A student’s budget guide to London living
Living in London (or even just visiting) can be a total shock for anyone who’s not originally from the capital – take it from someone who’s experienced it first-hand! The prices of just about everything can seem exorbitant – especially when you’re a student – but don’t freak out, because there’s plenty out there that you can do on a tight budget.
1. Get app happy
From obvious apps like Groupon to new and innovative zero-waste apps, your phone alone can help you make some serious savings in London. Karma and Too Good To Go are aimed at tackling the problem of food waste by selling off surplus food that would otherwise be thrown out to the likes of me and you at a super cheap rate.
2. Save on transport
Transport around the city soon adds up, but it doesn’t need to get out of hand. In a lot of cases, the place you’re trying to get to may actually be closer than you think, so get on Google Maps and see if you’re able to walk or cycle. CityMapper will tell you the cheapest transport option, which is normally the bus (but the underground is still handy, especially when you need to get home from a club and the bus just won’t cut it). If you do need to Uber, consider using Uber Pool. You’ll ride with total strangers, but you’ll save money, and you might end up with some funny stories!
3. Make room for ‘Spoons and Smith’s
Ah, Wetherspoons (or ‘Spoons, for short). Let’s face it, a lot of students love to have a drink or two, and these classic, quintessentially British pubs (which can be found all over London) help you do so cheaply (as do Sam Smith’s pubs). Even better, you can skip the queues by downloading the ‘Spoons app and ordering direct to your table! I particularly like The Ice Wharf in Camden for the vibes and views (and there’s even a bar around the corner called Fifty Five where you can get the most amazing two-for-one cocktails during happy hour).
4. And museums
The UK is steeped in history and whether you’re in London for uni or a fun weekend, there’s always more you can learn. Luckily, a large percentage of the museums and galleries can be enjoyed for free, so there’s no need to worry about forking out for them.
5. Don’t discount your discounts
As a student, you’re entitled to a myriad of freebies and discounts – so don’t be embarrassed to make use of them. Sites like Student Beans, UNiDAYS and Save the Student are amazing while you’re still in education, and you’ll really miss them when they’re gone. Whether you want cheaper clothes, make up or even Spotify, there will be a saving for you.
6. Enjoy the great outdoors
Wandering around outdoors is free for the most part, and London is more than just a concrete jungle – it’s riddled with canals and teeming with greenery. Take a leisurely stroll through one of London’s many parks, and when the weather picks up, you can combine walks with picnics.
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