Big city dreams mean big city prices. This may be the case for most, but if you budget the right way, you can turn those dreams into realities. Maybe you’re considering moving to Manhattan, Los Angeles, or San Francisco to embrace the high-energy and immerse yourself in the busy city life but are afraid of the cost of living. Luckily for you, there are ways to make your big city living dreams come true.
Renting and Buying
Renting is definitely a popular move in the city, but some people prefer to buy a home and stay in the area for a longer time. City taxes are considerably higher than any other area and even the “least expensive” city homes are very pricey. To qualify for a mortgage in the city (which is also very expensive), you will need a high income and great credit score as well.
Renting is a safer option since there are no “surprises” along the way and you know what your monthly payment will be. Obviously, city apartments in San Antonio are going to be more costly than apartments in smaller towns and cities, so it’s important to remember that 30% of your income will equal the rent you can afford. In places like NYC, trying to find an apartment that is less than 50% of your income may be close to impossible.
Below are some ways to cut costs when living in the big city and take more advantage of the functional ways of city living.
If there is any major way to save money in the city, it’s to leave your car at home! The average cost of parking in a city rounds out to approximately $450 per month, while finding a spot on the street to park or a parking garage close enough to your apartment is a heavy challenge in itself. There are many other options to get around in the city, such as riding your bike, taxi, or carpooling. Oftentimes there are cafes, restaurants, and grocery stores close enough that driving isn’t necessary.
Keep Track of Your Daily Spending
Little things can add up like subway or train rides, seeing attractions and sipping that latte at the local coffee shop. Allocating a specific amount of money for these “wants” every month will help you know exactly how much you are spending and how much you have left. Transitioning to a city apartment always seems high at first since you are most likely buying accessories and furniture items until you are fully settled in, but that will decrease over time.
Meal Plan Ahead of Time
Cities often inflate prices in the little corner grocery stores since they are conveniently located within walking distance of most buildings. It is worth checking out some of the larger grocers outside the city to save money on common household foods. Doing this avoids not knowing what to cook and finding the closest pricey restaurant available.
Breakfast and lunch are easy ways to save and make quick meals in your apartment before work or going out for the day. Dinner is often where people find it challenging and opt for heading out to a restaurant instead. Fruit, granola bars, and wraps or sandwiches make for great, easy snacking when living a busy urban lifestyle.