How to Cut Cost and Save Money as an International Student in the UK

How to Cut Cost and Save Money as an International Student in the UK

We know you are excited about studying in the UK, but have you considered what it would cost you to pursue that dream? 

Living and studying in the UK can be expensive. However, with proper budgeting and financial management, you can study in the UK without breaking the bank. In this article, let’s show you how to cut costs and save money as an international student in the UK.

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10 Ways to Cut Cost and Save Money as an International Student in the UK

Here are a few ways to help you manage your expenses and keep your account green while studying in the UK.

1. Travel for Less

This is the first expense you will incur as an international student. With the recent hike in the forex market, the price of flight tickets has gone off the roof. You would have to pay through your nose to travel by air, but you can cut costs by choosing cheaper travel options. If you do a thorough search, you will find great deals on flights. Take advantage of more affordable alternatives and discounts available for students. 

READ: Applying for a UK Student Visa in Nigeria

2. Find Affordable Accommodation Off-Campus

Before travelling to the UK, you must think of where you will live and sleep. Unless you have relatives willing to house you, you’d have to secure good accommodation for yourself. This is one of the most significant expenses you will face as an international student in the UK. 

While it may be more convenient for you to live on campus, the available dorm rooms may not be enough to go round. Moreover, on-campus accommodation can be expensive too. Also, living off-campus gives you the opportunity to explore the city. You can look for affordable housing close to your school. Remember, rents vary according to the type of house and location. So, be wise when weighing your options. Make sure you negotiate and try to beat down the price before making a final decision. You can even get a roommate to split the rent and cut the cost of living alone.

You can also consider using the homestay option. Homestay is an arrangement where you are paired with a local host (UK family) who you will live with during your study in the UK. Some homestay hosts will require you to pay rent for your home, while others will immerse you as a member of the family. You will get to eat and do other daily activities with the family. Not only will you save money, but it will also feel like a home away from home.

READ: Accommodation for International Students in the UK

3. Utilize Student Discounts

No one gets to enjoy free stuff like students. There are many student discounts and special rates you can take advantage of as an international student in the UK. For some local businesses, it’s their little way of giving back to society. All you need to do is show our student ID, and you will enjoy the freebies. With this, you can save a substantial amount on food, toiletries, and other expenses. 

4. Buy Used Textbooks

Don’t look surprised. In some countries, it’s common for older siblings, cousins, and friends who have passed your academic level to give you books they used in school. Well, it’s the same in the UK. 

Instead of buying new books every semester, you can borrow from your loved ones who studied the same course and probably have no immediate use for the book. Do you know you can also borrow some books from the school library? You can even check out local bookstores where you can buy or rent used books at cheaper rates.  

5. Get a Part-Time Job

If you want to cut costs and save money in the UK, consider getting a part-time job. Of course, you can work a couple of hours per week with a student visa. You can earn extra cash and save up for your rent. 

You can easily find a job with the help of your University Student Union. Some student associations send job notifications to their registered members. You can also ask your fellow international students who can point you in the right direction.

READ: The Key to Working in the United Kingdom After Your Studies

6. Embrace Thrifty Shopping

This tip is especially for ladies. We know you like to go shopping and do a wardrobe haul now and again. But remember, you have other bills to pay. You can put a tab on your spending by shopping at thrift stores where you can buy at cheap rates and discount prices. Also, take advantage of seasonal and clearance sales.

7. Cook Your Meals

Yes! We know you don’t like to hear it, but we’ll say it. You will save a lot of money if you cook your meals instead of buying takeout. Eating out in the UK, especially in a city like London, can be expensive. You can save that money by buying groceries and cooking yourself. If you dine out occasionally, keep your budget at a minimum.

8. Take Advantage of the School Cafeteria 

Besides cooking your meals, you can also eat at your school cafeteria. Most schools in the UK have dining halls and cafeterias where both on and off-campus students can eat. You can bet that buying food there will be cheaper than restaurants off-campus. Some college cafeterias even have meal plans that let you choose a weekly variety of food options at a set price.

9. Save on Grocery Shopping

If you are a foodie, you will most likely spend a large chunk of your money on groceries. You can cut down money spent on groceries by buying from your local supermarket instead of the big malls. Instead of buying premium brand products, look out for cheaper alternatives. You’d be surprised that the cheaper ones are just as good as the popular brands. 

You can also get a loyalty card from your local supermarket and take advantage of student discounts. This will help you spend less to buy more. Whatever you do, do not waste food. Make sure you store your groceries properly, cook only portions you can finish, and freeze your leftovers so you can eat them later.

10. Avoid Unnecessary Transportation Expenses

As an international student in the UK, you must maintain a minimalist budget. We cannot overemphasise that. It will help if you cut down on unnecessary expenses, including transportation in the UK. Don’t waste money on a taxi or uber ride when you can take the bus or train. You can even ride with a friend and split the bill. These are the little things you can do to ensure you don’t go broke during your stay in the UK. 

READ: How Much Does College Cost in Europe?


Studying abroad is exciting but also expensive. If you want to last the course, you must cut your costs. Don’t let anyone pressure you to lead a lifestyle you cannot maintain. After all, you are there to study and there is no need to keep up with the Jones. If you need help getting your finances right, click here to schedule a call with our career advisors today!

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