The Beginner’s Guide to Living in London on a Budget

London can be one of the toughest places in the world to live in. We all have that kind of love-hate relationship with this city, simply because, well it is the greatest city in the world, but one of the most expensive as well. But not to fear Londoners, if you have your heart set on living in the Capital, that doesn’t mean you have to drain your bank account to do it. Here’s a beginner’s guide to living in London on a small budget.

Yes, anything is possible!

1) Where to live in London on a small budget?

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Anywhere but central! The most important thing when moving in the Capital is finding the right area for you. Here’s a list of the 12 most affordable area of London according to Weroom.

1.Waltham Forest £435

2. Haringey £518

3. Camberwell £550

4. Lewisham £586

5. Sutton £600

6. Barking and Dagenham £605

7. Ealing £619

8. Newham £624

9. Barnet £635

10. Redbridge £635

11. Enfield £645

12. Elephant and Castle £650

➤If you are looking to rent a room, the two best sites to browse are Spareroom.co.uk and Easyroommate.

➤Furthermore, it is truly important to familiarise yourself with the Tenancy Deposit Protection. (TDP) In that way, your landlord must put your deposit in a government-backed tenancy deposit scheme which will safeguard your deposit until it is returned safely to you. For paying that deposit, we recommend using either Transferwise or HiFX as they do not hide any bank fees.

➤Once you have found your new home, you will most of the time have to furnish it. You can find very cheap and free pieces of furniture on sites like Freecycle and Freegle. They offer pretty much anything you can think of, as long as you can come and collect it.

2) Cheap travel in London 

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➤London, as well as being one of the most expensive cities in the world for owning a car (around £3,500 a year), is also one of the most stressful, because of the terrible London traffic nightmare.

➤The bus is a great alternative, for only £1.50 a single trip. However, we know how long, boring and slow a bus journey can get.

The tube is by far the fastest way to travel in and around London, but it can get quite pricey. Hence, we have found the best tips for you when traveling on the underground.

Pay-as-you-go travelcards are a great mean to travel for visitors or for non-frequents tube travelers.

➤For those who use the tube regularly, a weekly, monthly or annual travelcard is better and will enable you to save a lot of money on your journeys.

➤An annual pass will also give you access to a Gold Card discount on all of the standard singles and return rail and tube tickets.

➤Travelling off-peak is a great way to save money, and to finally have that available seat you have been hoping for!

➤A contactless credit card is best used for those who travel on a daily basis as you can save money.

➤And for those of you who are looking to get in shape, cycling in London is a free, clean and healthy way to travel around London!

3) Stay healthy for less

Eat well 

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Locals supermarkets can be surprisingly expensive for a poor quality food, hence it is often very difficult to stay healthy and eat well in a city like London. But do not worry, we have found some great alternatives for you.

 ➤Whitechapel Market, Lewisham Market, and Yasar Halim Market all offer better quality food than what you can find in supermarkets for a small amount of money.

➤Otherwise, the cheapest supermarkets are Tesco, Lidl, and Aldi.

Free Fitness

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Yes, it is possible to stay in shape without paying a huge amount of money for a gym membership card!

➤You can join a running club in London for absolutely free! Some of the best are Parkrun, We Heart Living, Nike+ Run Club, London City Runners etc…See more information here.

➤If running is not something that motivates you, Sweaty Betty offers free in-store fitness classes at various London’s location. See more information here.

➤OurParks offers free fitness classes in many different London’s parks. See more information here.

➤You can also join free Bootcamp courses. This is a great way to start getting fit if you have a lack of motivation for sports and/or if you want to meet like-minded people like you! See more information here.

4)London’s culture for (almost) free

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London’s huge cultural baggage is incredibly diversified. You cannot get bored when living in the capital, simply because there is always so much to do! And get this, not everything needs to be paid for.

➤First of all, London’s Museums are for the majority free. You have no excuses for not paying some of them a visit over the weekend!

➤Free walking tours are also very popular in London. It is a great way to meet new people and discover the capital like you never did before! From companies like Alternative London, Free Tours by Foot, and Undiscovered London.

➤With CentralTickets you can get free tickets for Theatres, Music, Dance, Opera, Classical Music, and Film. All you have to do is sign up, for free of course.

➤For Theatres lovers you can use a seat-filling service that is completely free. You can visit Myboxoffice.

➤For movie lovers, Out4free is a website that will provide you with free movie screenings around London’s cinema. Showfilmfirst is a great way to get free cinema tickets if you are not too fussy when you see a film. Usually, this website will match you with a screening based on your preferences!

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Discount cards are a great way to benefit from reductions on your daily basis must and cravings.

Student cards, like the NUS extra card, can save you around 10% on many places like Amazon, Asos, Pizza Hut and the Co-op, for only £12 a month. For student university, this is an opportunity not to be missed!

➤For those of you who want to make the best out of London, you can purchase the Timeout card for £24.50. You will benefit from several unique deals to places in London which usually cost you a fortune simply going there.

➤The LDN card will offer you hundreds of exclusive deals, saving you up to 50% off at shops, restaurants, bars, clubs, tourist attractions and services throughout London, for £30 a year.

Transport for London provides many discounts dependant on your age and profession.

➤Furthermore, to find great deals and discounts, you can also use Groupon, which is a website where you can find very cheap and sometimes free goods and services.

6) Organising affordable events in London

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We know how stressful and expensive organizing your own event can get. Especially in a city like London.

Hiroes is an event platform which is dedicated to providing you with services from renting venues to hiring musicians and booking photographs at a small cost. If you have been thinking of throwing a Birthday party, a Wedding, a Baby Shower and much more, you can visit Hiroes.co and browse across its wide range of affordable services. Organising an event has never been that easy!

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