How To Live In London Affordably
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London, the capital of England, is one of the most vibrant, multi-cultural and exciting cities in the world, so of course everyone still wants to live there. The city’s population reached a post-war high of over 8.3 million last year, making London the fastest growing region in the country with numbers increasing by nearly two million in the last 25 years. Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor, predicts the figure will rise further to reach 11 million by 2050.

Yet with the current cost of living in the city reaching an all-time high, Londoners are expected to pay around one hundred and thirty pounds for a monthly travel card and just under five pounds for a pint in their local pub, some people are starting to question its appeal.

Nevertheless, as with many big cities, the vast number of opportunities far outweigh the costs for a lot of people. Not just with jobs, but with socialising, events, people and resources, London has a lot to offer and is therefore incredibly popular with Britons and people from all over the world. But with the median London wage around the 26,000 after tax mark, 24 hour lifestyle and highly urbanised dwellings, Londoners have often had to adapt a different lifestyle to those living in quieter areas of the country. Nevertheless, here are some simple ways to save money in adapting to the London way of life.

Travel

One of the biggest gripes about living in Britain’s capital city is the cost, and nuisance of public transport. As previously mentioned a monthly pass can cost around one hundred and thirty pounds, and that doesn’t account for travel to zones further out. Alternative forms of getting around such as walking and cycling are proving ever popular in the city. The number of cycling commuters in London rose by 144% from 2001 to 2011 which would suggest many are turning to the cheaper and healthier mode of transport. Plus with the Boris Bikes scheme, whereby you can rent a bicycle from various docks around the city for a small deposit, cycling is easily accessible even for those without guaranteed bike parking security.

Renting

The reality for many living in London is that buying a property is out of the question, but even renting is can still be an extortionate amount of money for certain properties. Many people have therefore turned to house-shares, whereby you rent with a group of people as opposed to individually. This resolves the problems of over-population in the city and reduces renting costs as the bills can be split. Popular apps such as Spare Room and Gumtree have a thriving network of those looking to share properties all across London. Many find that this is also an excellent way to meet people and develop new friendships and relationships with others that they wouldn’t necessarily have met otherwise.

Furniture Hire

Landlords have gained themselves a questionable reputation in London (although this is applicable across the country) because it is so easy for them to exploit tenants due to the saturated market. It is therefore very common to have properties unfurnished which places a huge financial burden on the tenants to source even the most essential amenities. This also causes difficulties in obtaining furniture as many Londoners do not own a car, and it is not recommended to transport a sofa on a Boris bike! There are now opportunities for hiring furniture in London which many are finding a welcome furnishing solution. Not only does this solve the often daunting problem of getting the furniture to and inside properties, it can also be paid for monthly so can be returned once a tenancy is up rather than re-homed.

Although London has got itself a reputation as incredibly expensive with costs ever rising, there are still ways to successfully manage the costs of city life living necessities. Through experience and knowledge it is now commonplace for city dwellers to discover innovative ways to live cheaper than the norm, which is something happening worldwide in cities. Using various assets the city has to offer, such as Boris Bikes, markets and free days out is just one benefit of living in such a vibrant city. While utilising technical tools such as apps like Spare Room and groups that have developed specifically to counter these problems it is possible to minimise the cost of London living so that it can still be enjoyed.


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