Anyone who is considering living in London will likely understand that it's going to be an expensive city to live in. There are some estimates that suggest it is among the top 10 or 15 most expensive cities in the world to live in. Once you have made the decision that you want to live there then you will want to find ways to cut costs. Here we'll take a look at the top four tips for living cheaply in London.
When someone hears that this is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in then it probably doesn’t seem possible to live there cheaply without being impoverished. As a large and thriving City, there are plenty of ways to spend money and if someone isn't careful then they certainly will find themselves overspending. Even so, a person can find a small apartment and eat well on a budget. There are numerous things that someone can do that cost little or nothing.
The important point is that to live reasonably comfortable while doing so on the cheap is simply a matter of being creative. Because of that, we won't be making choices that would likely make the average person miserable. Instead, we'll be looking at ideas that will allow an average person with a basic income to live comfortably in the city and enjoy all that it has to offer. Here we'll take a look at what a small apartment will run as well as other regular expenses such as food and transportation.
Although it's possible to spend any amount that you care to on a place to live it is also possible to get something that is reasonably priced. It is not at all uncommon for a one bedroom flat to run anywhere from £900 to £1300 a month but if you're looking to do things cheaply then you might want to consider a flat shared rental which can often range between £350 - £720 a month. Those prices are something that almost anyone could afford and still have enough left for other living expenses.
Obviously sharing a flat is not something that everyone will want to do but when you are trying to live cheaply in an expensive city such as London then this is definitely one way that you can significantly reduce your costs. In fact, the amount per month that you would pay in such a situation can easily be 1/4 the cost that you might pay if you were to rent a 1 bedroom flat in a nice part of town on your own. It just makes good sense to share a flat as well as the cost.
There are other costs that will need to be considered. These include gas, water, and electricity as well as a phone, TV service and internet service. These costs all together are going to typically run between £60 - £88 a month. When you share a flat then some of these costs may be reduced if you are splitting them with those you share the flat with.
Outside of London, it is likely that you would need to own a car. This would mean purchasing the car, insuring it, putting petrol in it, and doing regular maintenance. These are expenses that will easily and quickly run up the cost of living expenses each month. In London, however, public transportation is great. The Tube can be expensive but there are many places that you can go using the bus. Often the scenery is great and the cost is substantially less.
Using a smart card can be easy and less expensive than using paper tickets for public transportation. They can be used for traveling on the bus, tram, Tube, London Overground, DLR, and most of the national rail services in London. There is also the Travelcards that can be chosen instead of Oyster and you have to take a look at which one will be cheaper depending on what you're doing with it.
Oyster payment cards can often cost less for a single day of transportation but when you're wanting to get a card to use over a longer period of time then the Travelcard can sometimes be the better choice. This is why you'll need to check into it to determine which one will be the lower-cost for the particular way in which you want to use it. In the end, it is still considerably less expensive than owning a car in the city.
London has some great restaurants but those restaurants are typically pricey. This means if you're wanting to eat out a lot then you could potentially spend a great deal of money doing so. In fact, in just a moderately priced restaurant you could be looking at £50 for one person. If you tried eating out just once a day that would quickly add up to quite an expense.
The obvious solution is to prepare more food at home. One idea would be to prepare food that you can take with you and then go to a part of the city that you really enjoy and have a seat and enjoy your meal there. This can mean that you have a terrific view, a fantastic time, and you really enjoy an inexpensive meal. Quite often this can be the perfect way to really enjoy yourself while also saving a lot of money.
Another idea is to go to a restaurant at lunch. Especially on the weekend, there are a number of restaurants that will offer special pricing for those who come in for lunch. These are times when the restaurant typically is somewhat slower and for that reason, they're trying to attract more patrons into the restaurant. The savings can be substantial.
Another idea is to take advantage of something called Firsttable where you can save as much as half off the price if you get the very first table that night at a particular restaurant. This is something that not all know about but that the restaurants commonly offer. Even though it means going in earlier than others might, it is typically traditional dinner time.
It's also possible to go online and find your favorite restaurants and drinking establishments and sign up to their email list. They will very commonly send out vouchers on a routine basis that offer discounts and free stuff. Whenever you get an alert that you have received a voucher then take that opportunity to go out and save some money while having a great time.
Since food is one of the biggest expenses you will have other than rent, then having as many ways as possible to save money on this expense will be helpful. For that reason, there is another way to save money than the ones given above. There are numerous restaurants all over London that have food available that will simply be thrown out if it's not sold before they close.
One way that they try to save on this cost of waste is to offer deep discounts on that food 30 minutes before closing. If you are aware of this you can save 80% or 90% off the cost of that food. That represents tremendous savings. Because many of these restaurants are favorites in the city it means that you can get spectacular food that is perfectly good but at a price that anyone can afford.
There are lots of essentials that we need every month but that can be easily kept. The average person will run down to the corner shop to buy toiletry items, hygiene products, and other similar items. Getting them at the local shop is usually a waste of money. You can easily spend 10% to 40% more for them there.
Instead, consider ordering them for delivery from Tesco or Asda. If you are living in a shared flat then consider going in together with those you share the flat with to buy in bulk to save even more. There are quite a few things that you can purchase that will last long enough that makes it very practical to buy in bulk. Whenever you can do so it is the best way to save a great deal of money.
It is certainly easy to spend a great deal of money going to movies and plays and other cultural events that can be expensive. But London also has quite a few exhibitions and events that are totally free. You can get a free copy of Time Out magazine to be informed about those events throughout the city. It's not at all uncommon to be able to go to one of these exhibitions or events almost weekly.
Hopefully, you can see that with a little creativity and effort you can absolutely live in one of the most exciting and expensive cities in the world on a budget. Living cheaply is simply a matter of making smarter choices and using your money wisely. When you do so you'll be able to live in one of the greatest cities in the world cheaply.
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