If you’ve ever had dreams of landing a job in a city like New York or San Francisco, you’re not alone. Millennials are preferring to move to urban cores at a rate far exceeding that of generations past. At the same time, these cities aren’t doing enough to create new affordable housing, leading to skyrocketing rents. For young professionals looking to start a career in a major metropolis, the result presents a daunting challenge, wherein they know that in order to take the job of their dreams in the city of their dreams, they’re going to have to pay a premium to live there.
Yet young people continue to pour into the big cities, proving that, when it comes to living in a major metropolis on a starting salary, where there’s a will there’s a way. With that said, it doesn’t mean those taking a job in New York or San Francisco need to resign to the fact they will be broke the entire time. While we aren’t denying that money will be tight – especially at the beginning – there are some ways to make sure you manage to have a little bit left over each month:
Scrutinize housing options
The first item on the list is a no-brainer: finding affordable housing. While this usually means settling for an apartment which is one layer of paint away from being a flophouse, this isn’t the only option on the table when it comes to housing in a big city at a price which meets your budget. One option gaining popularity is coliving space, which has the potential to save someone thousands over the course of the year when compared to traditional rental arrangements, even those with roommates. It might mean making some sacrifices, but the savings more than make up for having to share a bathroom with some people, which is something you were probably going to do anyway.
Less is more, especially in a place like New York where every inch is sacred in terms of its value as occupiable space. Therefore it benefits you financially to downsize your living situation if accepting a job in a city with an extremely high cost of living. Consider, for example, how having only a handful of possessions and clothes makes it easier to opt for shared housing, since you’ll be able to fit everything into one small room. Downsizing also helps you to appreciate how you don’t need a lot of things to still be a functioning member of society.
It’s time to stop your daily coffeehouse ritual and start brewing at home. Stretch out your groceries by strategically buying produce and other basic ingredients to create a multitude of dishes on only a handful of purchases. Shop at thrift stores and scrutinize your purchases even though they’re only a few bucks each. Develop these money saving habits upon arrival and you’ll have the chance to sock cash away as savings rather than watch every dollar go out the door.
One of the many benefits of living in a major city is the fact you’re only a few miles away from thousands of interesting and fascinating places. While it’s true many of them involve a cover charge or admission fee, there are other things which can be experienced for free. Public parks, monuments, and world-class architecture are just some of the sights to check out at no cost. If you like history, track down some interesting things that happened in your new city and plan out your own walking tour for a weekend of free fun.
The high cost of living is not a good reason to turn down a dream job in a major city. This is especially true when there are so many ways to spend less if you know where to look.