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    Managing your finances as a student in London

    By Adeyemi Adelekan, Postgraduate Research Student

    In this latest lifestyle piece, Student Writer Adeyemi gives advice for students on how to manage their finances (and still have fun) while studying in London

    Managing finances as a student in London can be very challenging. With its bustling high street markets, diverse restaurants and bars, rich cultural heritage and fantastic night life, there is always something to do. However, with school fees and housing costs on the side, how can you manage your finances to balance your monthly expenses, while making the most of your time in this fun city?

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    Plan first: As a student, primarily, you should budget in advance for necessities such as accommodation, food, transportation, mobile fees, among other essential expenses. This can help cut down your monthly spending on trivialities, which can be quite high if not budgeted properly, as you live and study in such a vibrant city. So, my advice to you would be to focus on the most important elements of your student life in London and the expenses around that. Social life and trivialities should not come before your necessities on your monthly budget.

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    1. Exercise discipline: Keep your plan in mind at all times! Stick to it. As noted on The Telegraph, the university years come with huge responsibilities, which include handling significant amounts of money or paying living costs such as tuition and housing fees, stationary, food etc.

      You need to be disciplined in order to spend effectively as a student and this requires sticking to a budget, regardless of how tempting it maybe to overspend.

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    2. Prioritize: It is normal to include needs and wants in your budget that you don’t sometimes have adequate resources for. However, being able to prioritize your finances is crucial for not only surviving, but thriving in this fast-moving city. I usually buy my needs first and wants later based on available resources. If what I want is not feasible this month, I can always save to buy it later.

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    3. Use discount options: Take advantage of your status as a student! With an NUS Extra card, I have access to over 200 student discounts from major stores and public organizations such as National Express (26% off), stuff4students (60% off), WHSmith (15% off), The Co-op (10% off) and many others.

      All students are entitled to this card as well, which can be easily obtained through the Middlesex Student Union or here.

    4. Go for bargains: Most online and physical stores in London frequently offer various sales and clearance items, you can leverage as a student, during the following periods: January sales, April (Easter weekend), early and late May bank holidays, November (Black Friday & Cyber Monday) and December (Boxing Day sales).

      Some of these items can be sold at half the original price or even lower depending on the store or the item and you usually can find a bargain in your local area stores without the need to travel far.

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    5. Leverage free and shared resources: There are 320 laptops for free loans across the Middlesex University’s Hendon campus and in the Whittington Health Library. Students are entitled to free printing services and free e-books that can save you an estimated £450over a three-year period.

      Also, shared housing services, which can be found through the student’s accommodation website, can be leveraged to reduce housing costs.

    6. Get financial advice: The Student Welfare Advice team at the university is always there to help you with any information you need on managing your finances as a student. Find out more about their services here.

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    Adopting these practical, but simple, strategies will help you manage your finances more effectively, while experiencing all that this diverse and vibrant London city has to offer.

    If, like Adeyemi, you would like to write a Student Lifestyle Post, get in touch with us now!

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