City life is a dream for many 20- and 30-somethings who would rather sacrifice space, greenery, and money for the on-demand buzz of the concrete jungle. You likely never thought about exactly how expensive city living is and maybe found out the hard way how overpriced everything is. Maybe you moved to the city last year and now struggle to see how long term living is financially feasible. Finding ways to save money here and there can ease the struggle of paying for your dream to live an urban lifestyle. Here are some tips.
Set a practical monthly budget for yourself.
Living in the city is exciting, especially if it’s your first time. It’s tempting to throw yourself into all aspects of city life and give into impulses, like expensive nights out. Figure out how much you actually spend each month, and then figure out how much you can actually afford to spend. Never “feel” out your spending habits. Meaning, don’t tell yourself you feel you can justify paying for something or you feel you deserve to splurge. Prioritize your financial responsibilities, set a budget, and then find the right ways to enjoy your discretionary income.
Live below your means.
Just because you can afford something doesn’t mean you need it. Choosing to live in a modest apartment in a decent neighborhood that allows you to save a couple of hundred dollars on rent can do wonders for your savings account. Live in a place you can afford and consider your priorities when finding housing. Whether commute time, square footage, neighborhood, or roommate needs matter most, be willing to make sacrifices so that you can meet your priorities.
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Bring your own coffee.
Buying coffee at least once a day, five days a week can really add up. The morning cafe experience may be a part of your morning ritual that helps mentally prepare you for the workday ahead, but the daily expense doesn’t help financially prepare you for your future. A coffee treat here and there won’t break your budget, but instead of spending $20 a week for the convenience and experience of going to a cafe, invest in a proper coffee maker for your kitchen and bring your own coffee.
Ditch the car.
When you live in the city, ditch the car and use public transportation or strap on a pair of durable walking shoes and get moving. Living in the city is a great way to save money on transportation costs, and it’s an encouragement to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Biking around the city on a new bike is a friendly transportation option if you live in Hudson County, New Jersey. Most cities offer bike-share services that allow you to check out bicycles via a mobile app. JerseyBike (formally Hudson Bike Share) has bike rack stations in Hoboken, North Bergen, West New York, Bayonne, Jersey City, and Weehawken making it easy and convenient to find an available bike to use.
Signup online or via the nextbike mobile app or register at any Hudson Bike share station kiosk to access a bike. Enjoy unlimited 45-minute trips, make secure mid-trip stops by using the provided cable lock, and return bikes at any official station. Take advantage of a bike share in West New York, NJ, and see the city on two wheels.
Wander around and take advantage of free activities.
City life never stops, with a prime example being New York City. Subscribe to local Twitter accounts, Facebook groups, and social newsletters to stay on top of the free activities taking place each week around the city. Get out of the house and wander around parks and neighborhoods. Between people watching, street performers, local happy hours, and food events, the city is your oyster for free entertainment.
Living in the city doesn’t have to break the bank if you practice these tips for saving money.