7 Ways to Maximize Your Budget in a High Cost of Living City

There’s no denying that some of the most exciting, culture-rich places to live come with costly price tags. One thing many people find when they move to an area with almost limitless activities is that they want to do it all. Unfortunately, many metropolitan go-getters end up draining their bank accounts or coming up short at the end of the month and unable to afford all those fun activities.

high cost of living

If this sounds familiar to you, or you’re looking to move to a more happening area, you can find ways to enjoy the benefits of city living without starving. You don’t have to rake in the cash in order to live in one of these wonderful cities. Or maybe you want to be able to afford to decorate like you want to while living in the urban center.

There are easy ways to save money without losing out on adventure and fun.

1. Find Free Events

If you live to go out, you have to check out free events near you! One of the best aspects of living in a city is that there is always something to do, and you can often find many without entry fees. Discover local community events, parades, and festivals.

Some of the best ways to find free event include your city’s Reddit page, mobiles apps, and social media. I always stop by the library and check out their arts bulletin board to find great community theater productions and to pick up the free community yoga schedule.

2. Educate Yourself on Personal Finances

When it comes to your money, knowledge is power. One of the best ways to increase your budget without having to work overtime or pinch pennies is to educate yourself on personal finances.

If you have student loans, you can decrease your repayment time by increasing your payment amount when you have extra cash. You can also figure out which loans to put your extra money towards if you have multiple.

The same is true for credit cards. Is your current credit card the best option for you? Educate yourself on understanding finance to improve your credit rating to find better credit card options. Try not to keep a balance and find a credit card with rewards you can actually use.

3. Prioritize Your Outings

This can be tough when there are so many exciting options. Instead of thinking about what you’re losing out on by not going to some events, think about how awesome the ones you get to go to are.

If your friends are pressuring you to go out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, give them an alternative. Host a game night or trivia night at your place. If you have a Firestick or Roku tv, you can find an app that will do most of the work. Make it BYOB or a potluck, so you don’t end up with an insane liquor or pizza bill.

4. Ditch the Car

Cars are expensive. If you live in a city with a convenient and efficient public transit system, ditch your car. You can always rent one if you want to take a road trip.

Your car comes with the obvious expense of gas, insurance, and car payment, but the cost of car loan interest, repairs, parking, upkeep like tires, (and speeding or parking tickets if you’re not careful) can sneak up on your bank account.

5. Cutback on Your Closet

Men and women can both financially benefit from reducing their wardrobes. If you work five days per week, do you really need 12 pairs of slacks and 25 work shirts? Chances are you don’t. One of the easiest ways to save money is to escape the idea that shopping is a hobby.

Instead of spending on options, options, options, find a few versatile, quality pieces that you can wear during the week and wash over the weekend.

If you enjoy shopping and don’t think you can give it up, find a great thrift store. Cities often have the best secondhand shops. You can find eclectic options without crazy prices. And reducing fashion waste can help save the planet!

6. Find a Smaller Place That Has What You Need

Re-evaluate your living situation. If you have a 2-bedroom for just you and your cat, you’re probably wasting your money. When your lease is up, check out what 1 bedroom apartment rentals are available in your area.

You can always maximize your space with multi-purpose furniture, like a table that you can set up your laptop on and work from on your sofa.

You will save time when it comes to cleaning up, too. One of the biggest benefits of a smaller place is they’re easier to keep clean: less floor to mop and vacuum, fewer surfaces to dust.

7. Discover Creative Ways to Make Money on the Side

This may sound like work, but if you work smart, making money can be almost effortless. Sign up for a couch surfing app and host visitors in your home. This can be a great way to meet new people and earn a little extra spending cash.

After educating yourself on personal finances, invest your money in some stocks. Try micro-investing apps and let them do the work for you. Or find a coupon based app like Ibotta that lets you earn and save.

Once you making saving a habit, you can plan on the perfect renovation and learn to budget for decorating to celebrate your lifestyle.

Living in the best cities in the world can be affordable and possible–you just have to examine your spending, save when you can, invest your time and money wisely. After a while, these positive habits will become second-nature to you.

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