Whether you're moving to London or you've been here a while and you've run out of money, there are definitely ways of making London far cheaper than it seems on the surface, or at least really getting the most for your money. This is my fourth year of living in London and I probably have less money now than I've ever had, but there are tonnes of ways of still having a wonderful time.
Don't pay full price for anything. Ever. There's really no excuse to - as a student you'll probably have quite a lot of flexible time, so go to the places you want to go when there's an offer or a voucher code - plan based on those rather than making rigid plans.
Plan your days. Everyone seems to think that you're always near to a tube stop, and as long as you can get on the tube, you're basically close to everywhere. It's a massive perk of London life, but it's not exactly true. You can easily spend half an hour getting from place to place once you've waited for tubes and changes etc.
Find the cheap ways of doing what you love. Obviously, I'm not an expert in every cultural niche, but if West End Theatre can be cheap, I'm pretty sure anything can. The best ways to get cheap theatre tickets can be found here, and there are similar sites and social media accounts (particularly pages on facebook) which will post good deals for just about anything.
Don't go to the same place more than once in your first year. Or do something like that; obviously there are always some old faithfuls necessary but a philosophy something like this would have really changed my experience when I first moved here! It seems excessive - but going back to my favourite places over and over is one of the main reasons why I haven't seen half of the places that I could have yet in London; in my first year at QMUL I managed to avoid Spitalfields Market, which is two tube stops away from me, because I was so set in my ways and went back to the same markets I knew and loved. There are hundreds of places that I can guarantee I don't even know exist, and things like Pinterest makes it so easy to find them! These are some of my favourite ideas.
Don't assume that the free places are rubbish. They're not. Granted, often in other cities the places that are free to get into are the least fun, but you can't apply the same rule to London. The art galleries and museums are all fantastic - I'm not arty at all but I honestly believe that there is something for everyone somewhere in London. There has to be!
Use Twitter, and follow Time Out and Skint London. And also follow me, because I tweet about things like that quite a lot. A LOT of fun can be had - and more importantly, free things! Skint London essentially exists because people are scared that London is too expensive to ever do fun things regularly, and they post multiple times a day!
If you're a foodie, spend less on what you cook at home and leave yourself more money to eat out. Posts like this prove that eating out, and eating well, and eating on a budget is possible! The fact that I used Lidl and Mysupermarket when I lived in halls meant that I was able to have some left over money to go out for dinner.
Does anyone else have any tips about being a student in London? I'd love to hear them, I definitely don't make the most of it yet!