Budgeting for students living in London accommodation
Budgeting is really hard being a student living in London, especially when looking at the price of food and travel. The plus side for me was that I stayed at home two weeks longer than my friends after Christmas, so I was able to have two extra weeks where I could get my stuff paid for by my parents and I did not have to worry about spending money!
The time between the end of an old student loan and the new one is a tough time, because you have to go a long period of time without any money. However, once it hits your account this does not mean you should go out and blow it all on the January sales.
One of the biggest tips I would recommend is to make a weekly budget. I work out how much money I get from my student loan for a three month period, including how much rent will need to be paid out, and then I budget from what is left over and calculate what weekly allowance I have available. Another great thing my friends and I do is buy food together. We buy discounted food and also make sure we do not buy too much, because it will go out of date before you get chance to eat it.
Another budgeting tip for living in London is linking your Oyster card to your rail card, because it can get you a discount when you are travelling around London. For example, if you travel Zone 1 and Zone 2 you can travel for £1.40 when travelling in these zones off-peak. But, the best thing is you can still get a small discount when travelling through London at peak-times. Basically, when you travel you can save up to a third on your fare.
Also, flaunt your student discount card wherever you can, for example, if you need to buy stationary items, Ryman’s offer a 10% discount, McDonalds give a free McFlurry or cheeseburger when showing a student discount card and some clothing shops offer discounts too.
Consider dropping down a supermarket brand level. I know this sucks especially when living at home as you get used to eating the expensive stuff, but as a student you sometimes have to make sacrifices and this is the easiest thing to change. So, instead of buying brand labels, start buying supermarket own brands instead.
Whilst living in London, I am sure many students will want to go and see the many attractions London has to offer, for example, go to see a show at the theatre. Another plus side of living in London is many television programmes are recorded in studios in and around London. So, look out for websites which give you free tickets and access to see programmes and films being recorded and also keep an eye out for discounted tickets to attend the theatre.
The best part about staying at Liberty Livings’ student accommodation is you do not have to budget for the cost of your utility bills. Gas, electricity and water bills are included in the cost of your rent plus you get free superfast broadband. So, there is no stress of receiving an unaccounted bill, which is fantastic when you are a student trying to budget!
Posted on 28th January 2014 by Jessica H.