While it can be nice when your student loan comes through, it’s scary how quickly it can start to vanish! Thankfully there are lots of ways to be smart about spending as a student. Here are some budgeting tips that I’ve found to be very handy for some key aspects of student life in London.
London is a vibrant city, and you’d be surprised at how many free events there are! From museums to film screenings, you can explore a lot of London for a little money. Have a look online to see if there are guestlists, student discounts or cheaper tickets for earlier entry to events. One of my highlights was seeing Miley Cyrus perform live for free!
University events at King’s, especially those in Freshers’ week, are a great way to socialise and find freebies. I’ve picked up bags, bottles, food and a year’s supply of pens at these. Be sure to keep an eye out for upcoming KCL Student Union events 🙂
There are a range of London public transport deals on offer – it’s all a matter of calculating what best suits you. A 16-25 railcard can get you discounts on rail journeys, or you may find it more helpful to invest in either an Oyster card or Travelcard. I also think that it’s sometimes worth walking between campuses just to take in London’s views, even on a grey day.
Food and Shopping:
It can be very tempting to buy lunch every day from one of the countless food outlets across London, but this can quickly start to add up! Bringing lunch from home will save you money (and avoid those long queues outside Greggs!). If you feel like treating yourself to eating out or shopping, ask if places have student discounts and consider registering for UNiDAYS or Totum Cards.
Planning and Funding:
The key to this really comes down to planning what you are spending, whether it’s on a monthly or weekly basis.
There are a variety of bursaries and scholarships on offer at King’s, and it’s worth having a look through the options to see if you’re eligible. You could also consider picking up a part-time job – university jobs are a good way to meet people too. Finally, do think carefully about choosing the right student bank account. While some may offer perks, you may find the overdraft allowance of another more suitable to your needs.
Though budgeting is important, university life is an exciting experience so enjoy it and don’t be too hard on yourself! It’s just about finding a balance. And it’s okay if that takes a little while.
Find out more about student services at King’s