Heading off to university in London this September/October? Whether you’re going for the first time or heading back for another year, budgeting your money can be tough. especially if you’re at uni in London can be tough but BYOB London is here to help.

80% of students are worried about their student budgets. However, with our money saving tips, you’ll be able to save a fortune for those fun moments between lectures and essay writing.

9 Best Ways for London Students to Save Money:

  1. Go to BYOB Restaurants
  2. Learn to budget better
  3. Use Monzo
  4. Use cash when possible
  5. Buy 2nd hand books
  6. Netflix & save
  7. Eat together
  8. Get a student discount card
  9. Get travel cards

Go to BYOB Restaurants

Eating at a BYOB is a great way to continue to eat out and have a drink or few whilst saving.

With the average cost of a pint in London now costing £5.19, it’s getting scarily close to the price of a main course. If you have just 2 drinks with your meal, and eat out once a week (as most millennials do at least), you will spend £539.76 over the course of the year on drinks alone.  If you go to a BYOB restaurant instead you’ll spend just £132.60 on the same amount of drinks in comparison (if you go to a place that doesn’t charge corkage).  That banks you a sweet £407.16 a year. You could do a lot with that cash.

That banks you a sweet £407.16 a year. You could do a lot with that cash.

Learn to budget better

The first time your student loan in it’s easy to be tempted to spend it all. However, there are many factors that will impact the way you spend money during your studies. UCAS have a great budgeting tool, which will help you manage your money, as your situation can change throughout the length of your course. By knowing which areas are most important you’ll find it simpler to prioritise your spending at university and after.

During your time at university, don’t be afraid to ask for help with your finances. You can get free financial advice from The National Association of Student Money Advisers (NASMA) and local charities including Citizens Advice.

Use Monzo

Monzo is awesome. Put an end to rapidly skipping the option to view your viewing your balance at the cash machine by using a Monzo card.

Monzo allows you to track your spend long on your phone in real time. If you use your card (or phone’s tap to pay), it’ll instantly show what you spent, how much you have left and how long you’re going to last until the end of the month. Super useful right? It gets better. You can use IFTT to make your bank smarter by linking your saving up to other apps and actions. For example use this to put aside a penny everyday, or reward yourself for going to the gym by putting an extra few quid in your drinks fund.

Monzo allows you to send money to others and split bills similar to how Uber does.

Use cash if possible

University is the first time many people get a debit or credit card to help them manage their money. But how do you stop yourself spending it all at once? One way is to only take a certain amount of money out with you when socialising or shopping. This will stop you from spending your entire student loan straight away, helping you to save for the essentials.

Buy second-hand books or visit a library

Many universities have their own libraries, which will have multiple copies of the books on your reading lists available to check out. However, these can be booked out quickly if everyone needs to use them.

Check eBay and Amazon, where reliable bookshops sell second-hand books starting from just 1p.

Netflix and save

If everyone in your flat or house share has a TV, each person will need to purchase a TV license, which costs £147 a year. Online streaming websites are a great way to save money, as you don’t need a TV license to watch them and you can split the cost with your flatmates.

For £8.99 per month, Netflix allows four users to stream films and TV shows. Amazon Prime has a great student service that allows as many users as you share the account with to watch Prime Video, listen to music on Prime Music and get free next day delivery for the first six months. After the six months are up time, students pay only £39 a year instead of the normal £79.

However, if you are watching live TV on a streaming service such as All 4, YouTube and BBC iPlayer, you still need to have a TV license. To find out more, visit the TV Licensing website, where you find out if you need one. You can also find out if you’re entitled to a refund on a license you have purchased but haven’t used.

Eat together

Planning a night in with friends or a meal out? Paying together can help you save money, as you will all pay equal amounts, meaning you won’t all be tempted to overspend. If you are eating at home, save on your weekly shop by creating a shopping list of essentials and deciding on a set amount to spend each week, which can be split between you all.

Cooking and eating your own meals is a great way to mix with your new flatmates during your first week.

Get a student discount card

NUS (National Union of Students) Extra cards have become a great investment for many students. For £32 for a three-year card, you can save money on food, clothes and the latest technology with discounts ranging from 10% to 50%. To save even further, you can sign up for the free Unidays app, which provides you with similar discounts without having to pay for the actual card.

Get travel cards

TFL and National Rail have joined together to provide a discount card for 16 to 25-year-olds. For £30 a year, students can save one-third on rail fares around the country with the 16-25 Railcard. The card also offers discounts at shops and attractions around the UK, while also providing an opportunity to add the discount to Oyster cards, saving you money as you travel around London. A special 18+ Student Oyster photocard can also be purchased by students, which allows up to 30% off adult-rate Travelcards and bus and tram pass season tickets.

You can also save money on your tickets by splitting up your journey. Buying single tickets for each part of your journey can save you a lot, even if you buy several tickets for the same train. This works as long as your train calls at all of the stations that are included on your ticket, so make sure that your tickets cover your entire journey.

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