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Harriet

May 27th, 2024

London on a budget: a broke student’s guide to surviving the “Big Smoke”

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Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Harriet

May 27th, 2024

London on a budget: a broke student’s guide to surviving the “Big Smoke”

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

London’s an expensive place to live. The capital’s penny-pinching ways are an unavoidable and unfortunate truth. I’m not going to lie to you, there are few places in the UK as expensive as London. But all hope is not lost, dear friends. Having survived on a student budget here for five years, I promise you that it can be done. All you need is a little imagination.

Get a part-time job

I know, I know. Telling someone who is concerned about money to “get a job” is about as useful as telling an LSE student to “get ahead on their readings.” We all know that that’s what we should do, but that doesn’t actually make the process of doing it any easier.

Let me help.

Since starting my undergraduate programme in 2019, I’ve been a nanny, a census officer, a marketing assistant, an editorial intern, a research assistant, a blog writer, an English-language tutor, a game-tester, and a shop assistant to name but a few. Essentially, if there was a job available, I took it. If you’re someone who likes to be busy, enjoys meeting new people, and is genuinely interested in expanding your career horizons, getting a job isn’t just a smart financial decision, it’s one that can make your life more enjoyable too.

Here are my top tips for finding part-time work:

  • Take advantage of the LSE Careers website – you might be surprised by the number of part-time positions that are advertised here each month.
  • Consider remote working – a quick scan of websites like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor will reveal several remote-working positions. The flexibility these jobs offer is unrivalled, allowing you to effectively balance work with other commitments.
  • Reach out – the best jobs are those that you genuinely enjoy doing. If there’s an industry that you want to know more about, or a company that you particularly admire, don’t be afraid to get in touch. You never know what kind of part-time work opportunities might be on offer for people who take the time to reach out.

Never pay full price

In a city as big as London, freebies and discounts can be found left, right and centre.

Here are my favourites:

My last tip? If you can walk there, do it. Not only will you save a fortune on transport costs, but you’ll also see a side to London that you’ll never experience in the confines of a stuffy Tube carriage.

Happy budgeting!

About the author

Harriet

Hi! I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of International History. Having earned both a BA and MA from LSE, I'm *arguably* London’s biggest fan... and a self-proclaimed expert on the best food in the city!

Posted In: Money

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