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Realistic uni budget for London...?

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    I'm going to (hopefully) be studying in London next year, and I was wondering - what sort of budget do you need to be able to live in London?

    I'm going to be in a house share rather than halls, since where I'm going doesn't have its own halls. It's in North London, Zone 2, and I'd most likely be trying to find somewhere in a Zone further out as I'm assuming this would be much cheaper? I'd then commute in either by bus or tube, whatever is easier/cheaper. My family have said aim for max £500 per month (bills included) - is this a realistic goal and how far away from my uni would I have to commute to find somewhere in this price range?
    I've had a look on some sites like spareroom.com and it seems doable, but I don't want to be so far out that I have a very long commute, especially as I may have some late finishes. I'd rather not have an hour commute in the dark alone!

    Also, how much money do you spend per week on general shopping (food, toiletries, general stuff for the house like cleaning materials, etc) and would this be more expensive in London or about the same as everywhere else?


    edit: I forgot to mention, I am also vegetarian and I'm planning on doing a lot of slow cooker meals in winter i.e. veg stews, lots of lentils and beans etc, which hopefully will keep food costs lower?

    I studied in London and never spent any more than £20-25 a week on food. I walked most places as well. Uni was within walking distance.
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