How to afford London? Watch

danskr
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Hi,
I'm an EU student and I'm applying to uni this year. My top choices were KCL and SOAS but I'm afraid I just won't be able to live in London. I'm from a middle-class family from Poland and my parents could support me with 200-300 pounds/month. I calculated that my monthly expenses would be around 1400 pounds/month and I doubt I can find a part time job paying this much. The only advantage I have is that by September I'll have had 10 months of experience as technical support/office assistant in a music venue (I'm on a gap year).
Do you guys have any advice? I don't see many options now that Maintainance Loan is only for UK residents
Maybe you could correct my budget if it's not accurate?

600 - rent
90 - travelcard
300 - food
30 - uni stuff
200 - spare time money
20 - for flights back home 2-3 times/yr
100 - clothes
20 - medicine
20 - shampoo/toothpaste/shaving cream etc.

I'm also considering other cities in the UK like Glasgow and Liverpool but isn't the wage there proportionally smaller to living costs so that I would be stuck with the same problem?
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Hamo2509
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If you find out, let me know. I get £5,000 maintenance loan, £400 a month off my parents, have two part-time jobs and can still barely afford rent.
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shiningsunset
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London definitely has higher living costs than most places in the UK. I would recommend looking at places more up north for example Liverpool and Glasgow (which you suggested) as you should be able to find cheaper accommodation and lower overall costs.


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Tiger Rag
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Food shouldn't need to cost you £300 a month and you shouldn't need to spend £100 a month on clothes either.

Why would you need to spen £20 a month on medicine?
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Hamo2509)
If you find out, let me know. I get £5,000 maintenance loan, £400 a month off my parents, have two part-time jobs and can still barely afford rent.
How much are you paying for rent? Also, my maintenance loan is higher than than yours and I'm not getting anything else except the basic lian. Is it actually a bit more than £5000?

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Tubbz
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600 - rent
90 - travelcard
300 - food
30 - uni stuff
200 - spare time money
20 - for flights back home 2-3 times/yr
100 - clothes
20 - medicine
20 - shampoo/toothpaste/shaving cream etc.

Let's reevaluate your budget
600 - rent Can't change this
90 - travelcard Walk more
300 - food Learn to eat properly. Noodles are 10p a pack, x 60 £6 a month. That leaves you £290 a month after 4 boxes of own brand cereal
30 - uni stuff What uni stuff? You'll be taking notes on a laptop, surely?
200 - spare time money Booze, yep, fair one
20 - for flights back home 2-3 times/yr Again, this is up to you... Guessing you're set on this one.
100 - clothes No... you're poor, accept it, add it to your booze fund so you don't care what you look like
20 - medicine drink through it, paracetemol is about 30p a pack, £19.70 added to booze fund
20 - shampoo/toothpaste/shaving cream etc. Beards/Feminism is cool. Supermarkets do own brand stuff. £16 added to booze fund.
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by danskr)
Hi,
I'm an EU student and I'm applying to uni this year. My top choices were KCL and SOAS but I'm afraid I just won't be able to live in London. I'm from a middle-class family from Poland and my parents could support me with 200-300 pounds/month. I calculated that my monthly expenses would be around 1400 pounds/month and I doubt I can find a part time job paying this much. The only advantage I have is that by September I'll have had 10 months of experience as technical support/office assistant in a music venue (I'm on a gap year).
Do you guys have any advice? I don't see many options now that Maintainance Loan is only for UK residents
Maybe you could correct my budget if it's not accurate?

600 - rent
90 - travelcard
300 - food
30 - uni stuff
200 - spare time money
20 - for flights back home 2-3 times/yr
100 - clothes
20 - medicine
20 - shampoo/toothpaste/shaving cream etc.

I'm also considering other cities in the UK like Glasgow and Liverpool but isn't the wage there proportionally smaller to living costs so that I would be stuck with the same problem?
- Rent seems about right.
- Travelcard: how much travelling are you planning to do in London?
- You're an idiot if you're spending £300 per month on food. You can save at least £200 here.
- You won't need uni stuff every month. Just loan out library books.
- What's the spare money going to?
- Dunno about flights.
- You don't need £100 worth of clothes each month. Just but good quality and take care of it.
- What is this medicine?
- Buy store brand. A lot cheaper and no difference most of the time.

I live in London and study at UCL.

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danskr
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(Original post by Tiger Rag)
Food shouldn't need to cost you £300 a month and you shouldn't need to spend £100 a month on clothes either.

