By Cherry Lim, BSc Computer Science, Department of Informatics
Starting uni can seem incredibly scary, especially if you’re living away from home. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources and money-saving tips available to quell some of your worries!
Let’s start with one of the biggest concerns around: budgeting. London seems like an expensive place to be; however, if you look at the right places, you’ll find that saving money isn’t so hard after all.
Cooking is the best way to save money on food, so it’d be good to learn a few basic techniques such as boiling pasta, frying and using the oven. You don’t have to be a master chef to cook good food, as supermarket groceries often have instructions printed on their packaging on how to cook them. For a quick and cheap hot meal, there are also ready-made meals that you can microwave or pop in the oven.
The Too Good to Go app is where you can buy unsold food from restaurants for a much cheaper price — not only would you save money, but you’d also help reduce food waste! Unidays and Student Beans are free apps that offer a wide range of discounts on categories like food and clothing.
Many shops also offer student discounts, so do ask if they have one before you make your purchase. There are also many vintage clothing sales happening throughout the year, so keep a look out for those! I know a few friends who’ve gotten knitted wear and coats for less than £10 at those sales, so I’d say they’re worth a try.
Besides budgeting, here are some general tips and tricks for starting uni. King’s has a good number of study spaces across all campuses, so do locate them and make full use of them! My personal favourite is the KCLSU Upper Loft on the 8th floor of Bush House. The KCLSU website is a great place to find events happening around the university, so you can both work hard and play hard.
If you use Google Chrome, here are some free extensions that you might find useful. Honey searches for and applies discount codes on the checkout page whenever you shop online, so you could pay a reduced price if the discount codes work. PostureMinder sends a regular push notification to remind you to sit up straight, which is much needed considering how much time we spend on the computer! Kami is PDF annotator, which you can use to annotate on your lecture slides and readings.
As uni goes on, you will learn more life hacks along the way, so don’t worry! These are going to be some of the most memorable years of your life, so embrace the journey.