Cost of living in London for students
Let’s not sugarcoat things, London is expensive. Rents can be costly, public transport isn’t cheap and you’ll pay more here for a night out than most other places in the UK.
Yet London has more to see, do and experience than anywhere else in England. It has amazing nightlife, culture, museums, galleries, clubs, bars and all the history and tradition of an ancient country’s capital.
The London School of Economics tells its students to budget between £1,300-£1,400 per month for living expenses. That includes rent, bills and food. Add anything from £109 per month for a Zone 1 Student Oyster card and money for bills and you’re looking at around £20,000 per year before you even factor in food or a night out.
We aren’t saying this to scare you off going to London to be a student. We’re explaining the realities so you’re better prepared.
Tips for saving money as a student in London
Student accommodation will take up a lot of your money but it isn’t all you’ll be spending.
Here are some realistic tips for saving money as a student if you’re going to study in London.
Get a Student Oyster card
A Student Oyster card entitles you to travel on bus, Tube and train within a given travel zone. It’s an excellent way to get around. Pay as you go or pay monthly depending on how you travel.
Cheapest student accommodation options in London
The cheapest accommodation in London for students comes in a couple of flavours.
The cheap student accommodation you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy and accommodation specifically for students at a price you can afford.
We’re naturally in favour of the latter. Sanctuary Students offers some of the best, cheapest accommodation in London for students. Shop around, compare prices. You’ll quickly see that what we offer is unbeatable for value and quality.
We have several buildings across the city, including:
Manna Ash House 8-16 Pocock Street, Newington SE1
Coopers Court 10-14 Maplin Street, Mile End E3
The Craft Building 12 Greatorex Street E1
Don Gratton House 82 Old Montague Street, Whitechapel E1
Dinwiddy House 189-205 Pentonville Road, Kings Cross N1
Paul Robeson House 1 Penton Rise WC1
Alliance House Newington Green N16
Lillian Knowles House 50 Crispin St, E1
We provide a mixture of large double rooms with shared facilities, double ensuite rooms, large double ensuites, studios and large studios.
We can accommodate single students, couples and groups of friends in comfort.
Buildings typically feature a common room with Sky TV, communal kitchen and laundry, security, CCTV and your room. Some buildings have bike parking, and other amenities. Each building is within a short walk, bus or tube ride from class and local amenities. All deliver exceptional value considering what they offer.
Check out the details of each building to see exactly what you get for your money. We mean it when we say we offer the cheapest accommodation in London for students. Rents can be as low as £211.86 per week which is much lower than the LSE suggests.
What’s more, that rent includes all your bills! Electricity, gas, heating, water, security, cleaning social spaces, security, building maintenance and even contents insurance is included within that rent.
That’s why we’re so confident we offer the cheapest accommodation in London for students! Staying with Sanctuary Students is about much more than just a room too. There’s more to staying with us than that.
Check out student bank accounts
Student bank accounts have zero fees, large overdrafts and other goodies. Some offer free railcards, others give you money off common items, all will have incentives to encourage you to sign up.
Sign up for a Unidays and NUS Extra Card
Lots of places offer student discounts and both the Unidays and NUS Extra Card give you access to more. Both cost money to sign up but can save you more than you spend.
Learn to cook
Cooking doesn’t have to involve slaving over a hot stove for hours. It can be a quick and painless process. It can also save a ton of money compared to eating out or Deliveroo or Just Eat. It’s a fantastic way to impress too!
Shop late in the day
Going grocery shopping late in the day can save a lot of money. It’s when the yellow ticket offers appear where you can get good food for a lot less. The supermarket is often quieter too depending on where you live.
Buy second hand
Buying used is not only ethical but also cheap. Everything from books to clothes, vinyl to trainers can be bought used, either online or in some stores. Secondhand course books can save serious cash too.
Compare and save
Use comparison websites for every bill you pay. While you won’t have many bills if you’re with Sanctuary Students, you can save on most things if you spend a little time comparing, especially on your phone bill!
Use cashback websites
Have ‘no spend’ days
No spend days are just that. Days where you don’t spend a single penny on anything. They are easier to pull off than you might think once class is up and running.
Use university resources
Your university will have lots of budgeting tips and deals with retailers and local venues for students. Make sure you check out all of them as they could save cash over your time there.
Being a student in London
Being a student in London is an amazing experience. It’s an amazing city with plenty to see and do and some of the world’s best and oldest universities.
But you’ll need to be careful with money. You should secure the cheapest accommodation in London for students, sort out a travel card and manage your finances carefully if you’re to make it through.
Fortunately, you’ll use the budgeting skills you learn as a student for the rest of your life. One more learning experience to add to the list!