Urban living requires a lot of self-discipline and sacrifice. Besides paying the rent and the daily commute, you also have to make a separate budget for shopping, hangouts, self-care, and entertainment. But of course, one cannot also help but be grateful for living in a big city. It is surely the place where one realizes dreams and ambitions. Also, there is no monetary value that can equate to the excitement and the plethora of experiences in such a concrete jungle.
A March 2019 survey once claimed that the housing market in New York is insanely high. On average, a two-bedroom apartment there is worth $2,499. On the other hand, studio and one-bedroom apartments require tenants to pay $1,889 and $2,098 a month. To survive in a big city, one has to save money and stay afloat.
Keep a budget.
People’s spending may differ from each other, but it is best to track down one’s monthly expenses in a budget. An ideal budget should be enough to cover the necessary experiences while giving you the freedom to move around and enjoy life. If you live within a budget, you have to foresee how many dinners and parties you have to attend in a month and calculating how much money you want to give for clothes, shoes, or restaurant bills.
Some people further make priorities on which dinner is more significant than the rest. And you can do that, too! It’s totally okay to turn down some engagements or make a rain check from time to time.
Allocating money for house furnishings, new beddings, or kitchenware is totally understandable. Consider buying low to mid-range home decors or plastic ware from plastic-molding companies famous for giving their customers affordable but quality products. Don’t feel bad if you go for affordable houseware. There are tons of home decor ideas online to make every object in your house shine and look classy!
Take a walk and enjoy the free activities in the neighborhood.
Commuting around a big city may surely take a part of your budget. With this, consider walking around the city. Aside from big savings, walking to the train station or the office also helps you stay fit and healthy. This is also the chance to get to know the city better, meet more people, observe minute but wonderful details you will never when you spend the whole time inside a train or taxi every day.
You will also be surprised to see free shows from budding artists, restaurant openings, or even free tastes of newly-introduced food products that require zero-fee at all. All you have to do is bring a map around or keep your phone’s GPS open so that you can still find your way home.
Take advantage and chill in free spaces.
Modern cities are a combination of state-of-the-art skyscrapers and parks with manicured lawns and trees. The good thing is, these spaces are entirely free and open for walk-ins. Having picnics in these areas may be the cheapest but priceless experience you can take advantage of in a big city. If you are new, you can search for them online and bring your camera to capture memorable moments. While grocery shopping in a mall, you can also relax in one of their indoor parks, grab your favorite cup of coffee or relax on one of the benches under a shady area.
Don’t be insecure to live below your means.
Folks from your town may be shocked to know that you live in a tiny apartment in a big city. Budgeting and living below your means in a big city are totally okay. Remember, you are on your own, and you have to make sure that every penny goes a long way. Always look for ways to save money and get a cheaper alternative in everything. Who knows, there may be a farmer’s market right behind a corner in your apartment or a cafe that sells cheaper coffee.
Actually, you can buy your own coffeemaker for you to make your own beverage and bring it anywhere you go! Don’t also be shy to go to thrift shops and go for second-hand clothes, shoes, or even furniture. With a little familiarity, thrift shops can offer wonderful items that will make you happy.
Create a timeline and consider long-term goals to move out in a smaller city.
Living in a bigger city may be exciting in your 20s, but have you asked if you want to live there forever? You don’t have to sacrifice and struggle in a big city if you do not get your long-term goals. Why not search for your dream’s fulfillment elsewhere? Be realistic in what you are achieving and be open to possibilities of living in a smaller, more laidback city.
City living is fun but also has drawbacks. Consider the living conditions in your current location. Is it a safe area? Is it healthy or polluted? Are you earning enough money to finance your lifestyle? Be practical. But meanwhile, live the moment, keep your budget, and don’t forget to have fun.