How much money do you really need in London?

Hi, I want to start uni next year, I've been looking at London, since it's the city I know the best and would feel comfortable living in, I'm also interested in Birkbeck because of the evening study. Humanities degree.

I would be trying to get full tuition fee and maintenance loan. As a student coming fron N.I and living without parents I would get up to £6,780 for a house each year. Outside of school year I would be living with my parents back in N.I. I have about £4,000 saved up till now and I'm planning to get a part time job (I work in retail now, getting about £700+ for 4 days a week, 5h a day)

Is that okay to survive in London? I live sort of like a hermit, don't really like parties, going out and all that. I also don't eat much and only sandwitches and sweets. Terrible diet, i know, lol.

Everyone is telling me that London is too expensive for me and I won't be able to make it. I've been searching through the sites offering rooms to rent and I found 700 results for rooms that costs £500 with bills included. I know they're not central, but I don't mind travelling at all. I don't mind also paying more for better comfort since the big part of the cost would be covered by the maintenance loan.

Thank you for answers. :beer:

Sorry for my english, not native here.


  • silvercar
    silvercar Posts: 46,917 Ambassador
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    Two of your biggest expenses will be rent and transport; you can investigate both these now.

    You have the transport costs to get to and from college and out and about and also the costs of going to and from your parents each term.
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  • zagubov
    zagubov Posts: 17,880 Forumite
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    You can get away without a car as public transport is good.
    You'll have to live out in the suburbs if you want to live cheaply. There are few big supermarkets in Central London and no discount chains until you get further out (some Aldi, Lidl, Asda, not really any HB or B&M).

    Are you looking for rooms that you only need for term-time?
    Might not be easy to get, plus you'll need to find storage for your goods.

    I wouldn't suggest London's really geared up for students, price-wise, unless you are living with relatives or sharing with others. Lots of other big cities will be much more affordable, and it doesn't sound like you have a compelling reason to not consider them..
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  • in_my_wellies
    in_my_wellies Posts: 1,647 Forumite
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    edited 5 January 2020 at 2:38AM
    Look on the Imperial College web-site for accommodation costs. Look on student finance calculator.
    The maintenance grant seems to cover the accommodation based on a household income of £60,000. (that was the only income I tried)
    Imperial has some dedicated accommodation quite near so 10 - 15 minute walk - no transport cost. My son had a room in the top floor of a building next to the Albert Hall, complete with concierge. On hot summer nights he could listen to the concerts and smell the perfume drifting from the roof into his room.
    If it's the right course for you then go for it but take a look at others
    Love living in a village in the country side
  • peachyprice
    peachyprice Posts: 22,346 Forumite
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    No more that any other student city really if you can stay in halls. Most unis in London offer an ensuite in a shared flat for around £150 pw term time, it's just a case of finding a uni that allows 2nd and 3rd year students to stay in halls. It's gets expensive when you start looking for private rentals.

    For example my daughter is in halls in a London uni, her friend is studying the same course outside of London. Their rent is the same but my daughter gets the London allowance, meaning she actually has a decent amount of money left for living after her rent, her friend has zero left, her parents have to support her or she has to work.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
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