Article reviewed: 2013/01/01 | Next review due: 2014/07/20

You’ve arrived in London with some savings put away, but you’d rather not eat into the whole pot in the first month whilst you’re looking for work and accommodation.


Without using up all of your savings in one go, the cheapest accommodation option is to look for a flatshare. gumtree remains one of the best websites for this, however there are also a number of others online. As an example, you can find a single room in Zone 1 at around £120 per week, including all bills and even the internet. That works out at c.£480-500 per month for a decent location.


For travel, if you can find accommodation in Zone 1 or 2 and you are working within this area, it may be best to get an Oyster season ticket for tube and bus, costing £25.80 per week or £99.10 per month, with the peace of mind that you can travel as much as you want during this time and not overspend.


Regarding food, there are a scary number of supermarkets all over London. It seems nowadays you can’t turn a corner without seeing a Tesco Metro or Sainsbury’s Local nearby. At these supermarkets, an average food basket will cost around £24 per week, or £96 per month.

From this, the minimum spend just to get by would be: £25.80/week or £99.10/month on transport; £120/week or £480/month on accommodation; and £24/week or £96/month on food. Therefore you’d need to allow a minimum of £170 per week or £675 per month in your budget.

Tooltip information:

  • Tube: Underground


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