How easy is it to imagine life in a big, glamourous city? You’re probably thinking it’ll be exciting, trendy, adventurous …and expensive? Big cities come with an equally large price tag- In Oxford; houses are going for 10.7 times the yearly earnings of an average employee.
People are drawn to big cities for different reasons, and whatever yours might be, unless you’re earning a commensurate income, chances are the hole in your pocket will continue to get wider if you don’t do something about it.
Does this mean city life is not for you? Of course not, you just need to find clever ways to make it work for you. So if you’re thinking of moving to a big city, or already in one and struggling to make ends meet, here are some simple tips you can try to ease the strain on your wallet.
Get a flatmate
If you cannot afford to live on your own in an expensive city, get somebody to split the cost of big item things with you, like rent, bills and utilities. Getting a flatmate is one of the quickest ways to lower your cost of living. If you and your flatmate are really good friends, you could even split the cost of groceries and nights out.
Less nights out; more nights in
Eating out, drinking out, and hanging out is one of the steady ways living in a city can eat at your savings. Big cities are major attractions for tourists who of course have far more disposable cash than you. They also charge more so frequent visits to restaurants and bars will eventually start to take its toll. The solution does not necessarily mean an end to your social life, invite friends over for dinner instead. Have a house party and ask people to bring some item of food or drink.
Needless to say the first price is not always the best price. Don’t be afraid to bargain. Again, because most big cities are major tourist attractions, prices have been placed higher than average. Let whoever you’re negotiating with know that you are not an ‘outsider’ or that you are looking at it as long term relationship and not a one-off, this will most likely drive the cost down
Your gadgets can be your best savings advisor if you let it. There are websites dedicated to finding discounts, cash back opportunities, reduced event tickets or free activities around the city that you can participate in. There are also several modern banking apps available now that have been designed to make monitoring your spending that much easier. They’re specifically designed to help you create a budget, monitor your expenses, find discounts or helping you set saving goals.