How to save money in London
Living in London is expensive, so it is good to be prudent when spending money. Here are some top tips on saving money when you are living in London.
1. Find cheaper accommodation
Rent and paying for accommodation takes up a large chunk of your monthly pay packet and budget. Just renting outside of London could save you an average of £200 per month.
If you are buying a property, then buying a property just an hour’s commute from London, can save you up to 60% for an equivalent property in London (Mail Online, by Alex Wright, check out report here). There is an added factor of paying more for the travelling expense, but even with that factored in, you will still be making a lot of savings per year.
2. Buy annual travel passes
If you buy an annual travel card, you could be saving a fair amount of money. Find out how much an annual travel pass will cost you and how much you could be saving.
Some companies will loan you the money for your annual travel pass and take it out of your monthly pay.
3. Save on groceries by shopping in cheaper places
When you are shopping for groceries don’t go to the expensive brands of supermarkets. Go and buy your groceries from the budget supermarkets. Sometimes, you might just go to the nearest supermarket even though it is more expensive. But, think how much you could save in a year if you went to shop at a cheaper place.
4. Travel Off-Peak hours
If you are able to then travel at off-Peak hours as it is cheaper. Although, this is not always possible and you are dependent on your hours of work.
If you are buying fruits and vegetables, buy it from the local fruit and veg shop or the local market if there is any within your vicinity. They would be much cheaper and you would save money.
5. Buy 2 for 1
When you buy toiletries or other household products, look for the buy 2 for 1 deals or look for items which are on sale. If you are buying shampoo or shower gels, there are always certain ones on sale. Buy those and buy a few months’ worth.
6. Don’t buy the coffee / tea from and to work
If you buy coffee / tea on the way to work or on the way home from work, then try not to. Wait till you get to work and have it there. Or wait till you get home and have it there. It’s just a habit, which you can get out of. If you spend £5 a day on coffee / tea, then that’s a £100 a month and £1200 a year.
Or if you cannot stop it completely, then just have it on occasions when you are really desperate and cannot wait till you get to work or home. You might still be saving £50 a month or £600 a year.
7. Take a pack lunch to work
Take a pack lunch to work. You will be saving a lot of money and you will probably be eating better and fresher food. You know if the food you are taking for yourself is fresh and how it was made.
If you spent an average of £7 per day for lunch, then that’s £35 per week and £140 per month. If you took lunch from home it would probably cost you half that.
8. Walk to work
If you live nearby, then walk to work. It will also keep you fit and active.
9. Buy clothes at the end of season sale for the next season
When shops are having end of winter sales to bring in the summer clothes, then buy your winter clothes for the next winter. And, when shops are having end of summer sale, buy your clothes for the next summer.
This way you will buy your clothes during sale times and pick up lots of bargains. This will enable you to save money when shopping for clothes.
Your fashion will always be a year behind, but unless you are really into your fashion and new look for the year, it is a good idea.
10. Have nights out in the suburbs or outside of central London
When you have evenings or nights out, go outside of central London. The restaurants, pubs and clubs are much cheaper. You will have a nice time and save money.
11. Shop around and compare for cheaper energy, broadband, insurance and phone deals
If you compare and find cheaper deals for gas, electric, broadband, insurance and mobile contracts, you could be saving hundreds of pounds a year. Don’t just stay on your existing contract when it expires because you might be paying much more than you need to. Check our article on how to switch and save money on energy prices: Switch Energy Supplier For a Better Deal.
12. Set a weekly / monthly budget and be strict with it
You need to set a weekly / monthly budget and be strict with it. If you don’t have a planned budget then it will be harder to stick to limiting your spending and saving money. Do a calculation of your weekly / monthly incomings and outgoings include rent, travel money, food money and socialising money. It is important you stick to it to see the benefits.
13. Consolidate your loans
If you have lots of different loans, see if you can put it all in a single low interest credit card or loan. Some credit cards will give you Zero interest transfer for a set period of time where you will not be paying any interest.
14. Give up the satellite / cable TV and watch Freeview
If you are paying for cable or satellite TV, give that up and watch Freeview TV, and you will be saving money. If you are working, how much TV do you really get to watch a month. Is it worth the money?
15. Put off buying stuff till the next month
When you want to buy something, especially luxury or non essential items, try putting it off till the next month. And, then the next month. Sometimes, you will find that you don’t really want it or need it anyway and not buy it.
16. Don’t pay for your energy with a prepaid meter
If you are paying for your gas or electric using a prepaid meter, try and go to monthly payment instead, if you are able to. A prepaid meter does not give you value for money and you will be paying more for your unit of energy.
17. Use a money saving App
If you use a money saving App, it could help you save money. Some Apps will round up the price you pay for your shopping and save the difference. For instance, if you spend £1.60, then it will round it up to £2 and save the 0.40p for you. So, you could be saving without noticing.
18. Limit your socialising
Limited the numbers of socialising times you have per month. Every time you go out socialising it costs money and it becomes hard to keep to your budget.
Check out money saving tips from Imperial College London: Money Saving Tips.