Affordable Living: How to Survive in the City on a Budget

Expensive house

London is one of the most expensive cities in the UK. It’s arguably the most expensive city in terms of buying a house, renting a home, and even shopping for your daily needs. Many who work and study in the heart of the city opt to live in farther neighbouring ones. Doing so keeps the cost of living down.

That’s not to say, however, that living in London is impossible for those with limited budgets. That also applies to students who want to live in this area despite their restricting financial situation. Here are a few pointers to make living in London more possible on a budget.

Find Student-Friendly Accommodations

The average cost to rent a flat in London is £1,665 a month and is said to increase around 3 percent annually. That may not be affordable for many students, so a good option is to consider renting long-term shared properties with other students.

For students who want to live closer to their university, accommodations for students can start as low as £110 per week. These places are located within London, and the rent is inclusive of Wi-Fi, electricity, coin-operated laundry, cleaning services, and more. You can opt for a shared room to lower the costs, but if you prefer some privacy, a single place is worth the premium.

Invest in a Secondhand Bicycle

Guy using a bicycle

The public transportation system in London is slightly more expensive than other public transportation. Instead of letting the costs of getting around the city pile up, you have two cost-effective options: choose accommodations near your school so that you can walk to school, or invest in a quality secondhand bicycle to go around the city.

Expect a good secondhand bicycle to start at £150 upwards. It may seem like a lot, but if you’re planning to stay in London for a long while, it may be a better investment than to pay for public transportation every day.

Support Small Local Businesses

When looking for restaurants, stay away from the expensive ones in Central London. You could be eating up a considerable chunk of your weekly budget if you chose to spend there. You can find different types of cuisine in neighborhoods in Greater London. Small restaurants and family-owned food places sell full meals as low as £5 per person.

For food and your other needs, avoid luxury supermarkets and grocery stores. Visit small foreign shops in your neighbourhood. Aside from food products for their international cuisine, they also sell everyday food and non-food products you might be looking for. Meat is also cheaper in smaller businesses but is just the same quality as more expensive butchers.

Despite London’s high cost of living, it’s still possible to live in the city within your means as a student. You might have to give up a few luxuries or wants, and a few of your options may be limited, but by living small and saving up, you can treat yourself now and then while still living within your budget.

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