Living in London on a budget

By Sam S.

March 4, 2020

It’s almost two months into my study abroad experience and I have picked up on a few budgeting tips! I am used to having an income to help with my everyday expenses, but since I am in a new country and unable to work, I had to adjust a few things. The amount of money you come over with is the amount you have to work with, and you don’t get a check to replenish your account. This was a huge adjustment but I am working through it with a weekly budget as well as finding deals to shop smart. Here are a few tips to managing your money abroad! When food shopping, there are several different grocery stores in London, some very cheap, some not so much. It was a process to find the most affordable option carrying the items I needed and wanted. I am located near four different shops: three express shops and one superstore. The superstore is farther than the express stores but is cheaper. As much as I would love to shop at the express store next door, my bank account appreciates it when I walk the extra half mile to the superstore to find the deals. The main form of transportation in London is the Tube and buses. In order to ride these you must have an oyster card with money loaded on it. Each ride costs about £2.40 which is about $3.08 U.S. dollars. This price isn’t very affordable when you use public transportation multiple times a day to get around. I didn’t want my bank account to dwindle that quickly so I found an alternative: the Travelers card. This plan saves a lot of money and gives me the opportunity to use public transportation whenever I please. BUDGET BUDGET BUDGET! As I said before, while you’re abroad you don’t have an income to help with everyday expenses. The best way to save your money and still have fun is to budget! Set a weekly budget for all your expenses such as food, entertainment, and travel. If you stick to a budget you will be able to make your money last. Even with a budget, it’s okay to splurge once in a while. I mean after all, you came abroad to have a new experience!

Learn more about this blogger’s study abroad program: University of Westminster