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Halls Living

Cost of LIVING in London

By QMResLife 16 Jul 2023

It's no secret that London is the most expensive city in the UK.

Living in London as a student can be tricky; You have limited money and so many tourist attractions to see. Not to mention the cost of living crisis students are currently facing in this country. However, it really is worth the price tag when you live a half-hour tube ride from Buckingham Palace, the London Eye and the Tower of London. 

The best way to manage your finances in a big city is to be prepared. We have done the research for you and have calculated approximately how much it will cost to have fun, eat and travel around... 

Weekly tube ticket (Zone 1 - 6) = £49.21 (with discount)

The fastest and cheapest way around is the London Underground, also known as the tube. Buy a student Oyster card in any Underground station to get a 30% discount off student travel cards, and bus and tram passes. You can pay as you go, or buy a travel card pass for a week, month or year. Stay in the know with travel card prices as they do change from year to year.

Beer in local pub = £5.90

After a long day at university, every student deserves a cold British pint. If you've never done this before, give it a try and see what you think! Unfortunately, alcohol comes with a big price tag in London so maybe, inquire about a student card for your local pub to get discounts or look out for happy hours where you will find better deals. Or, limit your drinking and enjoy all the free attractions instead!

Weekly grocery shop (1 person) = £50

Even groceries are more expensive in the capital. Your basic toiletries, laundry powder and food are a few pounds more than elsewhere in the UK. However, grocery shopping is essential so it's important to get this right. Extra tip: make sure to consider this when you are budgeting so that you don't end up blowing all your money. Also if possible, try to do your weekly shopping at a cheaper supermarket such as Aldi and Lidl.

Restaurant meal (1 person) = £20 - £40

Got a hot date or catch up with a friend? You will undoubtedly check out a few London restaurants during your time at university. The trick is to look for happy hours, lunchtime deals and the cheaper restaurants out of the city to save a bit of extra money. This price will shoot up if you are having alcohol with your meal or are having multiple courses so be aware.

Coffee = £3.50

Every student needs a caffeine boost during exam time or before that early 9 am lecture. An average coffee isn't too pricey, just make sure to use local independent coffee shops as opposed to Starbucks. We encourage you to support your high street where you can! 

    Taxi trip (5 miles): £20 - £30

    If the tubes are a bit too busy for your liking, then you can grab a London cab or order an Uber online. Taxis are very expensive, and often much slower due to the infamous London traffic so the Tube, walking or cycling really are the best ways to get around.

    Monthly gym pass = £40

    Are you a gym bunny? Check out your campus gym for discounted student prices or head to PureGym, which are based all across the city and have 24/7 opening times.

      Train trip to Cambridge = £20.40

      Fancy a day trip? It's common for students to feel a little lost on weekends when they have no classes to attend but turn that into a positive. Take an hour train to Cambridge for a day to see the historic sites and visit one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Grab a student railcard to receive a 34% discount on all train tickets. 

      Cinema ticket = £10 - £15

      The cinema is a great way to spend your free evenings, alcohol-free! There are cinemas all over London featuring the latest movies and often showing international films as well. Book tickets online, or pay there. 

      If you need some extra tips on budgeting and managing money, then check out The Advice and Counselling Service's budgeting guidance blog.

      London is one of the most exciting cities in the world - enjoy it!

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