It will hardly come as a surprise to most that cities, on average, are twice as expensive to live in than rural areas.
Living in major cities requires a high level of not only traditional financial planning but bespoke money-saving tips relevant to the city you reside in. Essentially, you need to be looking at reducing excess or unnecessary expenses that will help ease any potential financial pressures.
Below, we hope to provide you with some useful tips that you may not have considered adopting to help you save money. Following the below tips, hopefully, you will save some money to either enjoy doing things you love or to simply make the management of your finances a little more bearable.
Budget for every single expense
Each month, you need to critically review all your current outgoings. Establishing a budget that will cover these expenses will allow you to work out how much disposable money you should have each month.
This is not just limited to accommodation and transport, but also the finer expenses, such as utilities and food. This must be planned for to the best of your ability, and you should focus to stay within this spending. There are many tools available to you to help you budget if you need additional help here.
Save on your food bill
In most cities, there are a plethora of available options when it comes to eating out. This can quickly add up, with restaurants beginning to take up a sizable chunk of your monthly budget.
If you have been living in the city for an extended period, chances are you know which restaurants appeal to tourists, and which appeal to locals. Making sure you do research into your area of the best cheap eats will save you money, as opposed to regularly eating at more expensive restaurants targeting tourists.
Looking into local markets and preparing to cook dinners throughout the week will save you a large amount of money over the space of a month and beyond. Although it is easy and doesn’t appear to be a big expense at the time, this quickly adds up. Treat each meal out or takeaway as a luxury and try to limit this to, perhaps, once a week.
Review your rent
This point is more applicable to those renting in a city, which is a growing number of you. Often if you have ‘rushed’ into property, chances are you may have overpaid.
You need to regularly review the rental market and see if there is an opportunity to save money on your monthly rental outgoing. By going slightly further out of town or losing a bedroom, you can save a large amount of money that, over a year, can be the difference between financial success or ruin.
For those with a mortgage, it is worth reviewing the current level of interest and seeing whether you can save money by refinancing at a lower rate of interest.
Cut the unnecessary expenses
If you are currently facing financial difficulty, the best thing you can do is review all your expenses. Working thorough and identifying all expenses will allow you to work out where you are overspending. Put simply, if you can survive without them, lose them.
This is relevant across almost all your expenses. Think online services, food shop, and memberships. Unless you are utilizing these expenses, you can save money by reducing and cutting unnecessary expenditures.
Take advantage of free things
Whilst living in a city, you should be taking advantage of the many free attractions and events that are run on a regular basis. Again, many of the events you discover easily, or by heavy marketing directed to tourists are sold at an inflated rate.
There are many sites out there that update you on what is happening near you. Many groups on popular social media channels will also give you a better idea of free or low-cost entry entertainment as posted by locals and those running events.
Knowing the area for museums, public gardens, and cultural sites also give you better opportunities to save money. Many attractions even offer discounted rates if you live in the city.
Shop around for items
When living in a city, you often fall into a routine of buying items and getting services from the same places you always have. However, in some cases, competition has opened, offering a better or cheaper price for the same product or service.
Shop around to source the best price. This applies to online also, if you can save money by ordering products or services online, you absolutely should!
Reconsider your subscriptions
As mentioned previously, critically review any subscriptions you are paying for and ask yourself – do I really need this?
Gym memberships often slip through the cracks here. Many continue paying for a membership because they claim they will use it when feeling better or have more time. If you are not using it, cancel it and start up a plan in the future if you are truly committed to it.
Earn whilst you spend
There are many ways you can earn additional money back when you spend or save in the future, it is worth investigating here.
One example is loyalty schemes. Many supermarkets or other shops offer point rewards for each time you shop. Should you collect enough points, you can save money or earn rewards that may reduce future spending. Of course, be sure not to spend needless money to earn points, this would be counterproductive.
Another method here is the use of a credit card. Given that the card is paid back in full at the end of the month, credit cards offer cash-back on purchases that, again, generate a form of income on your spending. Just ensure you do not overspend as this would create further debt.
When you can start saving money, you can then investigate the various investment platforms out there that can make your money go further. This is only advised once you have established a secure financial situation.
Following the above advice, we are confident you can find just a handful of ways to reduce your spending to offer you greater financial freedom.