Saving Money as a Student in London | The Student Pocket Guide
Living in the capital isn’t cheap, and students aren’t known for having large amounts of cash to throw around. If you’re studying at a London university such as Middlesex, here are a few handy hints to make that student loan go further – and still manage to have some fun while you’re doing it…
1. Use your Railcard – and think in advance
Everyone aged 16-25 (or a full-time student) can apply for a Railcard, which costs £30 for a year or £70 for three years – and you still get the full three years if you apply before your 24th birthday, which is handy to know. These cut the cost of all train journeys by a third, and if you book your journeys a month in advance you can save even more cash. You may also qualify for Oyster card discounts as a student.
2. Watch the booze
While drink-fuelled nights out are an integral part of the student experience, they’re really not kind to your wallet. It’s best to keep some money aside and have your nights out towards the end of each month, when you know you’ve covered all the other essentials. And don’t forget how much you can save by keeping the party indoors – get in the habit of having friends over rather than going out.
3. Hit the charity shops for textbooks, clothes and everything else
Charity shops are something London has in abundance – and they’re a great source of textbooks as ex-students tend to give their books away when they’re finished with them. You can also get a great selection of clothing if you know where to look – and even games and DVDs too. By the same token, try websites like Freecycle for great freebies.
4. Make the most of what’s free
While it has a reputation as an expensive city, it’s easy to overlook the many free London attractions out there. The Natural History Museum, Old Royal Naval College, Royal Air Force Museum, Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum are just a few of a long, long list of destinations that are free to visit – they could even inspire you to take your studies to new heights!
5. Use the Boris Bikes
London’s “Boris bikes” are free if your journey is less than 30 minutes long. That’s certainly cheaper than getting the bus to uni, and you’ll be doing your body a favour too! For journeys longer than half an hour, the £45 annual membership may be well worth getting.