The City Life: Tips for High Cost Living


A lot of people love the city life. People who live in a high cost-of-living city have to allocate their budget very differently from those living in the country. While rent is supposed to be 25% of your gross monthly salary, that’s next to impossible for those living in a city like Los Angeles. But just because certain cities are more costly doesn’t mean your quality of life has to suffer. Here are some frugal tips for living in a high cost-of-living city:


One of the biggest expenses of living in a city is the rent. Signing a lease for a one-bedroom apartment can cost you upwards of $2000 in some parts of Los Angeles or San Francisco. In order to find something affordable, you often have to settle for living in an area that’s less safe or one with a long commute.

Many people sublet out their apartments to make extra money in cities with rent control. You can find cheap sublets on Craigslist that will let you live in a nicer area while paying much less in rent. The one risk of subletting is that you can be kicked out much more easily since your name isn’t on the lease. But if you’re willing to live somewhere less permanent, you can find some pretty sweet deals.

Take Public Transportation

Nobody loves taking the bus, but it’s a convenient and cheap way to get around a big city. Rural areas lack the same level of public transportation that people living in big cities take for granted every day. While you could hardly live in the middle of the country without a car, it’s entirely possible to go carless in a city like NYC or San Francisco.

If public transportation isn’t fast enough for you, ridesharing apps offer a pool option to those living in big cities. If you share your ride with one or two other people, you can get a Lyft or Uber for a much cheaper rate. Even though these apps are available in smaller cities, they usually don’t have the pool option that a bigger city does.

Find Free Public Entertainment

Cities that have a high cost-of-living are usually the center of culture and art. Therefore, you can find plenty of art museums and events that are often hosted free to the public. For example, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) gives Los Angeles residents free admission weekdays after 3 pm. Get to know your city by exploring different neighborhoods. This will help you tap into the cultural diversity of living in a big city and find fun and free events going on in the area.

Cities have a high cost-of-living for a reason, people love the city life. People flock to bigger cities for cultural diversity, technological developments, and professional opportunities. If your heart is calling you to a bigger city, don’t be intimidated by the cost-of-living. With these easy tips, you can enjoy all the benefits a city has to offer without going broke.

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