Being a student is fantastic, and London is one of the world’s truly great cities, but when you put the two together, money can sometimes start to feel a little tight.
Here are some of our best money-saving tips to help you make the most of your time as a student, and make sure you’ve always got enough money left over for the things you love!
1. Choose Your Accommodation Wisely
It’s no secret that accommodation in London can be very expensive – so choosing your accommodation wisely is the first step to making sure your money goes further. At Homes for Students, we offer affordable student accommodation in London, with utility bills included in the price, so that’s one extra expense already taken care of.
With common areas, laundry rooms and sometimes even catering included with these student halls, you’ll be able to cut back on expense and save more money – but book quickly, before the spaces all go!
2. Be Travel Savvy
Getting around London can be a nightmare, but with an Oystercard and Archcard, you can save on the Tube. Plan out your journeys to make sure you take as few trains as possible, and if you’ve got a bike and feel confident on the roads, then use it! You might find that it’s easier cycling around the city than you thought, and you’ll save money and time. Win-win!
3. Explore All The City Has To Offer For Free
London doesn’t have to break the bank to be entertaining – a huge range of stunning museums, libraries, parks and landmarks are available to visit entirely for free.
Whether you’re a bookworm, an outdoorsy type, a history/culture buff or all of the above, there’s lots to do in London for free, especially if you do it with friends!
4. Eat Cheap
Takeaway and eating out are both quick, easy and delicious answers to a rumbling tummy, but it’s much more financially sensible to cook your own meals.
Preparing food in advance can save heaps of time and give you a quick solution when hunger strikes, but cooking batches to save for the next few days is often the most cost-effective way to eat too. Google a few of your favourite foods – you’d be surprised how cheap and easy it is to cook them!
5. Bundle Up
This isn’t a problem in our London student accommodation, since utilities are included with the rent for them, but if you’re in a student house that doesn’t include utilities in the bill, then you can save money by bundling up instead of turning the heating on.
A few extra layers can really make the difference, and stop you from having to put the heating on when you can’t afford to do so.
6. Always Bargain Hunt
Looking for a bargain? Try looking in charity shops and thrift stores, or use a bargain-hunting app.
Team up with your friends to make the most of 2-for-1 deals, and share great deals from provider-specific services like o2 Moments to make sure you all get the most out of your money!
7. Make The Most of Student Discount
Always – ALWAYS – ask about student discount when buying something. You might be surprised by how many businesses offer student discounts, and how much you can save by consistently making sure to take advantage of these student deals. Even relatively small discounts add up over time!
8. Sniff Out Freebies
There are a surprising number of places where you’ll discover that there is, in fact, such a thing as a free lunch. Free product giveaways in supermarkets, church lunches, launch-day events and samples are usually promoted online, so keep your ear to the ground and make sure to catch these goodies while they’re free!
Even picking up a sandwich or pastry can save you the cost of lunch, and free trials are usually a great way to make use of online services for free for a short time – so apply for them when you need them, and cancel them straight away afterwards!
9. Set Limits for Yourself
An old student trick is to only take out as much money as you plan to spend when going to a bar, but this doesn’t just apply to drinking – it can help you save wherever you’re going.
By limiting yourself (whether it’s by only carrying the cash you can afford to spend or switching between a current account and savings account to manage money) then you can avoid accidental overspend.
10. Budget, Budget, Budget!
Making a thorough budget can be boring, but it’s so, so important to saving money! Plan out your expenses, weigh your income against your necessary outgoings like food and travel, and you can figure out ahead of time how much money you’re likely to have left over for fun – it’s easy to see what you can trim and what can be cut out entirely once you’re looking at figures on a sheet, so it’s irreplaceable once it comes to saving money.