London is a notoriously expensive city to live in, travel or commute to and holiday in. But as a cultural capital of the world and a place of ample opportunity, you may either want to live or travel there. Either way, you will need to think of some ways to save money to avoid this pricey city from draining your funds.
Compared to the rest of the UK, London is notably more expensive. To put this into perspective, London’s citywide average for rent increased by 3% in only 3 months according to research from Rightmove . A monthly ticket for public transport costs, on average, £146, and a taxi fare for a five-mile journey on a business day is £26. Needless to say, London is pretty expensive.
Here are some tips, from big decisions like where you live to the little choices like where to go for a day out, that can help you save money in London:
If you wish to save money whilst living in London, stay out of the centre! There are plenty of cheaper places to live across the city, so try looking on the outskirts to find some affordable rent. It would also be a good idea to share a house or flat with a group of people to reduce your rent.
If you only need to travel a short distance, always try and avoid taking a taxi or even an Uber. London, especially central London, is ideal for walking or even cycling using the city’s Santander or Boris Bikes Cycle Scheme. This can also help you see more of the sights of the city and get a bit of exercise into your day!
If you do need to take public transport, try taking the bus instead of a taxi. With the Bus Hopper fare, you can make unlimited journeys for just £1.50. Not only is this a cheaper option, but it is also another way to see the sites of London daily.
It would also be a good idea to invest in an Oyster card to prevent daily travel from adding up. If you have a Railcard, be sure to add this to your Oyster card for discounted off-peak travel.
Apps such as CityMapper can also help save travel costs by helping you compare the fastest and cheapest ways to get from point A to point B.
London has a plethora of amazing free attractions and landmarks that you can visit without needing to spend a penny. So, if you’re looking to have a cheap day out, London is brimming with free cultural landmarks, such as the Tate Modern, British Museums, and the National Gallery.
Similarly, take a stroll or have a homemade picnic in Hyde Park or Primrose Hill.
Besides free activities, there are also ways you can indulge in cheap or discounted pastimes. For example, seeing a West End show does not have to be expensive. You can buy your tickets in advance at a discounted rate or visit the TKTS booth in Leicester Square for cheap, last-minute tickets.
London has tons of places where you can dive into affordable fashion. Try taking a break from the typical high-street shops and pay a visit to the city’s vintage markets and emporiums to pick up cheap and original pieces. You’ll also be doing your small part for the planet!
The food you can get in London is amazing, but it can also be very expensive if you’re on a budget . Try dining alfresco in one of the city parks or search for some tasty street food from a selection of amazing food trucks in London.
When it comes to getting a drink, you can also search for cheaper options. Several establishments in London dedicate a few hours a day to discounted drinks, so try and time your outings to spots that offer happy hours to help you avoid full prince drinks.
There are several apps, such as City Munch, Happiour, and Open Table, that can help you find food and drink deals for cheap in the city.
By following these simple tips, you can still squeeze out the most of living or travelling in London without having to drain your bank account.