect students and employers.
Free Events Happening in London
There are so many free happenings in London held every week. Art shows, musical gigs by the best upcoming bands, film viewings, ticket giveaways, it all really happens. You can sometimes be surprised to find your favorite artists playing free concerts. It happens only in London!
Buy Books Second Hand
University textbooks are really expensive in London and sometimes it can feel like teachers are just assigning them randomly. Buy your books second hand online or in second-hand bookstores to get your knowledge for less instead of holding your education hostage.
There are many second-hand bookshops in London that provide a cheap alternative to the likes of Waterstones. These include Skoob Books in Bloomsbury, Book Mongers in Brixton, and Book & Comic Exchange in Notting Hill.