London is renowned for being a city bursting with activity and opportunities. Equally, it is also notorious for being rather pricey. If, like me, you have the summer holiday stretching long ahead and the UK’s capital at your fingertips here are a few suggestions for fun days out without breaking the bank.
1. Visit some incredible museums If you’ve ever been to an Imperial open day you may have heard the phrase ‘you have some of the best museums right on your doorstep’ used as a selling point. It’s true- stacked along Exhibition Road besides Imperial’s South Kensington campus are several world-famous museums.
It is that time of year again. Student finance applications just opened for next year and that got me thinking about money. I am back at it again with more financial tips and tricks that have helped me at university so far. This part has more tangible things you can do about working, saving and investing your hard-earned cash.
One of the first things I did as soon as I was eligible was sign up for a student bank account. These often come with good discounts and offers. Who doesn’t like free money? Santander has 1/3 off 16-25 railcards and 15% cashback with retailer offers (something I have used when at Costa, ordering of Just Eats or buying shoes from JD).
My banking app has a new feature called money manager which highlights income and expenses and make little pie charts and bar charts. I had a look at the last three months of account history for last year and I honestly did not realise how much I had been spending. As the title suggests, my entire October paycheck went towards a new laptop after my old one that just reached its 7th birthday officially gave up on me. This was very shocking because I know budgets are tight for nearly everyone during the pandemic and so part of my 2021 resolutions include getting my finances in order and so far, I have hit my January and February savings goals and already on my way to March.
To be honest, I have been reluctant to apply for undergraduate studies for any of the universities in London. There were multiple reasons for it – I didn’t feel like living in a bigger city than Prague where I come from. But another large reason was fear about financial matters. London is known to be expensive and my parents were already very worried about me taking a student loan as that is not common in my home country (as we don’t pay tuition fees). As an EU student, I wasn’t allowed to take a loan for living expenses either.
I can never know whether it would have been fine for undergraduate studies as I didn’t study in London but I came here for my PhD.
Hi everyone! In my last blog, I have started to share some tips for living on a budget in London. I have realised it’s too much for a single post so here is part two of my post! Head over to the first part if you would like to read a bit about accommodation. In this part, I will talk about transport, food and groceries, household equipment, free time and potential part time jobs with the university.
Coming to the transport around London, I personally believe the tube is quite expensive. I can’t remember when I last used the tube, it must have been very long before COVID-19 appeared here.
Living in London is no cheap feat; your expenses will rack up very quickly when you pay for rent, travel fees, groceries, takeaways, shopping sprees, etc. We’ve all had that little adrenaline rush as we check our bank accounts at the end of each month.
On top of managing your budget, you might want to consider getting a part-time job or two to support yourself throughout the academic year. Yet, between Imperial’s workload and your society engagements, you might be hesitant about jamming yet another commitment in your already-packed schedule.
After talking to my friends and peers, I have come up with a list of part-time work that Imperial students can definitely check out!
Being a student from Malaysia where the exchange rate from Malaysian Ringgit (RM) to British Pounds (£) is about 5.4:1, I have mastered the technique of saving money while studying abroad such as not turning on the heating even during the winter. Jokes aside, living in London can be very costly but hopefully these few tricks and tips I’m about to show you how you can enjoy a comfortable life in London whilst not putting a dent in your wallet!
London Life Hacks 101
UNIDAYS is a lovely platform consisting of tons of student discounts on a wide range of categories all the way from clothing to food dedicated just for students!
In heart of Imperial’s recent campaign for Student Money Week I thought I would add a few of my own tips that help me manage and budget my money effectively. The #FindTheBalance campaign run by the university gave some really helpful tips and advice from Student Finance Services and from current students. Here I have compiled some of the most helpful and achievable ideas in one place, so you can come back and reflect should you need to throughout the year.
Keep a Spending Log
It doesn’t have to be pretty and artsy like the ones you see people spend their life designing in bullet journals, but I find it really helps to make a note of everything you spend each week and calculate your weekly outgoings.
The Imperial Spring 2020 Telethon will be running for 7 weeks in February and March. I worked on the Spring 2019 Telethon. So, I decided to write about what the job entails and provide some advice for future callers!
This campaign aims to reach out to alumni to share exciting news from Imperial with them and to invite them to support the college through a range of giving opportunities. Ultimately, the telethon is not about fundraising. It is about initiating and strengthening long-term contact between Imperial and its alumni. It is also about you enjoying great conversation with alumni.
The Time Commitment:
Shifts take place on weekdays in the evening on the weekend during the day and afternoon.
Similarly to a little bird flying away from its beloved nest, leaving home to come study in a huge city can be extremely daunting for most prospective students. Add to that the many responsibilities (for example grocery shopping, cooking, washing) of an independent life and it is easy to be terrified. However, this is something that we have all been through. Been an accommodation tour guide on the open days and post to discussions with freshers have shown me that many prospective students are concerned about finding a part time job or knowing if it is even possible to reconcile their studies with a job.