Guest post by Zoe Price
Anyone living in London knows just how expensive the cost of living is. According to recent statistics, the average monthly costs for a family of four living in London are £3,024.37, and that doesn’t even include rent. For a single person, it is about half that cost, making it a very expensive city to reside in. So what if you’re attached to London and don’t have any desire to move to another city or town, but you want to be able to downsize and live on a tighter budget? Is it even possible?
Here’s the good news: there are plenty of ways you can downsize your costs of living in London and ensure that you can stick to your budget. Sometimes it just involves a little creative thinking. With that said, here are some tips and advice that can help you start saving money right now.
Downsize to a Smaller Home
The first tip is to think long and hard about your current residence and ask yourself if you can downsize. Downsizing could mean moving to a smaller place, or it may mean moving to a different neighbourhood that has more affordable housing options. While London isn’t exactly known for having cheap places, prices do vary throughout the city.
If you’re looking for more affordable options try the following areas of London:
- Barking and Dagenham
While none of these are “cheap”, they do tend to be cheaper than other areas in the city. Moving to one of these areas may be all it takes to make your bills affordable.
Downsize Your Bills – Consider Living with a Roommate
Another way you can bring down the cost of living in terms of your rent or mortgage is to consider living with a roommate or flatmate. This is very common in London and can have a huge impact on your monthly bills.
Of course, if you want to go this route you want to be sure that you find someone that you feel comfortable living with, and that you can count on to pay their share of rent and expenses. Obviously living with a friend or someone you already know tends to be the safest bet.
Downsize Your Food Expenses – Shop Cheap
Sure, you have to eat, and doing your own food shopping will be cheaper than eating out all the time, but with that said, there are markets that are known to be “cheaper”. You will essentially be able to downsize your grocery bill by visiting these markets. Some of the cheaper ones are the Yasar Halim Market, Lewisham Market, and the Whitechapel Market.
Downsize Your Home Insurance
The next tip is to look at how you can downsize your home insurance, which can be done by looking for cheap home insurance. Obviously, you can’t go without this coverage, but it doesn’t mean you need to be over-paying for it either. It’s all about finding the best policy for your money.
Finding cheap home insurance can be done very quickly and easily using comparison websites. You can then compare the prices and coverage and figure out what makes sense for you and your budget. It’s just another effective way to downsize your cost of living in London.
Downsize Your Transportation Costs – Ditch the Car
While in some cities and towns it makes sense to own your own car in, London is not one of them. If you own a car in London you can expect to pay a lot in terms of expenses. Then take into account the fact that London has an excellent public transportation system, and it just doesn’t make sense to own your own car. Now is the time to sell it and start saving money.
It should also be said that there are money-saving tips to apply to the public transportation system too. For example, if you can travel around during off-peak time, you’ll find those tickets are cheaper. There is also the annual travel card, the London travel card, and the Contactless card. Be sure to look into all options to figure out which is best for your needs and budget.
Then there is the fact that London is a very bike-friendly city, so if you can cycle to your destination it will save you a lot of money.
Making London Living Affordable
All of these tips look at ways you can downsize your current cost of living and in fact, make living in London a whole lot more affordable. Of course, you’ll need to stay consistent with these habits and continue to be creative when it comes to finding ways to save money.