Thursday, 5 April 2018

How to Move to London on a budget?

So you want to move to the big smoke?, but your short on pennies?

I moved to London from Sheffield all on my own at 18years old penniless and full of dreams, so I thought I'd share with you my story and some tips on how I managed to do that.

I'd always dreamed of living in a big city, I visited New York in 2009 and fell head over heels in love.
Since it was practically impossible for me to be able to move to New York from England, I figured London would be the next best thing!

I've always been a creative person and was passionate about Fashion, and was about to complete my BTEC National Diploma in Fashion and Textiles.
Our college lecturers were preparing us for University, and they all warned us not to go to study Fashion in London, they 'said' how hard it was to get onto Creative courses in London and how expensive it was to live there.
But being my stubborn taurus self i was determined to prove them wrong, I applied to London only universities and was super pleased with myself when I got offered a space on a Fashion Design Degree.

I moved to London with absolutely no money!
I had jobs since I was 14 but I was never a saver, always a spender, what can I say?.. I love shopping!
literally I had a £10 in my purse, and I paid my first months rent with my student overdraft, which set me back £500 a month, for a tiny little room in a shabby old shared house.

So how did I survive?
Student loans, in the uk when you apply to university, you can apply for student finance which covers your tuition fees, and they also give you a maintenance loan which covers the cost of your living expenses, rent, food etc.
I got only about £8000 a year for my maintenance loan, which with rent at £500 a month + bills and the extortionate travel costs of living in london was not nearly enough.
So I got a Job working in a clothing store on the side which gave me a little extra money to buy food and sometimes treat myself.
It definitely wasn't a glamorous life and I did struggle but I was satisfied.

Never did I have any help with my rent or living costs, my parents were broke so I couldn't count on them for any help.
The majority of my friends at Uni had their parents paying their rent and living costs, as well as having the £8000 student loan a year, so god knows what they were spending their money on?!
And most of them didn't have to work either, Yes I'm a little bitter!

So yes it is possible to move to London without any money, But would I advise it?
Honestly I don't think it was the smartest idea, but I was young and nieve, I was following a dream and running away from some demons back home, so I definitely don't regret making the decision.

If your following a dream like I was such as getting into a creative industry I'd say go for it!, Whilst there's lots of competition, I always say ''follow your Dream's'' You only get one life so do what you want to do!

My Tips

Plan well
whilst I moved to London penniless, I would advise to save if you can, work full-time and save up some money for a few months or a year before moving, so you have a safety cushion.

Get used to sharing
Unless your super rich your probably gonna have to rent a room in a shared house, rent is extortionate in London and your looking at £500 a month minimum for a room.
1 bed flats can be upwards of £2000 a month!

Work hard
If you want to make it in London, be prepared to work hard, London is extremely competitive and talent can only get you so far, be prepared for long working hours and very little sleep, Work never ends in London.

Don't expect to live central
When you move to a city like London you always picture yourself living in the centre, with views of big ben from your window, and everything at your fingertips. 
However with London being one of the most expensive cities in the world chances are you'll find yourself living on the outskirts think zone 5 or 3 if your lucky! A lot of the time it won't even feel like your in London but not to worry as there's plenty of nice places outside of central London and transport links to and from London are immense. 

Get Tough
When living in a big city you need to develop a thick skin in order to survive the daily stress and craziness of everyday life. 
Learn some street smarts because there's lots of people who will try and take advantage of you.

Hope you found this post helpful, let me know your thoughts?

Have a great Day! 


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