Living in a big city such as New York or Chicago is an exciting and fulfilling experience. However, one of the common disadvantages often found when living in a larger city is the high cost of living.
Here are some tips to show you how to save money when living in a big city.
Use Public Transportation
For most people, having access to or owning a car is necessary. However, when you own a car and live in a big city, it’s an extra expense. Aside from paying for gas, insurance, and repairs (and possibly a car payment), you may have to pay for parking.
If you have access to public transportation via a bus line or subway station, you should use it as often as you can. In most cases, you can even save more money by purchasing a monthly or annual pass instead of paying daily and eliminating the need for a car altogether.
Live with Roommates
Housing is one of the biggest expenses when living in a big city. In a city such as New York, you can expect to pay at least $1500 or more per month for a one-bedroom apartment plus utilities. If you’re not making a lot of money at your job, this can be a financial burden on your own.
You can cut your living expenses by living with roommates. You can post an ad for roommates or find out if any family or friends are looking for a roommate in your area. You can use the money that you save for other needed expenses.
Find a Cheaper Area to Live in
If you prefer to live alone or have a family, then getting a roommate isn’t a good option for you. However, you can find a cheaper area to live to save money. For example, if you live in Chicago, you can look at ForRent.com apartments for rent in Chicago for a listing of apartments and their cost. You can then narrow down which apartment would be good for you and your housing budget. Make sure you are comfortable with the neighborhood. You will have a terrible year if you realize you are afraid to walk outside alone at night the week you move into your new place.
Take Advantage of Free Entertainment
By living in a big city, you have access to thousands of popular events such as music concerts and theater plays each year. However, the tickets for the events are expensive. You should take advantage of the free entertainment such as park activities, poetry readings, and museums. You can stay up-to-date with the latest events by signing up for newsletters and social media updates. Yelp and Groupon are great resources for finding cheap things to do.
Live Below Your Means
It’s easy to get sucked into the big city lifestyle. You may find yourself dining out daily at the newest restaurants or going to happy hour daily with friends or coworkers. However, the cost of these dinners and drinks can add up. You need to create a budget and stick to it. It’s important to live below your means to prevent yourself from overspending. Get out and explore your neighborhood to find the hidden gems that offer affordable dining or entertainment.
By using these tips, you can save money and still enjoy living in the big city. If you are thrifty, you may just be able to save up for a big European cruise vacation to celebrate your success! Just remember to try to save money everywhere you can.