Budget-Friendly Tips for International Students Living in the UK

  • Posted on January 10, 2024
Budget-Friendly Tips for International Students Living in the UK

Starting your international academic journey in the UK is like opening a new world of opportunities. Yet, truth be told, dealing with the budget can still sometimes feel like a Herculean task! Fear not, we are here to back you up. In the blog ‘Budget-Friendly Tips for International Students Living in the UK’, our study abroad consultants in Ernakulam will be sharing all about cost-saving advice designed just for you, the discerning international student in the UK! It is like living an ideal student life without always being concerned about money. From food preparation tips and tricks to secrets about affordable living, we are here so you can be sure your time in the UK isn’t just spent studying but also having fun while not putting a dent in your pocket. So get ready to enjoy some budget-saving ideas as our study in UK consultants reveal the latest guide for mastering student life in the UK!

7 Budget-Friendly Tips for International Students Living in the UK

Becoming an international student and starting the academic journey in the UK is one of the most exciting adventures full of new opportunities and experiences. However, finance management is an important part of taking the best out of your academic life. In this all-inclusive guide, we will explore cost-saving strategies that allow you to make prudent financial choices along with enriching your stay in the UK. Those pro tips are as follows :

  • Prepare Food at Home
  • Accommodation
  • Proper Financial Estimation 
  • Buy Secon-hand Textbooks & Furniture
  • Utilise Freebies
  • Transportation
  • Insurance

1. Prepare Food at Home:

Engaging in the culinary diversity of the UK is certainly tempting, but it can have a negative effect on your expenses if you do so often. Instead, it is always highly recommended to make your own meals at home. Grocery shopping enables you to visit local markets, find cheap as well as good food products and try out new meals. This both costs less and promotes a healthier lifestyle. Initially, you may find cooking along with your studies and part-time job difficult, but, when you understand how beneficial it is, you will never step back from it.

Pro tip: Plan your meals for the week and compile shopping lists. Shopping bulk products offer you huge discounts which benefits your financial planning.

2. Accommodation:

Deciding where to stay is one of the most important decisions that will add or subtract quite a bit from your budget and overall health. The two types of accommodation you can avail are mainly:

On-Campus Accommodation:
Deciding to live in on-campus accommodation ensures that students are close enough to campus facilities thus enabling residents an immersive college experience and find part-time jobs in and around the university or such campus. It is easy to get engaged in classes, libraries and campus events when you are not that familiar with your location well. On-campus housing facilities often present a more conducive environment, with amenities such as study lounges and recreation areas. However, this convenience is costly in terms of renting space meal plans and additional fees compared to off-campus counterparts.

Off-Campus Accommodation:
Students who choose off-campus housing can live more economically and freely. In particular, shared housing with fellow students may prove to be a budget-saving choice where one can control spending. Living off campus encourages independence and a variety of housing, but commuting to the education facility compromises convenience. Finally, whether to choose on-campus or off-campus housing depends upon the person’s likes and elasticity of budget and also the comfort in associating with others versus being alone.

Pro tip: Use online platforms such as SpareRoom and Gumtree to search for low-cost living spaces outside the campus. Decide them based on proximity to public transportation and local amenities.

3. Proper Financial Estimation:

It is very important to create a detailed budget if you want your finances managed. Start by identifying an amount for fixed costs like tuition fees and housing, then apportion money to spend on groceries, transportation expenses and other miscellaneous charges. Make use of budgeting apps or spreadsheets to monitor your spending and modify the budget as required.

Pro tip: Regularly look at your budget to identify sections where the cash can be decreased or funds reallocated for a balanced financial plan.

4. Buy Second-hand Textbooks & Furniture:

The cost of textbooks and furniture is legendary, but some options will not break the bank. Check second-hand bookstores, online platforms or consider university bulletin boards where students sell or swap their textbooks. Similarly, check out thrift stores or online marketplaces for cheap and eco-friendly furniture.

Pro tip: Create a group of classmates with whom you can share books, thus reducing individual expenses and building teamwork.

5. Utilize Neighborhood Freebies:

Communities usually work together to supply their needs and as an international student, you can enjoy the community spirit. Join local social media groups or attend community events where residents may give away free items such as food and household essentials.

Pro tip: Establish connections with locals as not only a way of obtaining freebies but also networks that will be supportive through the period spent abroad.

6. Transportation:

Travelling around the UK can be pricey unless you are careful about transport costs. Opt for walking or cycling if distances are short, look for options like student discounts offered on public transportation. Public transportation is a cheaper choice for daily commuting in many cities as students pass on buses and trains could be offered at discounted rates.

Pro tip: Buy a bike for affordable mobility and to see your surroundings up close as you wish.

7. Insurance:

Although insurance might not appear as a positive expenditure, it is the best thing you can do to ensure your well-being. Look at cheap health insurance policies tailored to international students so you can access medical care without spending a lot of money.

Pro tip: Compare various insurance plans according to coverage and how much you will have been paying, in choosing the one that suits your needs based on budget.