London is an ideal place for new graduates to work, as it is the home of many businesses, from start-ups to multinational companies. The capital of England boasts a diverse range of cultures, historical monuments and a remarkable transport system. It also has a wide range of options for dining, shopping and entertainment.

As much as London is exciting, it is also one of the most expensive cities in the world. The annual cost of living per household in 2017, including accommodation and groceries, was over £30,000.

If you’re starting in a new job or looking for work, you might think to live in London will drain your bank account. However, there are many ways to save cash without compromising your lifestyle.

Accommodation

Rent can be expensive in capital cities, but often you’ll find affordable accommodation if you don’t rush your search. Also, rent shouldn’t be the only factor in your search for a place to live. Always know what the rent charge includes; the price might be reasonable, but it might not cover utility bills or other local fees.

An option is to split the rent with someone else. You’ll find many shared flats and cheap hostels for rent in London. Some of the accommodation comes with amenities like free Wi-Fi, as well as laundry and cleaning services.

If you value your privacy as well as your budget, a one-bedroom flat is an attractive option. Check what furnishings and utilities are included. Consider accommodations near your workplace so you can save on commuting costs.

Transport

london bus

If your workplace is out of walking distance, then public transport is your best option. London has buses, tubes and trains that take you to your destination quickly.

To reduce your travel costs, buy a Travelcard. It gives you unlimited travel on all forms of public transport in the city, good for a week, a month or a year. The one-time payment may be expensive, but it’s cheaper in the long run than buying single-return tickets all the time.

Alternatively, consider biking to work. Not only does it save you money, but it also burns calories.

Food

Your best way to save money is by cooking at home, and shopping at low-cost grocery stores and local markets. When eating out, look for wallet-friendly restaurants. Some restaurants also offer discount cards that give you freebies or discounts on certain items for a certain period. That way, you can reduce your bill and enjoy eating out once in a while.

Entertainment

Your stay in London doesn’t have to include expensive drinks or tickets to watch a musical in the West End. There are plenty of things to do in London that are free.

If you love history, head to the British Museum. You can view art collections at the Tate Modern or take pictures of street art at Camden and Shoreditch. Hootananny Brixton and the Top Secret Comedy Club offer free shows on certain days for music and comedy aficionados. And if you prefer the outdoors, stroll through London’s many parks like Hyde Park and Greenwich Park.

London is a fantastic city, but it can also be an expensive place to live and work. However, there are many ways to save costs, so you don’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle.