How to Afford Living in London as a Student?

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Allaa Ashraf

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18 April, 2023

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4 mins read

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Student Finance

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London is a city that never sleeps, and that's precisely why students choose to study there! Not only will you be able to study at some of the world's best universities, but you'll also have plenty of opportunities to explore this vibrant city. London is a dynamic city filled with opportunities for students from all around the world. With top-ranked universities, a diverse cultural scene, and plenty of job opportunities, London is an ideal destination for students. So, why study anywhere else when you can study in the quirky, endlessly entertaining city of London?

However, the cost of living in London as a student can be expensive, and it can be challenging to manage your finances while enjoying all that the city has to offer. In this article, we'll provide practical tips and advice on how to afford living in London as a student. So come on, follow along, and find out!

 afford living in London

1. Accommodation

One of the most significant expenses when living in London is accommodation. Rent prices in London are notoriously high, so it's important to research and plan in advance. If you’re wondering how to afford student accommodation, here are some tips to help you save money on it:

  • Look for shared accommodation: Sharing a flat or a house with other students is an excellent way to save money on rent. 

  • Consider living in university accommodation: Many universities in London offer student accommodation at reasonable rates. Check with your university's accommodation office for availability and prices.

  • Live outside of central London: Living in the outer boroughs of London can be more affordable than living in central London. However, be sure to consider the cost and time of commuting when choosing your location.

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2. Transportation

This is yet another great thing you can get around to afford living in London as a student. Getting around London can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on transportation:

  • Use an Oyster Card: An Oyster Card is a reusable smart card that you can use to pay for travel on public transport in London. It offers discounted fares compared to paper tickets, and you can top it up with credit online or at a station.

  • Take advantage of student discounts: As a student, you may be eligible for discounted travel fares. Be sure to check with your university or student union for available discounts.

  • Walk or cycle: Walking or cycling can be a cheaper and healthier alternative to public transport. London has a growing network of cycle lanes, and many areas are easily walkable.

3. Food

Eating out in London can be expensive, but there are ways to save money on food:

  • Cook at home: Cooking your meals at home can save you a lot of money. Many supermarkets in London offer student discounts, and buying in bulk can be more cost-effective.

  • Shop at local markets: London has many local markets where you can find fresh produce at affordable prices. Places like Borough Market, Camden Market, and Brick Lane Market offer a wide variety of food options.

  • Use student discounts: Many restaurants in London offer student discounts. Be sure to ask about available discounts when dining out.

 afford living in London

4. Entertainment

London has a vibrant cultural scene, but entertainment can be expensive. Here are some tips to help you save money on entertainment:

  • Look for free events: London has many free events and attractions, such as museums, galleries, and parks. Check online for upcoming events.

  • Use discount websites: Websites like Time Out and Groupon offer discounts on events and activities in London.

  • Take advantage of student discounts: Many theatres, cinemas, and music venues in London offer student discounts. Be sure to check with the venue for available discounts.

5. Part-time Jobs

Working part-time can be an excellent way to earn extra income to support your studies and living expenses, and it will definitely help you afford living in London as a student. Here are some tips to help you find part-time jobs in London:

  • Check with your university: Many universities in London offer part-time jobs for students. Check with your university's career office for available positions.

  • Look for jobs in hospitality: London has a thriving hospitality industry, with many bars, restaurants, and cafes always looking for part-time staff.

  • Use online job search websites: Websites like Indeed and Monster offer a wide range of part-time job opportunities in London. Be sure to tailor your CV and cover letter to the job you're applying for.

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6. Budgeting

Finally, creating and sticking to a budget is crucial when living in London as a student. Here are some tips to help you budget effectively:

  • Track your expenses: Keep track of all your expenses, including rent, bills, food, and entertainment. Use an app like Mint or PocketGuard to help you manage your finances.

  • Set a weekly or monthly budget: Determine how much money you have to spend each week or month and stick to it.

  • Prioritise your spending: Prioritise your spending on essential expenses like rent and bills, and cut back on non-essential expenses like entertainment if necessary.

Living in London as a student can be expensive, but with proper planning and budgeting, it's possible to make the most of your experience without breaking the bank. Use these tips and advice to help you afford living in London as a student and save money on accommodation, transportation, food, entertainment, and finding part-time jobs to support your studies and living expenses. Good luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money do you need to live in London as a student?

The amount of money required to live in London as a student varies depending on factors such as accommodation, lifestyle, and university, but an estimated budget of £1000–1500 per month can be expected.

How much does the average student rent in London?

The average student rent in London varies depending on the location and type of accommodation, but it is approximately £600–£800 per month.

Is studying in London worth it?

Yes, studying in London can be worth it as it provides access to top-ranked universities, a diverse culture, and ample career opportunities, but it also depends on personal circumstances, such as financial ability, academic goals, and lifestyle preferences.


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