London fascinated writers and musicians, and it’s no wonder that even today this city attracts over 19 million tourists each year.
A historical capital filled with breathtaking architecture (both old and new), London is a place that’s easy to fall in love with permanently. And despite the high cost of living, all it takes is some downsizing and a few budget cuts to get a taste of the city.
As Samuel Johnson says, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
This said, before you pack your things and call the moving company, there are a few things you should know about London’s real estate market, expenses and entertainment sources.
The bad news is that it’s going to cost you a lot, but the good news is that you won’t regret it.
Many Londoners Save Money on Rent by Downsizing
Despite the high rent and consumer costs, Londoners have found a way to continue to enjoy the beauty of the city without cutting a hole in their pockets.
If you have furniture that no longer fits in your new flat or belongings that you only use during certain seasons, give self-storage a go.
It’s not surprising that the country with the biggest growth in the self-storage industry in Europe is UK. People use self-storage not only to store their belongings but to store business supplies and products, and even use these units as alternative offices.
At the moment, the micro flats trend in London is increasing in popularity, and while you can make a micro flat work for you, there are still a few items that you can’t possibly store in 19 square meters.
London might be expensive, but most of the big museums are actually free. You have the option to spend hours learning about the history of England at the Museum of London, or see a simulation of a T-Rex at the Natural History Museum.
If you’re into biology and the human body, you can check out deformed skeletons and dissected animals at the Hunterian Museum.
Your Kids Won’t Get Bored
In London, there are plenty of free activities to enjoy with kids as well.
You can take them to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross to get a taste of Harry Potter’s magical journey at Hogwarts.
What about spending the day on a pirate ship? At Diana, Princess Of Wales Memorial Playground, your children can become pirates on Captain’s Hook ship.
Plus, there are many parks and free playgrounds that you have access to.
Finding Rent Can Be Challenging
While you can find a few good, inexpensive places to live in London, most of them get scooped up within hours. But don’t get discouraged, and by no means should you give anyone an initial deposit before seeing the place with your own eyes.
The good news is that if you don’t look for rent in the city center, you will save quite a bit of money.
For the most part, unless you’re a doctor and engineer, London is not the best place to go if you want to save money or make more. Even Los Angeles is cheaper to live in.
However, the truth is that London is not only very expensive, but it doesn’t have much economic growth either.
When it comes to saving money and earning it, Liverpool is one of the most budget-friendly options. According to Numbeo, consumer prices in London are 29.31% higher than in Liverpool.
It’s Impossible Not to Find Your Crowd
In London the official language is English, but the city is so diverse that over 100 languages are spoken there, not to mention the many neighbourhoods dominated by various cultures. To give you an idea, over 40% of the London population happen to be ethnic minorities.
So no matter where you come from, there’s always a small neighbourhood in this city that will make you feel at home.
Universities on a Budget
If you plan to study in London but don’t quite have the money for it, there are a few options for you as well.
For example, the University Of The People is one of the most appreciated volunteer based universities with no tuition fees. While you do need to pay a fee for the degree, it costs significantly less than your standard bachelor’s degree.
For the time being, there are only two options: business administration and computer science. But new subjects could be added soon.
Excellent Public Transportation
Driving in London can be a nightmare, but if you take the tube or a bus, not only will you reach your destination faster, but you’ll also save money.
Cycling and walking are both popular in London as well, not to mention both activities improve your overall health.
While London doesn’t have a good reputation when it comes to fighting pollution, we believe the nickname “The Big Smoke” is undeserved. The city has many green spaces where you can relax, take a walk, and admire wild life. In some parks, you will even find deer running around.
What can you do in parks?
Some parks have tennis courts, skateparks, football facilities, outdoor chess boards and playgrounds for children.
Pubs With a Story
Some say that the only way to get to know the real London is to dive into the pub culture.
There are over 3,000 pubs and the best way to make friends is to go where the locals go, which is the pub, obviously.
If you’re looking for an authentic English experience, there are a few traditional pubs from the 16th century, such as Lamb & Flag and the Spaniards Inn.
At the Grenadier, you’ll find a pub with a story and a ceiling filled with money to pay off the debt of a ghost. The legend says that a soldier was killed after cheating at a game of cards, and the only way to redeem his soul is for the living to pay for his journey.