The first reaction people gave me when I mentioned that I was making the big move to London for a job I had worked my but off to get was “Oh it’s very expensive to live there”.
Yes, it is very expensive to live in London if you compare it to other parts of the UK, but a lot of people just blow the full topic out of proportion… London is liveable for the average graduate who is just starting out in their career, you just need to re-arrange some of your spending habits!
There are so many things to see and do in London and it really is the place to be for people trying to make it within the creative industry, whatever that discipline may be. I say, don’t let the “It’s expensive to live in London” chat put you off moving to the capital to pursue what you want to do! Be smart with your money, read these four tips I’ve wrote out for ya and do what you want to do:
1 – Your Flat… Now, let’s be honest if you’re a fresh grad walking into your first major full time role – like myself, then you are going to have to flat share and it’s going to save you a tonne of money. Finding a flat as close to your work as possible to avoid as much of a commute in the morning not only gives your more sleep time (love) it also saves a lot of money on London transport, being able to walk or cycle to work is the ideal position to be in. Stating the obvious, but look for flat that are realistically within your price range, if that means having a single room or giving up a living room area, just remember why you have moved to London and giving up these luxuries are definitely not permanent. I flat share, walk to work and do not have a living room area… I’m doing just fine!
2 – Little changes… Okay, you don’t NEED that coffee you buy from starbucks everyday! Use the tea & coffee provided at your new office, yes it may not have all the extra sugary creamy stuff but it doesn’t cost you a penny and you can maybe start looking at that starbucks coffee as a treat every now and then. Simply changing from a good ol’ Sainsburys food shop to a Lidle food shop will go a very long way every month… trust me I know! Every night when I make my dinner, I always make enough for lunch the next day, which 9/10 stops me heading off to buy some over priced sushi and a dessert that probably in total comes to £15. Big no no, save your cheat days for when you really need them!
3 – Weekends… Okay I love a drink and good party as much as the next person but this is when London becomes reallyyyy expensive – what do you mean it was £5 for that below average Cider you just served me? There’s only one thing for it, pre-drink. In your flat or in a lovely park with friends, pre-drinking then only buying one or two drinks at the bar is the ultimate weekend millionaire saver.
4 – Money saving app… When I moved to London I downloaded a money saving app called ‘Chip’. Analysing your spending habits and how much you have in your bank, the app takes small amounts of money from your bank and stores it away making sure you don’t spend it! …And I guess it works because I just bought flight tickets to Canada with my Chip money! Hell, download this app even if you don’t live in a city!
Easy. You can afford to live in London.