How I survived living in London with only 6p to my name

Skating through life on £0.06


We’ve all been there, the period after the new year where the rest of the little money we had was spent on buying a scarf for Aunt Susan for Christmas and we’re left with very little to tie us over until our student loan drops and we can continue to eat again. This was me.

After coming back to uni after the new year it occurred to me that I had very little money in my account (£0.06), and that wasn’t just a solid 6p before I was going to go into my overdraft, that was 6p left OF my overdraft. So there I was, with a week until my loan dropped, with only £0.06 to my name. Of course, I could’ve phoned my parents and them being the kindest, most loveliest and most giving people I know would’ve transferred the money over to me in an instant, but you know what, I’m just not that kind of gal.

In the eyes of a challenge I sought to rise to it and not take the easy option of running back to my parents. So here are my top tips on how I survived living in London with only 6p to my name.

Rationing is key

So as expected, you have no money to do any food shopping, thus meaning that the little food you accidentally left in the freezer over the holidays, has to be rationed. Fortunately, I managed to find a packet of sausages I had bought in Freshers’, just because the use by date was the 12th October doesn’t mean they’re inedible right? Desperate times calls for desperate measures and one must not be wasteful. I rationed myself to a quarter of a sausage every “meal”.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta rob it

You’ve got no food, there’s a frozen pizza which you know has been there for months and no one has eaten it, no one will miss it. It’s already out of date, and you’re starving. Just bloody eat it.

Walk, everywhere

As I only had £0.06 obviously that’s not enough money to get the tube, so walk everywhere. Not only is it a fantastic form of aerobic exercise but also gets you points on the King’s Move site allowing you to get free food in the future from the King’s cafe.

I found myself having to walk to Brixton and back in order to meet a friend (yes she probably could’ve come to me but I’m not one to put someone out of their way), from my accommodation in London Bridge this took me 1hr 15 each way.

But it’s fine, stick your headphones in, blast your favourite tunes, think about your life and all the crappy decisions you made which left you with £0.06 to last you over a week, and the time will fly by. 

“Omg, I’m so sorry, it seems as though I have forgotten my purse, how embarrassing, you don’t mind getting this do you and I’ll pay you back”

Yes. It’s humiliating. But this happens when you’re too embarrassed to tell your friend that you have no money but have no shame to pull out this chestnut when it comes to fetching the bill.

Invite your Mum to stay

In the end, I was starving. Out of shampoo and conditioner. Out of deodorant. Couldn’t afford to do my washing (£2.50 a wash, sort it out Wash Station). This was beyond desperate, I had to act accordingly, I had to call, my mother. If anyone’s mother is anywhere near as nurturing as mine, she’ll visit, be completely shocked at the living condition of you room, rearrange your room (because obviously your bedside cabinet actually looks better next to your desk rather than your bed), make a formal complaint to the welcome desk about them not cleaning the showers for two weeks, drive you to Lidl, pay for your food shopping, take you to dinner and then make you a cup of tea with the fresh milk she just bought you. Mum, you truly are, the best in the world.

Yeh obvs my mum

So that’s how I did it folks. £0.06 for seven days. My advice, accept defeat and call your parents.