As Fresher's Week has come to an end, this question is probably on every student's mind as they substitute hangovers and wild partying for late-nighters in the library: How will I survive financially? As a second-year student studying at Roehampton University, I've managed to learn a few tricks of the trade of money-saving since my first year. So before you have a nervous breakdown over being broke for the whole year, take a deep breath, relax and take a read of these tips I've conjured up for you.

Student Discounts

Student discounts are everywhere, but when living in London, they're a lifesaver.

Not only are they good for saving on food, stationary, but you can still have fun and with friends.

These are my top four discounts:

1) NUS Extra discount card

2) Free 16-25 railcard if with Santander (1/3 off train fares)

3) UniDays account

4) Student Oyster card (30% off adult tube fares and must be studying/living in London to apply):

Free trials

You're probably a bit wary when you see 'free trials' because they often come with a catch. Well, no worries if you're a student. On top of your average free month trial with Netflix or gym membership trials, there's one which is a must-have for any student which I took advantage of last year.

Amazon Student Prime. What does this come with?

1) Free one-day delivery

2) Full access to Amazon Prime (including The Walking Dead, Outlander and Transparent among others) and Prime Music

3) Exclusive discounts

And how long does this last for? Six months. And on top of that? If you want to carry on, you only have to pay £39 per year instead of the usual £79.

Another little trick I learnt last year was taking advantage of free trials for societies. If you doubt your commitment to any of the societies you've signed up for, go along to a taster session/free trial and pay for the membership afterwards if you want to carry on.


London is a thriving city, and so come plenty of job options for students.

Retail, babysitting or barista work, there's something out there for every student while studying in the capital. Yes, it can be difficult given that every student is most likely in the same boat as you, but as long as you persevere, you will find something.

1) Get a job on-campus. Sometimes your university needs a little extra help with running things. Not only does it add a little more money into your bank account, but it also shows your enthusiasm for your university. Whether it's being a Student Ambassador, Flat Sitter or Sales Assistant in your corner shop, what better way to earn money in the very place you're studying?

2) Check out your university's Facebook groups. Often Students will post job ads in the local area i.e.

nannying, tutoring, last minute help. If part-time work can't coincide with your timetable, this is a good alternative if you're looking for short-term solutions while studying.

3) Sign up to your university's job site. This is how I got my job as a freelance journalist, funnily enough. Normally there'll be sections on making a CV, job vacancies matching your criteria and advice on interviews and post-graduate work. Take advantage of this and your career's department in any way you can. P.S - the sooner you do this, the better.

4) Sign up to UniTemps. Depending on your university, UniTemps is a good site to sign up to. It advertises jobs both in university and the local area and is almost the same as number three, except with more variety of where you can work.

All you have to do is register, upload your CV, put down references and skills, and apply away!

5) Go out into the city and hand out CVs. From experience, applying to jobs face-to-face shows your eagerness to employers. Not only will this motivate you to hand out as many as possible, but it will also get you out of your dorm for the day.


Well, you're probably thinking if you're living in London, you'll only be living on Pot Noodles and baked beans on toast for the next three years, right? Wrong. On top of the NUS Extra Card and UniDays (refer to above), I have one other trick: take a look around. I like going on little expeditions to areas in London and I've found a lot of interesting deals and alternatives to the extremely tempting Asda superstore near Roehampton.

These include:

1) Tesco Metro, Sainsbury's and Poundland in Hammersmith

2) Aldi, Lidl and Iceland right opposite each other in Tooting (my idea of heaven)

3) Aldi, Asda and Sainsbury's in Kingston

4) Tesco, Sainsbury's and Waitrose in Richmond.

Or if you're really in a pickle and need a quicker way of finding prices, then look on My Supermarket. If you quickly want to see how much your shop will be in various supermarkets, this is a great website to check out. As the title suggests, it's really like Compare the Market or for supermarkets.

If you're struggling with buying food in general, plan ahead and budget. On average I'd spend roughly £30-£35 on my big shops which were bimonthly and would have a meal plan and list app.

How did my food last that long? Checking dates and freezing. If you're health conscious like me, then buy frozen vegetables and meats. They're as good as the fresh alternative and will last longer both in quantity and time. And if you really love your fresh salmon or bacon, then check for a snowflake label on the packaging and freeze it when you get home.

Oh, and buy a few cheap frozen meals to keep stored in the freezer for when you're too lazy or tired to cook after a hard day's work studying and partying.

School Supplies

I'll admit, I'm still a bit sticky with this one, but I'll try my best.

If you're worried about buying textbooks, then my advice would be any of the following:

1) Look on your university Facebook groups for students selling their old textbooks

2) Renew library books depending on how essential they are.

3) Find an e-book version. My university library catalogue includes e-book versions of core texts which are free to access.

4) Look in Amazon Market and buy used versions for as cheap as 1p (yes, really). Here's an example from A Guide to Uni Life for an idea of how it works.

I also suggest using number four or rummaging through old supplies from the sixth form if you happen to be lucky for stationary. Seriously, the same amount you'd spend on those brand new fine tip coloured pens, A4 notebooks and desk organiser when you have perfectly good ones at home could end up costing the same as a West End ticket. Just keep in mind you're on a budget. Oh yeah, and try and take as many free pens from fresher's fairs

As for your dorm, I suggest taking a few bits of cutlery, glasses and crockery from home instead of buying brand new sets.

Not only are you saving money, but you're also giving yourself an incentive to clean your crockery once you're done with it.

Trips Out

Of course, you'll want to be exploring London while studying there. In fact, I find nothing better than to explore around the city looking for inspiration for my writing and assignments. Whether you're going out on your own or with your friends, here are some attractions which are affordable for any London student.

Merlin 4-in1 London Pass

While it may look expensive at £55, you're actually saving over a third off compared to individual admissions. Valid for three months after purchase, these are the attractions you can visit with this pass:

The London Eye

SeaLife Aquarium

Madame Tussauds

Shrek's Adventure! London

As somebody who's been to three out of four of these attractions, they are all worth checking out for any London student.


Well, you're in luck because almost all of them are free admission in London. Although you have to pay for certain exhibits, the areas around the museums that are free are still worth checking out. These include:

The British Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Science Museum

The National Portrait Gallery

The Tate Modern


Yes, West End ticket fees aren't exactly the same as your community theatre. Given that I love going to the theatre between my studies, I managed to scrounge up a few websites for your inner theatre bug:


From The Box Office

ATG Tickets

Or alternatively, I've managed to find cheap-as-chips tickets at the box office on the day. Seriously, my mum and I decided to watch Phantom of the Opera (a show we saw three times prior) on a whim and it ended up costing £25 per ticket.


Of course, London has shopping for everyone from the rich and famous in Harvey Nichols to the hipsters in Camden. If you can't exactly afford the luxurious Harrods or Selfridge's, here are some good alternatives to spend your extra dosh:

Camden Market

Oxford Street

Westfield's (Stratford or Shepherd's Bush)

Bentall's Shopping Centre (Kingston)

Covent Garden

Spitalfields Market

I hope all of these little tips will help you adjust to life as a London university student. It may seem like a chore, but believe me, it's worth it. Getting into a London university is a reward within itself, and now I leave you with one last piece of advice:

Have fun.