Urban living comes with quite the conundrum. To live in the city and have a great job, you need to sacrifice on space. Even those with top paying jobs are forced to make do with apartment and condo living. For everyone else, city-living can seem like a nightmare. Not only do you live in a shoebox, but you also don’t have money to go out and do anything. It seems like you are always broke and always struggling to get by, but don’t worry. Living and having fun in the city doesn’t require you to have a six-figure salary, it just means you have to be smart. Use this guide to master the art of city living on a budget, and you can have it all:
City Living Tips
City living is difficult, even without the added stress of budgeting on top. That is why you need to follow these steps to make sure you have the perfect place, can get out there, and make new friends. Follow these city living tips…
- On Finding Your Perfect Home Base
When it comes to finding your perfect home in the city, you need to go by your budget. Figure out how much you make, and how much monthly expenses should be, and from there work out what your monthly rent should be. A general rule of thumb is not to exceed a third of your monthly income on rent. If you can work it out so that it’s less than a third of your rent, then that’s great! You’ll have more money to put into your savings.
Once you have that budget, you need to stick to it. There are so many apartment-hunting websites out there where you can search for apartments in your budget. If you can, stay with a friend or family member until you find a place that fits your budget. They exist, but you need to be patient and be realistic with what you can get in your price range. When you’re realistic, you will know what’s a good deal and what isn’t.
When you’re searching, you also need to be imaginative. There is a lot of advice out there on Small Space Living to help you make the most out of your apartment. Opt for potential, rather than overly furnished.
- On Finding Local Hotspots
Once you have moved in and settled, it’s time to get to know the city. When you first move in, the best way to be introduced to the city is to visit all the tourist hotspots in the area. Many hotspots are free to visit and enjoy, so go to those attractions and sites first. These sites are typically historical and culturally important to your city, so it’s a good idea to get acquainted with them.
- On Staying in the Know
After you have become acquainted with the hotspots in your city, it’s time to expand your knowledge of the city from a tourist to a local. Do this by walking around, liking social media accounts that post about the city you now live in, and following local news. Not only will you find great places using these methods, but you will also be in the know about upcoming events, soft-launches, sales, and openings.
- On Networking
To truly enjoy your time in the city, however, you need to make friends. Start by being friendly with your neighbors and your coworkers, and try to meet people through them. You should also look for classes or organizations in your area that you can join. That way you will not only have a fun activity to do, you will also be around like-minded people. It can be difficult to make friends as an adult, but it’s not impossible. Put yourself out there and network with everyone that you meet.
Now that you know how to settle in and love your new home, it’s time to work out how to budget appropriately. It is entirely possible to have a fun and frugal-friendly life inside a city, you just need to know where the deals are and have a budget.
- Cook at Home Often
Food and eating out are some of the biggest budget-wasters. Instead of eating out for lunch every day at work, bring it from home. You can make a lot of meals in advance and store it in your fridge or freezer for cheap. As a bonus, you will also benefit from the healthier meals. Save eating out for rare special occasion.
- Go to Soft-Launches or Special Days
Instead of going to expensive restaurants and bars on regular days, try to go when there are deals available. There are many restaurants that will offer half-price on certain days, and happy hours at certain times of the day to entice customers. Soft-launches are other great ways to save money towards great restaurants. Soft-launches are, essentially, the opening event for restaurants who want to gain exposure quickly after they have opened.
- Maximize Discounts
There are discounts for everyone, if you know where to look. The most obvious discounts are student or elderly discounts, but really there are deals to be had everywhere. A great way to change the way you shop for better discounts, for instance, is to shop online and to search for discount codes. These codes are available freely online. Similarly, you can also shop using price-comparisons.
- Go to Free Events Over Paid Events
The beauty of living in a big city is that, though things are typically expensive, they are also home to some of the best and biggest free events in the country. Take advantage of these free events by staying informed and on top of them. There are many free events that are ticketed not for price, but for available slots.
There are so many ways to save money and to spend less, the point of city living, however, is to spend less while still doing more. Stay on top of events, openings, and exhibitions in your city and live the city-living dream, while staying within your monthly spending budget.