How to save money in London as a student

Living in London is not easy, especially for your wallet. Everything is expensive. Rent, transport, and food all cost an arm and a leg and, with the effects of inflation, they’re all becoming even more expensive. And it’s particularly hard for students, who have to balance work, life, and the costs of education. So how can you make it in London without having to live like a monk? How can you save money in London as a student?

Take advantage of student discounts

Most educational institutions in the UK will give you a student card to confirm that you are studying with them. This student card will afford you many discounts at different shops, cinemas, restaurants, etc. Spend less on everything from your coursebooks to food. It’s also worth getting an 18+ Student Oyster Card – this will save you 30% on your travel expenses. Saving a third on your transport costs means more money for other things.

How to save money in London as a student

Buy things at charity shops

For some people, going to a charity shop is a taboo. Buying clothes that other people have worn before is culturally inappropriate for them or not clean. But charity shops are a great place to find quality clothes, books, music, and furniture at affordable prices. They also have the added benefit of doing good. Whenever you buy something at a charity shop, your money goes to help a worthy cause like cancer research or to fund services for the homeless and less fortunate.

Learn to cook

After a long day of working and studying it might feel like a chore to go home and cook for yourself, but cooking doesn’t have to feel like hard work. Cooking can be a fun hobby and form of creative expression, a way to get in touch with traditional cuisine or to experiment with new and untried ingredients. In any case, research finds that cooking just two more meals a week than normal can save you about £900 a year.

The next time you think life in London is too hard, don’t despair! With some careful budgeting and these useful tips, you don’t just have to survive in London, you can thrive!

Vocabulary Activity

Match the bold words in the article to the definitions below

  1. (adv.) to give special emphasis; especially
  2. (idiom) to succeed in doing something
  3. (idiom) something that deserves support and attention because it has good intentions
  4. (n.) a boring or difficult task that is necessary
  5. (n.) a member of a religious community of men who live a simple life
  6. (idiom) be extremely expensive
  7. (n./v.) to lose or be without hope
  8. (n.) an increase in prices and loss of value of money
  9. (n.) something prohibited by religious or social customs
  10. (v.) to grow or develop well
  1. Particularly
  2. Make it
  3. Worthy cause
  4. Chore
  5. Monk
  6. Cost an arm and a leg
  7. Despair
  8. Inflation
  9. Taboo
  10. Thrive


  1. How do you save money in your day-to-day life? Are there any other tips you would add to this list?
  2. Do you think people have to give up too much to live in an expensive city like London or is it worth it?
  3. Is it possible to have a good life without spending money?

This is Ingla School of English‘s weekly blog, intended as reading practise for our students in Turnpike Lane, in London, and around the globe. We hope you’ve enjoyed it and take a look at the rest of our writing, much of which has activities for teachers to use in the classroom.