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Life In London

Make your loan last longer in London

By bzellie 10 Sep 2022

It's the worst feeling when you've blown your loan in the first 3 weeks of receiving it...

And you're left with £20 to last you a lifetime!

If this sounds like the trouble you usually get yourself into, we've got some ways to make your student loan last - it can be the smallest changes that can make a massive difference especially in London!

1. Take note

Write down the amount of loan you will be receiving and take away however much will be going out each month. This would include, rent, bills, food shopping and anything else you have going out your bank account. This will enable you to work out how much you can spend each month.

2. Write everything down

This may seem tedious, but it is well worth it. Write down in a notepad what you spend money on each day down to the last penny. You'll be able to see how much money you are spending and if there are any unnecessary things you can stop buying to save.

There are apps now where you can see how much your spending - Monzo is a great banking app to use. You can see where your money is going and budget yourself.

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3. Allocate cash

After you've worked out how much you can afford to spend each month, you can see how much you have left per week. You could withdraw your weekly allowance from your bank so that you only spend that money. You may even have money left over each week to spend on treats and nights out (yes, you can still enjoy yourself when budgeting)!

4. Shop smart

Choose where you go for your food shop carefully! Shopping at the likes of Aldi and Lidl will save you a lot of money compared to shopping at Co-op or Tesco. Always do a weekly or monthly food shop too - don't go to your local corner shop for food every day because it'll end up a lot more expensive.

The nearest Aldi and Lidl to Bloomsbury are in Camden Town, this is only a short bus ride away and it's definitely worth it when saving. 

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5. Student discount

One of the great benefits of being a student has got to be the student discount. Most shops and restaurants have a student discount, and if it doesn't advertise it always ask. If you haven't got a student card, then invest in a TOTUM card or UNiDAYS / Student Beans are great online alternatives, so check these before buying anything.

6. Save on travel

Another way to save money is on travel. Whether it's a bus or train ticket to travel to uni/home, you can save some extra cash, getting a railcard or a bus pass will get you up to 1/3 off ticket prices too! When travelling in and around London be sure to get an Oyster card or you can use your contactless card, these are cheaper than purchasing paper tickets.

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7. Shopping lists

Sorry, but spending money on food is inevitable! A simple way to shop smart is to make a meal plan for the week and write a shopping list before you go, this will ensure you only get the things you need instead of buying everything and anything! Also, NEVER go food shopping hungry, you'll crave all kinds of food and end up spending money on rubbish.

8. Part-time job

If you only have lectures/seminars for a couple of hours a week then getting a part-time job would be just what you need. Obviously, this may not be for everyone and you need to remember that university is always the priority, but getting a part-time job is a great way to have extra money and gives you a chance to save more!