Why would you need to spen £20 a month on medicine?
Just in case

Hamo2509 Where do you work? If you don't mind telling ofc.
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danskr
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
- Rent seems about right.
- Travelcard: how much travelling are you planning to do in London?
- You're an idiot if you're spending £300 per month on food. You can save at least £200 here.
- You won't need uni stuff every month. Just loan out library books.
- What's the spare money going to?
- Dunno about flights.
- You don't need £100 worth of clothes each month. Just but good quality and take care of it.
- What is this medicine?
- Buy store brand. A lot cheaper and no difference most of the time.

I live in London and study at UCL.

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Well, cheapest KCL accommodation is in New Cross so I'd rather have an option to use the tube.
You're right about the clothes, I'll probably bring loads with me and just wait for sale at Primark
Spare money is just going out like once or twice a week. Beer, chinese take-out or whatever. Medicine is only regular flu/cold pills, overestimated here.

So cutting down on food, clothes, uni stuff (didn't know if there are notes to copy or whatever), paracetamol and cosmetics the budget is now like 1000-1100 pounds/month. Looks better but still hard to reach
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Hamo2509
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
How much are you paying for rent? Also, my maintenance loan is higher than than yours and I'm not getting anything else except the basic lian. Is it actually a bit more than £5000?

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I think it's actually something like £5225, I can't remember the exact amount. I get the minimum amount though.

(Original post by danskr)
Hamo2509 Where do you work? If you don't mind telling ofc.
I work for my uni and for a restaurant too.
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Tiger Rag
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You can walk most places in London. I think I used my oyster once, maybe twice a week. Certainly no overly often that it cost me that much.

Unless you're someone who gets ill constantly, you won't need that much medicine.
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0xFFFFail
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Definitely consider more Northern cities. The UK has a national minimum wage so you wouldn't earn proportionately less thus having similar amounts of money with reduced costs.
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Nerry
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£100 a month on clothes - i'm guessing you're a woman?

even if you are, control your spending habits and look after your clothes properly. or shop at cheaper places, don't all girls do most of their shopping at primark nowadays anyways? don't overwash them or anything and then you can make them last a long time.

as for medicine... how weak is your immune system lol?
as someone else said paracetamol and aspirin are pretty cheap. alternatively you can just ask a friend if they have any. or just grin and bear any minor illness/flu/headache/hangovers that you have.

unless you're planning on exploring the whole of London you won't need to put that much money on your oyster card. are you living near your uni? wake early enough to walk there and back everyday
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by danskr)
Well, cheapest KCL accommodation is in New Cross so I'd rather have an option to use the tube.
You're right about the clothes, I'll probably bring loads with me and just wait for sale at Primark
Spare money is just going out like once or twice a week. Beer, chinese take-out or whatever. Medicine is only regular flu/cold pills, overestimated here.

So cutting down on food, clothes, uni stuff (didn't know if there are notes to copy or whatever), paracetamol and cosmetics the budget is now like 1000-1100 pounds/month. Looks better but still hard to reach
My suggestion is any of the £200 spending money you have left over in the month (you won't be spending that much, every month, on going out), you put in a pot and use as emergency spare money. Don't just add it onto your spare money for the next month or you'll end up wasting it.

Yeah basically, you don't need the most expensive of most things. If own brand has the same ingredients of expensive brand medicine, buy store brand.

Yeah I guess you'll need money for printing but just be smart about how you're printing and if you actually need to.

Most of my money ends up going on transport tbh.
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Hamo2509)
I think it's actually something like £5225, I can't remember the exact amount. I get the minimum amount though.



I work for my uni and for a restaurant too.
That extra £225 to your sum makes the difference

But how much is your rent?
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Hamo2509
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
That extra £225 to your sum makes the difference

But how much is your rent?
Haha. My rent is £11k for the academic year
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Hamo2509)
Haha. My rent is £11k for the academic year
Wow if you're struggling so much why don't you get cheaper accommodation O.o
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Hamo2509
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
Wow if you're struggling so much why don't you get cheaper accommodation O.o
It was the cheapest I could find within walking distance of my uni...
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Moonstruck16
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(Original post by Hamo2509)
It was the cheapest I could find within walking distance of my uni...
Can you not compromise?
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Hamo2509
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(Original post by Moonstruck16)
Can you not compromise?
My parents wanted me to live within walking distance. Since they're the ones supporting me through uni, I'm happy to bend to their wishes.
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