Living in a big city has its perks, but it can also drain your finances due to the higher cost of living in most larger cities. However, this shouldn’t solely deter you from wanting to live in a larger city because there are plenty of ways to cut your expenses regardless of what your situation is.
If you live in a big and expensive city and still want to reduce your expenses and save money, here are a few things you can do.
Get a Roommate
Housing will usually be one of your largest expenses. If you can cut housing costs down, you can create more room in your budget. One of the best things you can do is get a roommate (or two) to split housing costs with.
Sometimes in larger cities, there are sketchy areas where housing might be cheaper. If safety is a concern, don’t fall for this trap because nothing should be more important than your health or safety. This doesn’t mean that you need to get a penthouse suite with concierge, but you should carefully screen the area you decide to live in and make sure it makes you feel comfortable.
There are usually plenty of affordable areas in major cities that are safe with low crime rates. You just need to do your research.
If housing costs do get high, having a roommate will definitely help. Things will seem much more affordable when you can split bills and rent/your mortgage with someone else. Be sure to find someone you trust and get along with, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with issues when collecting money each month.
Use Public Transportation
Public transportation in large cities tends to be pretty flexible and cheap. If you have a car, it may cost you more money and become more of a hassle than its worth. Drivers who reside in big cities often have to pay permits to park outside their home each month which can get really pricey.
You’ll also have to deal with city traffic and paying to park at others places when needed. In some cases, parking may not even be available since it’s usually limited in cities. A better option would be to hop on the bus or train to get where you need to go or even consider riding a bike.
By using public transportation over driving your car around the city and paying to park it, you could save hundreds per month.Living in a big city doesn't mean you can't live affordably. Click To Tweet
Take Advantage of Free Entertainment Options
One of the best perks of living in a big city is that there will always be something fun and interesting going on. While the temptation to go out to eat and to events can be strong, you can also find a frugal solution by checking out every free opportunity.
If there are free neighborhood events, museums, shows, festivals etc. you can entertain yourself and stay busy without spending hardly any money at all.
Sites like Groupon and LivingSocial will come in handy if you live in a city because there will be tons of deals for you to get discounts on. Living in the city can actually provide much more opportunities to have fun on a budget as long as you are frugal.
Cook at Home
This is something you should do no matter where you live. By cooking at home and even packing your lunch for work, you can save a ton of money on food each month.
Another thing you might want to do to save money on food is to shop at local farmer’s markets during the warmer months. See if your neighborhood or surrounding areas have a farmer’s market so you can stock up on healthy, local produce for cheap.
Farmers in other towns may very well ship local goods to large cities. You can check out a site called Local Harvest to find the best markets near you.
Shop at Thrift Stores
If you’re on a tight budget, you probably won’t be able to afford new clothes often. In a big city, you’ll have tons of affordable options at local thrift stores. Thrift stores have really been stepping up their game lately and many have fashionable and quality gently-used clothing sold at an extremely discounted rate.
You can even get other items used as well to save money.
Get a Part-Time Job
Finally, you may want to side hustle a little and boost your income so you can save more money if you happen to live in a big expensive city.
Unlike smaller suburbs and rural towns, the job prospects are huge in a large city. There will always be someone hiring and while some positions may be competitive, there is more than enough work to go around for everyone.
Some people who don’t live in the city actually commute there because they can’t find work near their home. Being local, you’ll have the advantage over those people and you can work a flexible shift on the side.
You can save all the extra money you earn to build up your emergency fund, pay off debt, or meet another financial need.
Remember, living in a big city doesn’t have to mean you’re destined to be broke. You can always do things to lower your cost of living and increase your income so you can live comfortable and save.
Have you ever lived in a big city before? How did you manage to save while living in a big city?