Travel funds at an all-time low? Tell us about it. Living in one of the most expensive cities in the world makes saving money beyond difficult. Don’t give up yet though, making these small, everyday changes can help build your funds in a big way, so you can save money in London. Hello, holiday!
1. Invest in Rewards Cards
Make the most out of the money you spend and get yourself in the reward card game. Many of the UK’s commercial chains offer loyalty points schemes that reimburse funds and give rewards once you’ve accumulated a significant number of points. Sainsbury’s Nectar Card, the Tesco Club Card, Boots’ Advantage Card and Superdrug’s Beauty Card, are just some of the programs available.
Cafe’s also offer a similar reward scheme, so if you fancy your latte before heading out, then use these coffee shop loyalty cards to garner points towards a free one! You’ll be glad you did.
2. Explore the many free things to do in London
Possibly the best city in the world when it comes to cheap days out, London is home to hundreds of free museums, galleries, attractions and parks. Ensuring both you and you’re bank account have a great day out! Our favourite free days are spent visiting the Imperial War Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, strolling Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill and Hampstead Heath, and window-shopping at Notting Hill’s Portobello Road Market.
Other options include walking along the South Bank from the London Eye to Tower Bridge. It’s part of the Thames Path and you’ll see many attractions on route, including the free to visit Tate Modern. Visiting Somerset House and window-shopping at Columbia Road Flower Market are both great places to wile away an afternoon on the cheap.
3. Or, if something really strikes your fancy, book online!
Whether you’re a London local or a visitor, booking tours, attractions and other must-do experiences online rather than at the entrance gates is almost guaranteed to save you a bit of dough. Being organised has other perks too, with online bookings usually granting customers skip-the-line access to sites so you can go VIP-style and beat those pesky queues. Check out all of our amazing discounts on London experiences.
Research is key in making the most out of London with a minimal budget, and we love Urban Walkabout’s London borough guides. Although they have sadlly ceased to publish new guides for London, you can still find some of their borough guides. Or just head out and wander around the local area where you are staying. It’s a great way to explore, you may find a quirky shop or cafe and is a superb way to save money in London.
3. Reuse your water bottle
Although it might seem inexpensive, buying a bottle of water each day adds up. In London we’re lucky enough to have access to clean water, so each bottle of water you buy really is an unnecessary expense. Instead, save an empty bottle or invest in a good sports bottle and reuse it. Then, make a conscious decision to pop the money you would have spent on bottled water into a savings jar, and you’ll soon see how quickly the pennies add up.
Besides the savings factor, you’ll also enjoy the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing you did your bit for the environment too.
4. On your bike
One of the most expensive parts about living in London is travel. If you’re not living far from work, why not swap your ghastly tube commute or bus ride for a bike ride or head to work on foot?
As well as saving significant dough on transport costs, you’ll also bid goodbye to commuter stress and get fit too! If you don’t want to invest in your own bike, there are a number of companies offering e-bikes, e-scooters and even e-motorbikes. They are often cheap to rent, and if you only need them for a short commute, even better.
5. Dine for less
Signing up for a Bite Card or tastecard is one of the easiest ways to save fast cash on nights out in London, with these programs offering whopping discounts for some of the city’s best restaurants each and every day.
Pick your cuisine that’s pulling at your tastebuds, and let’s be honest London has more choice of different cuisine than you could ever imagine. Your dinner dates have never been this good.
Psst. A penny for your thoughts?
If you’re anything like us, you’re bound to accumulate loose copper daily, so why not make the most of it?
Enter, the Penny Saving Challenge. The concept is simple, save 1p each day, increasing the number by one for each day that you save. For example, on day one – save 1p, on day two – save 2p, and so on and so forth. It may not seem like much, but after a year you can save over £650! Plus, because you’re saving funds in such small increments, you won’t miss it.
An added bonus: Put your savings from the challenge straight into a bank account so you can gain interest on it, too. Then you’re ready to use your saved cash. Perhaps a special treat like a West End show or afternoon tea at the Ritz?
It’s actually not that difficult to save money in London. It just requires a little thought, perhaps thinking outside of the box, and you can really reap the benefits. We’ve given you six, but perhaps there are more? Do you have any travel-saving hacks we should know about? Leave us a comment!