Many people dream of living in a major city. It offers numerous advantages over rural living, such as more jobs, better education options for children, and a plethora of housing to suit most budgets. The only downside is that city life is inherently more expensive than moving to a neighboring town or village.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to live out of a cardboard box on the street because you can’t afford to pay your everyday expenses in the city. Believe it or not, it IS possible to take advantage of affordable city living. So, the big question is this: how is it feasible to achieve that goal?
The good news is that it’s easier than you think. Check out these brilliant strategies to illustrate just how simple it is to live in a major city and still have money in your pocket after you pay your bills each month:
Share your home with other people
Perhaps the most obvious way to live in comfortable surroundings in a central city location is to share your home with others. Doing so immediately cuts down your rent expenses by 50% (or more if you share with two or more people).
Many people tend to share their homes with people they know, such as friends or family members. Of course, there is also plenty of folks that share with strangers too. If you’re not a fan of living in a big house full of other people, it pays to look at apartments for rent instead. That way, you only have one or two flatmates, and the rent is cheaper than that of a house.
Live in a suburb within commuting distance
Cities have scores of suburbs within them. Unless you have deep pockets, there’s no way you can afford to live in a luxury place right in the heart of the city center. What most people tend to do is live in a suburb just outside of the center but still within city limits.
The prices of apartments and houses to rent are lower, and there is higher availability than the ones right in the middle of a city center. It makes sense to consider properties close to public transport links, such as bus stops and train stations. This is important, as you may not have the opportunity to drive to work or elsewhere due to a lack of parking in city center areas.
Learn about the hidden gems of your city
Sure, there will be the usual tourist traps in every city where everything costs around 300% more than it should! But, if you take the time to discover the “hidden gems” of your city, you’ll find places that are cheaper to eat, drink, and socialize with your friends.
Websites like TripAdvisor are brilliant for finding out places that have excellent reviews and offer real value for money. There will no doubt be plenty of local websites that also give you the “inside knowledge” of where to go without spending a fortune in your desired city setting!
Get a well-paying job
There is no point moving from your present location to the city only to get a job earning the exact amount of money as before. Why? The answer is simple: your expenses will be higher the closer you move to a city center!
Therefore, it’s logical to instead seek employment with companies that are willing to pay you more than the industry average for your job. Plus, if you enjoy your work and employer, you could, in due course, apply for internal positions that pay even more money!
Believe it or not, it’s seldom difficult to find a well-paying job for what you do. You just need to take the time to diligently search for positions each day.
Be savvy with your grocery shopping
A lot of folks buy all their groceries from one supermarket only. While that may seem like a convenient way to purchase your food, drinks, and toiletries for the week, it can also be an expensive way to survive!
What you should do once you move to the city is be savvy with the way you do your grocery shopping. “How do you do that,” you might be wondering? Well, one of the benefits of living in the city is you have access to a plethora of supermarkets, greengrocers, and stores.
It’s worth spending some time to find out where people go to buy their groceries in your neighborhood. For example, there might be a market a few blocks away from where you live that sells fresh fruit and vegetables at half the price you would pay in a supermarket.
You should also learn where the nearest stores are that sell the things you need but at discounted prices, especially if you buy in bulk. One such example is Costco.
Find out about happy hour in your local stores
One of the ways that retail stores and supermarkets drive customers into their establishments is with promotions such as happy hour! In a nutshell, this is where certain products get reduced within a one to three-hour time period on a particular day.
Sometimes, it makes sense to buy your groceries on different days of the week to take advantage of such promotions!
Get acquainted with cashback and coupon websites
If you buy a lot of the things online that you use on a regular basis, it makes sense to visit those merchants via cashback websites. The way they work is simple: you click on a special “affiliate” link from a cashback site and continue your purchase as usual. Once your order is complete, you will eventually receive a percentage of the referring site’s commission from your retailer.
Many of the leading brands that you buy online from each year can be found on cashback websites. The good news is that it doesn’t cost you a thing to take advantage of such offers!
Also, have you ever seen those TV programs where people have scores of coupons that they print out and their $200 grocery bill is only like $3.47 at the checkout? Well, you may not wish to be that extreme with your couponing, but you can save a substantial amount of cash each week by downloading and printing coupons to use in-store.
Feeling lazy and don’t want to cook? Do this instead of buying take-out!
After a long day at work, it’s tempting to phone up and order a pizza or something like that. Let’s face it; the last thing you want to do after a trying day is to spend up to an hour cooking yourself a meal from scratch!
The thing is, while many take-out establishments don’t charge ridiculous amounts of money for their food, it can soon eat into your grocery budget if you keep doing this on a regular basis!
A better alternative is to get dressed and get out of your apartment or house. Why? The answer is simple: you’ll come across lots of street food vendors in your neighborhood that sells delicious take-out meals for less. So, whether you’re after a taco or some Thai food, you’ll discover a food vendor near your home.
Another advantage of doing that is you get to burn some calories before you start eating your take-out meal!
Invest in bus and subway passes
It doesn’t matter which city you want to live in around the world, one thing that is universal is the fact that weekly or monthly bus and subway passes are far cheaper than paying for individual tickets.
Such an investment makes perfect sense if you also use public transport to commute to work and back each day. With many passes, you can often use a variety of transport options at any time – perfect for traveling around the city when you’re not at work!
Do cheap and free things in your spare time
Did you know that there are a wealth of things you can do in your free time that won’t cost you anything? Many of your city’s places of interest have no admission charges, such as art galleries, museums, and other public places.
You might even come across organized outdoor street performances and plays that are free to watch. Spend some time online researching what’s on in your area to make the most of your non-work time without blowing your entertainment budget!
Craigslist is the perfect place to buy furniture and electronics
Even if you have no trouble paying your rent each month, you may find it a struggle to buy new furniture and electronic goods. Fortunately, Craigslist can come to the rescue and help you keep more of your money in your wallet (or purse)!
Each day, thousands of people list “as-new” items, especially unwanted gifts, that you could snap up. Be sure to browse the site each day to discover the things you want to buy so that you can save some cash.
Thanks for reading today’s article; I hope you’ve found it useful!