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Andrew Stuckey  •  May 15, 2020

Living the high life in the city can come at a hefty price, especially with the cost of living increasing and rents on the rise year-on-year. According to data from Homelet, UK rents increased by an average of 1.7 per cent year-on-year in December 2016, so it’s understandable why more and more people living in a city are struggling to make ends meet each month.

If you’re one of these people and need some tips on how to rein in the spending to make your money last longer in the city, then read on.

Don’t live alone

With rents rocketing skywards in cities all over the country, more and more people are looking at ways to cut the cost of their monthly expenditure. Housing is one of the largest costs for city living residents, therefore sharing a flat or a house with a few friends or roommates could rapidly reduce your monthly outgoings.

Rents in London are particularly expensive, with the average rent priced at £1,882 per month in December. Even though this figure slightly decreased, it’s still a whopping amount to pay out on one month’s rent. Outside London, renters pay on average around £750 and this is expected to rise in 2017.

The cost of living alone is practically impossible for a lot of people living in the city, so sharing the expense of rent, as well as monthly bills between two or more people is a good solution to making your money stretch further.

Eat well for less

As a nation, it’s pretty safe to say we’re bunch of food lovers! With takeaways popping up right, left and centre in cities across the UK, it’s no surprise that we’re spending more than we should on meals out each month. In fact, a recent study by BBC’s Good Food magazine found that adults in the UK are spending an average of £57.30 per week on food, with takeaways being the main perpetrator – that equates to around £230 per month!

It seems the convenience of the take away in the fast-paced life of the city is taking its toll on our bank balances. So what can we do about it?

Here are a few quick pointers to get your started:

  • Look out for offers – websites such as VoucherCodes offer loads of great deals on takeaways so be sure to check them out and get a code before you place your order.
  • Share the love – Do you really need all that 12” pizza to yourself? Get your mates to share and split the cost of the bill – not only will it save you pounds on your waist, but in your pocket too.
  • Swap for the shop – You can usually get a takeaway type meal at your local supermarket for a fraction of the price of the local takeaway, and just as delicious.
  • Ready, Steady, Cook! – Try your hand in the kitchen. Find a great looking takeaway recipe online and follow the easy steps – you can usually get all the necessary ingredients in your local supermarket for a far less cost.

Cut out the caffeine

Guilty of spending too much in your favourite coffee shop? If so, you are not alone! The cost of the UK’s love affair with grabbing a cup of coffee on the go has soared in recent years – with over £3billion worth of coffee sales being recorded in 2016 – that’s a large price to pay for a cuppa every day!

So what can you do to cut the cost of your caffeine intake? Well for starts, why not make a cup of coffee at home and take it with you? Not in the actual cup of course, but you could buy a cheap coffee flask from almost any bargain shop these days - they are perfect for filling up a warming brew for the road.

Fancy something a little fancier? You could even pick up an inexpensive coffee machine for your home which can brew you anything from a frothy cappuccino to a warming caramel latte every day. The amount you’ll spend on the machine (plus the coffee refills each month) should add up to much less per year than spending £3 or £4 per day at the coffee shop.

Find Fun for Free

Living in the city presents a wide opportunity to find fun activities to do – for totally free! You’ll often find music events, art, film and literary readings if you look closely enough. A quick Google search for “Free things to do in XXXX” will give you plenty of cool ideas, whichever city you live in.

In every UK city you’ll find a pleasant park or even a beach if you’re lucky to live on the coast. There’s plenty of free fun to be had in the city whether it’s going for a jog with mates, having a kick around or simply chilling with a picnic and some tunes.

Top Tip. Check out your local museum to see if they’re holding a free event anytime soon.

Don’t Buy Branded

Ever baulked at the price of your food shopping bill? If so, then it might be time to cut back on your weekly/monthly spend at the supermarket. Buying branded items, for example, can soon inflate the total bill of your shopping.

A solution? Try out the supermarket’s own version and see if you can tell the difference between them and the brand you usually buy. In many cases, there won’t be hardly any difference in taste but lots in your pocket!

Top tip. Supermarkets such as Aldi or Lidl have become more and more popular over the past few years due to their appetising products and even tastier prices. Go ahead and give them a go – you’ll soon be converted!

By following all, or even some of these easy tips, you could soon start making your money stretch further in the city. Keep checking back in at the 118 118 Money blog for more handy money saving tips to make your money stretch further.