Expats Moving to an Expensive City: Budgeting 101

expensive-cities-expatsThese days, many folks find themselves expatriates, living out of their native country and off to a large metropolis like New York City or London. If you’re interested in locating to a bustling city, it’s important to look into the cost of living before packing up the moving boxes. As you do your research, you may find your desired location is one of the most costly ones – but don’t let that discourage you. We’ve gathered tips and best practices that can help you live comfortably in (or near) an expensive city.

Review Expenses

Before moving, do your due diligence. Estimate your income and budget and get a good handle on what you can realistically afford. (It’s also good to have a bit of a cushion in your bank account, as moving can be unpredictable and can cost more than you originally plan.)

Deciding where you least mind being inconvenienced can lead you in the right direction. Would you rather live in a newer building? Are you open to having a roommate? Are you willing to cut down on your entertainment funds for paying rent?

Also consider your transportation options carefully. Walking or biking are the best bets for saving money on getting from here to there (not to mention, great exercise). If you have to take the subway, consider a monthly unlimited pass. And if you have to cab it, UberPool and Lyft Line are common in large cities and save you money by carpooling with other travelers at a reduced price.

You can save even more money by shopping smart. The Cheat Sheet suggests you make a list of necessities and stick to it. Use coupons and scope out sites like Freecycle and Craigslist if you need big-ticket items at an affordable price.

And finally, consider getting a second job. Not only is this a great way to put extra cash in your bank account, but a great way to meet new people in a city that is new to you.

Think Outside of the City

In order to make the move to the city of your dreams, you may need to make some sacrifices in order to make ends meet. Many times, living outside of the city proper and opting for a surrounding area may make the most sense. For example, those who work in Manhattan (the most expensive metropolis in the U.S.) or simply want to be in close proximity to all that the city has to offer, may opt to live in an outer borough like the Bronx, Queens or other surrounding neighborhoods. Rent is often cheaper and you’ve just a train ride away from all the lights and sounds of Manhattan.

Safety First

Though large cities have much to offer by way of entertainment and culture, they also tend to come with a higher crime rate. And though safety is important everywhere, sometimes popular cities may not rank the highest in safety. As such, it is key to invest in proper safety and security measures to keep yourself protected. A one-time investment in a security camera system for your home can be a lifesaver.

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