Topics We’re Talking About: City Livin’


It’s no secret that if you choose to live in a city you’re most likely paying the price for it – in rent. As a Bay Area native, a high cost of living is something I’m all too familiar with. I’ve also done my fair share of city centered apartment hunting on Craigslist and the numbers aren’t exactly budget friendly. But even living near San Francisco – a city consistently ranked as one of the most expensive in the country – I’ve managed to create a budget I can (and do!) live with. So how’d I do it? Through lots of planning, lots of saving, and a bit of compromise.

I know San Francisco isn’t the only financially challenging city – that’s why our roundup this week consists of great info to help ease the strain of living in any city. From cutting back on entertainment expenses to finding the perfect apartment on a budget, here are some great posts to help you manage the city lifestyle without going for broke:

How To Find The Perfect Apartment For Rent – 10 Step process – Money Crashers Is there really such a thing as the perfect apartment? I sure hope so – and please don’t tell me otherwise! Money Crashers gives a great breakdown of what to look for when you’re ready to snag your perfect – if elusive – apartment.

Can You Save Half Your Income In An Expensive City? –  Little House In The Valley It’s generally recommended that your rental should only take up 20-25% of your income. That sounds nice but it’s often a mere dream for many people staking out in the big cities. That’s not to say that you can’t put what’s left of your income after the rent’s been paid to good use! Here are some great tips to help you maintain your savings account, even in the city.

8 Tips To Save Money On Eating Out – Save Outside the Box With such a high concentration of restaurants in a city, the temptation to forgo your apartment kitchen in favor of takeout is all too present. And when food trends (I’m looking at you cronuts) sway even the most frugal of foodies, how can you manage to stick to your budget?

You Should Get Renters Insurance; It’s almost free and covers more than you think – Debt Blag Ever considered renter’s insurance? Debt Blag makes a compelling argument for why you should add this protective expense to your monthly budget!

11 Ways To Dress Up IKEA’s Iconic Bookcase Before It’s Gone Forever – Huffington Post  Looking for ways to give your city space a bit of flair? Huffington Post shares some great ways to take advantage of the iconic (and cheap) Ikea bookshelf. And be sure to do so before it –gasp– disappears from Ikea shelves in the next few months!!

Check out the places ReadyForZero popped up over the last week…

Business Opportunities
NBC News

… and our guest post at Bible Money Matters!

5 Positive Habit Changes To Secure Your Financial Future – Bible Money Matters

Whether you live in the city or the suburbs or beyond – how have you managed to stay on track with your housing budget? Any tips or wisdom to share?

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  • The perfect apartment is tricky to find!!

    In big cities, you have to be willing to accept the trade-off. For instance, in the UK, you could live in a nice 3 bedroom house with a 15 commute to the city centre for £600 per month.

    To live in an equivalent in London would cost you well into the £1000s.

    However, that is the trade you have to make when living in big, popular cities. There are places for £600 per month – but they aren’t in the city centre and they aren’t 3 bedroom houses.

    If you want to live in a city, you need to scale down on living space and be willing to live in a slightly less “perfect” flat than if you were living outside the expensive cities.

    • Claire Murdough

      Yowza! It’s always such a shock to see city rental costs compared to rental costs outside of the city center. I absolutely agree about weighing the pros/cons and compromising. Once you have that grounded perspective, you can begin to make decisions based on what makes sense within your circumstances and what you’re willing to give up vs. what’s non-negotiable.

  • Joel @ SaveOutsideTheBox

    Thanks for using my article! I hope it’ll help some folks trim down their eating out budgets!

    • Claire Murdough

      Eating out is such a big expense, we’re always looking for new tricks! Great tips, Joel 🙂

  • Little House

    Thanks so much for mentioning my article! I hope it inspires others living in a big city to crunch their numbers!

    • Claire Murdough

      Excellent article – so happy to include it! As a city dweller myself, it was a great reminder to keep tuned into the numbers.