Hi and welcome to my blog. I’ve wanted to set up a personal finance blog for a long time, but I’ve always let other things get in the way. Seen as though it’s my first blog post, there’s probably nobody reading this now, but anywhoo – you have to start somewhere.
For the foreseeable future, I’ll be trying to help everyone who reads my blog to save money. My first post is dedicated to helping people save money in London.
I moved to London once before – and had to move away because of the fact that it’s just so damn expensive. On top of rent being more expensive, travel being more expensive and even having to pay congestion fees if you have a car – if you feel like winding down and having a little drink or two – that’s more expensive as well.
Although this is the case, there are plenty of ways to help you save a bit of cash in the capital – here are a few.
Walk to work – Obviously, you have to live within walking distance to your work or you can’t avoid the public transport costs. Also, the weather plays a bit of a part in it. But if you’re within an hours walk from work, there’s noting better than walking in on a nice morning, watching the sun coming up against the skyline.
Walking everyday is also great for your health, and helps cut the need to pay for a gym membership.
Riding bicycle to work – Still on the subject of getting to work, why not ride a bicycle. Obviously limited to whether you own a bike or not, but if you can still hire a Boris Bike. Once again good for fitness and cutting gym fees, and it gets you to work much quicker than if you walked.
Shop around! – Definitely something people need to do more of. When I moved, I was offered a subsidized gym membership through work at Nuffield Gyms, for £40. This sounded good and I know Nuffield are a well known gym chain, but looking around, I found Gym Group . Not only do they have a gym closer to me, but they only charge £20 per month and are open 24 hours a day.
The same applies to food shopping. Within a 2 mile radius, there’s a Sainsburys, and Asda and a Lidl. I’m not getting into a debate about which one is cheapest, but it’s wise to check out all your options first.
Find discount cards – I worked in Covent Garden for 4 months, and only found out about the I Love Covent Garden loyalty scheme once I left. It’s for anyone who lives and works within a distance of Covent Garden and there are some excellent discounts available. Have a look around and see if there is something similar where you live or work.
Enjoy free days out – The great thing about London is that there is absolutely thousands of things to do. Lots of amazing places and sights that can keep you entertained. Although most things do cost money, there are a few things that don’t. Visiting a museum is free and can be a great day out. And if it’s sunny, you can head to places like Battersea Park and Clapham Common – sit down, bring a picnic and enjoy the sun.
Have a look here for more free days out in London
Sam Smiths Pub – If you like a drink or two (like myself) – beware of expensive pubs charging you far too much for your drinks. There’s a pub chain from Yorkshire called Sam Smiths, and they charge excellent prices on drinks. There are a few scattered around, so check the website and take a look. It’s probably wise to stay away from touristy places, as they can end up charging you a fortune. James Gretton features a map of all Sam Smiths venues here
Commute – If it costs too much to get yourself a place in London, there are areas nearby that are more affordable. Croydon for instance is much cheaper to live in and close enough for you to still enjoy the London life.
Try not to take taxis – Like many things here, taxis are extortionate. Unlike many places, London has a great night bus service, with some buses running a 24 hour service. Always make sure you’ve had a look to see if you’re route is 24 hour, and if it isn’t, share a cab with friends. Check here for London bus routes
Get a second job – Loads of people in London work second jobs. Whether they’re professionals trying to save, or working at a bar to pay for their drinks tab, a second job is definitely a great way to save more money.
So there you go, my first blog post! If you’re planning on visiting or moving to London any time soon, please beware of burning holes in your pockets. And one more thing, avoid charity muggers!