The United Kingdom has a reputation for being on the pricier side. Whatever brings you to the UK, whether it’s to study, work, or you’re simply there as a tourist whose curiosity has been piqued by the country, you’ll need to know how to remain on budget while there. Things like entertainment, food, and transportation among others can cost you quite a bit of money, but with the right planning and budgeting, you can easily enjoy yourself while keeping your spending to a minimum.
Indulge Yourself for Free
The UK compels visitors to seek entertainment and leisure while in the country. Being home to some of the world’s most famous cities and renowned attractions and destinations as well as having a busy and vibrant atmosphere, it’s hard to sit still while there. But being on a budget doesn’t mean you don’t get to enjoy yourself, here’s how you can do it!
- Visit Free Attractions
The United Kingdom is home to a wide variety of attractions that allow free entry spread across its grounds. Here are some of those attractions:
- Natural History Museum, London
- The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh
- The Tolkien Trail, Birmingham
- The National Football Museum, Manchester
- Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle
- Have A Park Day
The UK is a relatively green country, with several cities and towns having a variety of parks and open green spaces spread throughout their grounds. Parks are often either free or require minimum entry fees; you can head over there and enjoy a stroll or a picnic with friends!
Eat Healthy and Smart
A huge chunk of our budget usually goes towards food, whether it’s grocery shopping, eating out, or getting takeout at home; all of this costs a considerable amount of money and leaves us struggling at the end of the month.
- Restaurant Vouchers
Many restaurants, especially fast food chains, offer vouchers for their customers. Sign up for vouchers! Those come in handy at the end of the month as well as when you’re too busy or in a time crunch to cook.
- Don’t Forget Your Doggy Bag
If you happen to eat outside, do not hesitate to ask for your leftovers to take home with you. You paid for the food, why let it go to waste? These leftovers might serve as the next day’s meal or as a midnight snack, you never know!
- Skip The Middle Man
Try ordering directly from a restaurant or a food chain and not relying on a food delivery app. These apps, while saving you from having to call the restaurant yourself, cost you a whole lot of extra money that may reach a sum of £10. So, make that call and save your money!
- Buy in Bulk
When shopping for groceries, make sure you buy in bulk and for the whole month in advance. This is considerably cheaper than having to buy individual items and make several trips to the grocery store. One and done seals the deal!
- Try Supermarket Own Brands
Supermarket own brands have garnered a false reputation for being of lesser quality than popular brands in the market. Put the prejudices aside and try out a supermarket own brand; not only will it save you money, but it will also be of good and deserving quality.
- Say No to Hungry Shopping
Do not shop on an empty stomach, that’s basically the gist. Being hungry while shopping or buying food, in general, makes one buy things that they don’t really need, just because they’re hungry and it looks good to them at the moment. Don’t live to regret it, just eat before heading to the store!
Be Travel Savvy
Transportation in the UK can take up quite a bit of one’s budget while there. Getting from one place to another in the country or even in the same city could cost you a lot if you don’t really know the ropes or the ways in which you can affordably get around the UK, so let’s talk about them!
- Buy Flexi Train Tickets
Trains as a method of transport are extremely popular in the UK with the tickets not always being affordable. This is where Flexi Tickets come in handy! These tickets could save you around £100 a year or even more compared with daily returns, that is if you commute two or three days a week, what a deal, huh?
- Get Your Bike out of Storage
Cities across the UK are almost all bike-friendly, allowing residents and visitors to wander around and explore the city on their bikes. Cycling is a great way to save money on transportation in the UK with cycling maps being available as well as bike lanes, and bike storage spaces. Staying healthy and saving money? Two birds one stone!
Find someone who shares the same commute as you, split gas money, and head to your destination together every day. You’ll make a friend and get to work and/or school in a guaranteed, safe, and easy way. Carpooling is fun, money-saving, and environmentally friendly, so you’d be doing yourself and the planet a favour!
Buy More, Spend Less
Being in the UK compels you to buy stuff all the time. The stores are spread out all over the country, showcasing various brands and an array of products that tempt you to just spend all your money. So, how can you buy whatever you want while saving money? Let’s find out!
- Try Thrifting
Buying secondhand items, whether they’re clothes, furniture, or household items, saves you a lot of money. Not only do you save your money, but it is also better for the environment! You can also find rare pieces of clothing or unique furniture and collectable items at extremely affordable prices, it is totally worth it!
- Look for Vouchers and Promo Codes
If you’re shopping online, there are plenty of promo codes and vouchers offered there, especially for first-time users, during holidays, and at the end of every season. Make sure you snag some of those offers and buy whatever you want at half price or less!
Set A Reasonable Budget
The only way all of those money-saving tips will work is if you already have a budget plan to follow. Invest in a planner or download one of those budgeting apps and make sure you have the entire month budgeted, with every expense and detail accounted for. Don’t forget to set aside an emergency fund in case of a rainy day, and maybe set aside a surplus to reward yourself with when you successfully stick to your budget!
These were some of the most important tips to follow and ways to save money in the UK. If you’re planning on taking a trip there in the near future, use this as your guide, and make the most of your time there while remaining within the bounds of your budget. Don’t forget to follow our tips to make your trips easier.