Because of the high cost of living in London, even a full scholarship is sometimes not enough financial support for students. This is especially true for international students, who usually cannot expect help from their families. If you are one of the many people who are having trouble making ends meet, you may have considered looking for part time work.
At first glance, a part time job sounds like the perfect solution. It gives you a steady source of income, while giving you learning experiences outside of the classroom. However, getting a job can greatly interfere with your studies. Before you make a commitment, try cutting your expenses first and see if that will be enough.
Three Biggest Ways to Save Money
1. Find cheaper accommodation – Rent makes up the biggest monthly expense that most students have to deal with. However, you can easily find cheap accommodation in London through LHALondon.com and similar non-profit organisations; some will even allow you to stay for free in exchange for volunteering. Shared accommodation with roommates is also very helpful.
2. Learn to cook – Making your own meals is an excellent way to cut down on costs, though it requires staying in a dorm or hostel with an actual kitchen that you can use. Eating out might not seem that expensive at first, but cooking can easily reduce the amount you spend on food by half or more – all while being healthier and more convenient.
3. Get an Oyster card – The transportation costs in London can burn a hole right through your wallet if you do not have an Oyster card. It is the cheapest and easiest way for a student to get around the city, unless you are willing to bike everywhere.
When Finding a Job is Your Only Option
Sometimes, however, getting a job is unavoidable. The key is to find an arrangement with a flexible schedule, and one that will have a minimal impact on your studies. Your university is the best way to find great part-time work, so inquire there first. If you are on a Tier-4 student’s visa, however, make sure that you are aware of the restrictions.
As a student in one of the most expensive cities in the world, it can sometimes be extremely difficult to stay afloat financially. However, being resourceful and willing to compromise can go a long way.