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How You can Live in London on a Student Budget

Sharmain Zain
Reading time: 4 min

Worried about how to make ends meet on your student budget in London?

No worries mate, we’re here to share a few tips on how you can live on a student budget and still enjoy this enthralling city. After all, it’s just about knowing how to budget.  

Sharpen your cooking skills

If you’re living away from home for the first time, chances are your kitchen skills are limited to frying an egg and making tea. Don’t fret as that’s a fab start!

student budget

First thing’s first – before you get cracking in the kitchen, you need to stock up on groceries. Hit the lower cost grocery stores such as Lidl, Iceland’s, Asda or Morrison’s. As fun as Tescos is, you’ll save some quid by visiting cheaper shops.

Here’s an extra tip: Put your leftover change and coins in your piggy bank and hear their jingling grow melodiously louder as the end of the month draws close.

Got your pantry fully equipped? Great! Now, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and to develop those hidden culinary talents of yours. Don’t be afraid to fire up the stove. Remember, it takes time to get the most basic dish, such as pasta, just right.

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If you’re enjoying that cooking process – it could be a sign that you’re meant to be a chef. If true, here’s how you can become a chef.

Get an Oyster card

These little wonder cards are going to make your wish come true. Which wish, you ask? Why, the one where you not only stay in your student budget but have some side moolah to enjoy your London nights out.

With a “Pay as You Go” model, you’ll trim your monthly transport costs as you’ll have access to lower travel rates than a Day Travelcard or One Day Bus pass.

oyster card student budget

Psst..you’ll also obtain some discounts on some London attractions. Rushing out now to get your Oyster card?

Mobile apps to save money

Here’s a quick list of top UK apps that will help you stay in your student budget:

  • ATM Hunter: This app will point you towards the nearest free-to-use ATM machine and show you how far you are from it. Avoid the machines where you have to pay to withdraw cash.
  • JOB TODAY: Of course, this app is a must-have! If you want to earn some extra cash, you can find jobs (both part-time & full-time) on this app within 24 hours and ping employers directly as well.
  • Money Dashboard: Connect this app safely to your bank account and keep a track of what you’re spending. This app is so wicked that it classifies what you’re spending on the most and can guide you on what to cut back on.
  • TopCashBack: This free cashback app lets you download discounts, vouchers, track your cashback points and let you withdraw those points when you want.

Take in free sights

London may be an expensive city but you can see its historical gems for free. From the Science Museum, Old Royal Naval College to the Natural History Museum, London is a hotbed of knowledge – just waiting to be devoured. As a student, it is the prime opportunity for you to visit these places and enjoy them for free.

student budget

London is not all work and study, there’s a bit of play too. Indulge in nature in any of London’s several lush green parks (for free!). Take a free walking tour to find your feet in the city. Stroll along the Thames river and then roam around in London’s markets. Lose yourself in the beauty of London and enjoy your time as a student in this thriving city.

Need to expand your student budget so you can enjoy this thriving city? Check out thousands of jobs posted daily on our job app.