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Living in London: keeping the bank balance healthy

08 December, 2017Natalie Peters

london-838368_1920Living in London is not cheap. That’s a given. But not only is it one of the most thriving and diverse cities in the world, it is also not as expensive as you might think.

Where to live

Location and type of accommodation have a big impact on how much you spend on rent, so here are a few things to consider to help keep the cost down:

  • Living in a shared house or flat is much cheaper than living alone and is also much more social
  • If you do decide to share, the more people you share with the cheaper your rent will be so look for houses of 3-4 people
  • Start exploring further out of central London. Not only is it cheaper to live there, they are some of the liveliest parts of London including Clapham, Hackney and Wimbledon
  • Be realistic – if you are in a shared house, an ensuite room will be one of the most expensive. Do you really need your own bathroom when you could spend that extra money?

And don’t forget about the additional costs that you may need to spend before you even move in. Landlords can request administration fees, deposits (can be up to six weeks rent) and one month’s rent in advance.

Living on a budget

It’s not just students that suffer with budgeting. On top of loan repayments, rental costs and an avocado diet, graduates also struggle to make ends meet. Londoners are much more savvy are finding a deal or things to do for free. Check out Time Out for deals and ideas and look out for part-time jobs to take the strain off your finances.tower-bridge-1209483_1920

Travelling around London

There are so many options when it comes to travelling around London but these are some of the cheapest ways:

  • Bike it – there are ‘Boris bike’ docking stations all over London and at just £2 a day (max 30 mins journey at a time) it’s the cheapest gym membership you’ll come across!
  • Tube it – this is the quickest way to get across London, especially if you’re living outside of zone 1. Travel cards are cheaper then daily tickets or use your contactless bank card.
  • Bus it – it might not be the quickest way to get anywhere, but compared to the tube it’s cheaper, less crowded and you get mobile reception!
  • Walk it – sometimes it’s actually quicker to walk somewhere. Get your map out and discover more of London

Anything else you should do…

Make sensible choices – eating out every night will soon eat up your cash. Cook more and save the money for nights that count!

And finally..."no matter how many pints and/or spirits you’ve had, never eat a night time hot dog from Trafalgar Square" (special thanks to one of our final year students from the Finance, Investment & Risk course for that one — we assume he's speaking from experience).

Find out more about studying in London and how we can support you.