Image Credit: Bryn B Jones/ Flickr
When I first reached London, my most troublesome change was the exchange rate and the difference in living costs. Indeed, after a month in my new home, I started observing the areas where a large portion of my money went when I wasn’t focusing. So keeping in mind the end goal to help some of you who are considering London for your abroad experience, I put together a snappy rundown of my top three tips for living on a budget in London:
1. Abstain from Eating Out & Cook
Much the same as fast food can add to costs at home, it triples abroad. Grocery shopping is always more practical and cost effective. You can find numerous deals when purchasing a bundle of things, and vegetables and fruits are quite cheap. It’s equal to getting 2-3 suppers at the same cost you would pay for one meal by eating out. On the off chance that you are on the run and need to make a stop to eat, go to the supermarket. They have ready-made meals segments and they are generally quite cheap compared to fast food. Of course, you should try the pubs and unique restaurants, just don’t make it a habit or excuse to eat out daily. For those who don’t know how to cook the perfect meals, microwaves are available and ready-made meals are also available at almost every grocery store.
2. Shop outside London
Things are less expensive farther away from the city center. London is quite popular for being a fashion capital, and who doesn’t want to buy stuff that screams “British Style.” For undergrads, however, a large number of you won’t have the ability to afford it. Abstain from going on shopping sprees in the city. For example, I recently bought two pairs of shoes, for the price of one I bought from London. And we aren’t even talking about a very famous brand either.
Hence, if you are compelled to shop in the city, go to street markets. You will find plenty of them in the outskirts of London.
3. Take advantage of Free Festivals!
There are numerous festivals going on all around the city at a time. These festivals are a great way to experience the cultures and the city without having to spend a lot of money. Most of these festivals are free and you can buy cheap gift items, different delicacies of food, and decoration items at really low prices. Not only are these festivals a great place to find something for everyone back home, they are genuinely light on the pocket too.
For college students on a budget in London, it is important to keep a budget and stick to it. Instead of spending lavishly the first week and then starving for the rest of the month, it is better to keep your expenses and your budget aligned. For those who have student loans, it is even more important to keep the spending in check so as to not accumulate a huge amount of debt before you step into the real life once you graduate.
About the Author
Rachael Everly is a business and finance enthusiast, who happens to have a special interest in matters related to student loans and repayment plans. You can find her via @RachaelEverly.