10 Tips To Make Living In An Expensive City Cheaper

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According to the U.N., over 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by the year 2050.

Cities aren’t getting cheaper, and the desire to move to a city is getting stronger.

I lived in Austin, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois for a long time. The cities are known to be some of the more expensive in the country, so I did what I could do save money. It’s worth the little extra work to save some money!

If you currently live or plan on moving to a city soon, use these tips below to make living in a city more affordable.

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables related to saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and daily planning!

1. Overpaying for cell phone service

Fox business recently shared an article that said the average person spends about $57,600 over 60 years for their cell phone plan. That number doesn’t include buying new cell phones, extra equipment, etc.

I tested out a Tello Mobile phone that cost me $19 per month

Slash your cell phone bill in half by switching to Tello. Tello plans start at $5 and the highest plan being $39. You can cancel or upgrade your phone plan any time you want and keep your existing number. I only need the $19/month Tello plan which gives unlimited text and calling, with 4GB of data. 

2. Lower your bills and save money (I saved $290)

Billshark is a MUST for anyone who has a cell phone, cable, internet, or insurance bill and wants to lower their bill.

And trust me, it works because I’ve used it myself on 3 different bills and I’ve saved $290.

Here’s how Billshark works:

  1. Send copies of your bills to Billshark. (I did this by uploading an online PDF of each bill).
  2. Billshark negotiates all of the bills you send in.
  3. You get notified if Billshark was successful. If they are, they take 40% of the savings. Ex. Billshark saved me $290 over the course of 6 months, so I pay them $116. I can do this in a monthly payment plan or all at once.

It’s definitely worth the savings and it was such an easy process. 

You can start lowering your bills with Billshark here.

3. Incorporate vegetarian or vegan meals

One of my all-time favorite parts of living in a city is access to vegan meals.

Meat is incredibly expensive, not to mention the environmental toll it takes to produce meat.

Here is a list of 10 vegan lunch recipes you can try that are easy on the wallet and your waist!

4. Negotiate and ask for discounts

A simple call can make a huge difference in your bills each month.

I negotiate on everything! From cars, utility bills, deposits, car insurance bills, you name it!

You’ll be surprised as to what kind of discounts you may be missing out on.

Billshark is a MUST for anyone who has a cell phone, cable, internet, or insurance bill and wants to lower their bill.

And trust me, it works because I’ve used it myself on 3 different bills and I’ve saved $290.

Here’s how Billshark works:

  1. Send copies of your bills to Billshark. (I did this by uploading an online PDF of each bill).
  2. Billshark negotiates all of the bills you send in.
  3. You get notified if Billshark was successful. If they are, they take 40% of the savings. Ex. Billshark saved me $290 over the course of 6 months, so I pay them $116. I can do this in a monthly payment plan or all at once.

P.S. Sign up below for the FREE ultimate financial planner that includes printables like: debt tracker, income tracker, annual budget summary, savings challenges, financial goals, and debt thermometers!

5. Increase your credit

Increasing your credit can make it easier to waive deposits.

Your landlord may also ask for a cheaper deposit if you have good credit.

A high credit score will save you money when you purchase a car, rent or buy a house, take out a loan, or when you apply for a credit card.

Having a high credit score could land you your dream apartment.

If the landlord received several applications for an apartment, they are most likely to choose the person with the best credit as it shows they may be the most reliable to pay bills on time.

6. Take advantage of free or cheap things

Living in a city offers so many free resources that need to be taken advantage of.

Do you live near a tech school?

You could get your car worked on for very cheap or free just by having students work on them.

Do you live near a school hair salon?

You could pay less than $20 for services like haircuts, manicures, and even facials.

When I lived in St. Louis, we had a variety of free museums to choose from, ranging from art, science, and even a free history museum. You have to do some digging to see what’s available in your area!

7. Learn how to cook

With the abundance of restaurants in cities, it’s easy to spend hundreds of dollars every month on outings.

Do you have trouble cooking at home or not sure what to make?

HelloFresh delivers all the ingredients you’ll need (so you waste no food) and step by step instructions to make cooking easy.

8. Take advantage of the library

Libraries offer so much more than just books.

Depending on your library, you may access to renting household items, workout DVD’s, free language learning classes, conference rooms, and more.

Libraries also have free or discounted tickets to entertainment events such as concerts, museums, sporting events, and more.

Even if you don’t want to make the trip to the library, you can take advantage of Overdrive which connects you to your library and their available eBooks.

9. Travel cheaper

One of the best things about living in a major city is getting access to one-way flights to awesome destinations around the world.

To make traveling even cheaper, I recommend using Hopper, a site that tells you when to fly and buy.

After you decide when you’re buying your ticket, use Ebates to get cash back on your flight.

Many major cities offer cheap round-trip flights to awesome destinations all around the world. This is something I miss now that I live in a small town!

10. Reduce energy

Take advantage of energy saving light bulbs, and use an eco-friendly showerhead to help preserve water without sacrificing the quality of a shower.

You could potentially save hundreds of dollars per year along with hundreds of gallons of water just by replacing your showerhead. It’s that easy.

What to read next: How I Make $10,000+ Per Month With These 4 Side Hustles

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What do you do to make living in a city cheaper?

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