Money saving tips

Travel

You can save of fare with a Student Oyster photocard – find out more from TFL about the 18+ Student Oyster photocard.

For transport outside of London, try booking in advance for cheaper fares or explore other forms of travel such as coach services Megabus and National Express.

However, don't underestimate the power of walking around London. Only need to travel one or two stops? You'll be surprised at how close many of the stations are. Save yourself a fare and get the chance to explore more of the city instead.

You can save on train and tube fares but up to a third using a 16-25 Railcard, available for everyone aged 16-25 and mature students in full-time study.

Part time work

Part-time work is an option to boost your funds as well as a great way to get out and meet new people. You should aim to work no more than 10–15 hours per week to leave enough time for your studies. 

Overseas students need to check the rules for working in the UK before starting any job.

Have a think about working on campus, there are shops and cafes and even offices that have vacancies.

Providing online tuition is a good way to earn extra spending money from the comfort of your room.

The big punchers are internships… Banks definitely pay the most and are easier to get into.

Discounts

Use your College ID to gain access to a range of student discounts offered by many cinemas and theatres, high street shops and even some restaurants.

Have a look at sites like studentbeans.com and unidays.com to find the latest offers. Your wallet will love you for it.

Exercise

No need to splash out on expensive gym memberships. Imperial students have access to our on-campus gym, Ethos.

Membership options include:

  • Basic membership is free. You'll be able to access to the sports centre to use any of the pay-as-you-go facilities, such as classes or the Sports hall.
  • Student membership is £30 a year for 2020-21. You can use the gym and swimming pool at all times.

Find out more about Ethos and student memberships

 

Things to do

Make the most of free events and attractions around the city, including festivals such as the More London Free Festival, and Europe's largest street festival the Notting Hill Carnival. 

Don't forget that Imperial lies right next door to three of the top 10 UK visitor attractions: the Natural History Museum, Science Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

There are many other free cultural attractions, museums and galleries so you'll never be short of things to do.

Shopping

  1. London has a huge range of markets including Camden, Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Petticoat Lane. Pick up fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and meat, often cheaper than in the supermarkets. It's also a nice day out!
  2. Buy second hand from sites like eBay or Amazon (check the version number carefully) or have a look in Imperial's vast library collection.
  3. Save money on haircuts by booking trainees and you can spend that cash on something else instead!
  4. Try supermarkets own brand labels – they may taste just as good and be much cheaper than branded products
  5. Take advantage of special offers, e.g. buy one get one free, 3 for 2 etc, on items you would usually buy
  6. Make a list and stick to it. This will help you avoid buying items on impulse
  7. Look out for discount shelves or items in the reduced section
  8. A weekly shop is much more economical than lots of little trips to the shops
  9. Don’t shop when you’re hungry
  10. Plan a weekly menu and cook with friends/housemates, sharing the costs
  11. Make your own sandwiches for lunch
  12. Some supermarket chains deliver, and while there will be a charge for this it may be no more than a bus or taxi fare, Split it with your housemates and its even less
  13. Register for Loyalty Points.  This gives you money off coupons and cash vouchers to shop in-store
  14. Look out for newspaper and magazine coupons
  15. Sign up for email alerts from consumer discount sites
  16. London favours the supermarket savvy. Most places have loads of delicious ready-to-eat/cook meals at bargain prices