Moving to London is something that millions of people around the world dream of. For most, it is the ultimate goal. Boasting of rich cultural history, great economic opportunities, and breathtaking architecture, London is a place that is very easy to fall in love with.
It is no surprise that London attracts 19 million tourists each year. London is also famous to writers and musicians who aspire to relocate to London. This is because there are already thousands of world-famous artists that have created their masterpieces while overtaken by the beauty of the city of London. Many actually vow that London is one of the best places to live in.
Considered a historical capital filled to the brim with breathtaking architecture, both modern and historical, it is quite a given that millions of its residents have already decided that they would be living in London permanently. I am sure that the number of residents would double if not triple if the cost of living in London is not one of the highest in the world.
The population of London has to deal with a very high cost of living. However, this is a small sacrifice for a taste of the city life that many just dreams of having. With some budget cuts, downsizing and a cheaper lifestyle, Londoners make do. As Samuel Johnson would say, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.”
There are some things that you have to know first before you pack your bags, call the moving company and complete your move. For example, it would do you well to be informed about the real estate market in London so you know where the best places to live in London are.
How to Save Money In London
The first thing you have to know before you move to London is how to save. You may have a lot of disposable income now but London, if you’re not careful, will draw you out and leave you dry of your budget.
London has seen its fair share of residents going bankrupt abruptly after just a few weeks or months. It is common for many after moving to subscribe to expensive lifestyles that in the long run proves to be unsustainable. Another problematic mistake that happens is that newly-transferred Londoners still do not know where the cheap places to go to for food or just going out.
Here are some tips on how to save up on your money when you relocate to London.
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.
Downsizing Trend in London
Despite the high cost of living in London, many are still choosing to live in London. Londoners constantly find a way to continue to enjoy the beauty of the city without cutting a hole in their pockets. One of the major economic decisions that Londoners is to downsize.
Downsizing is the process of moving from one place to another which is smaller, cheaper and probably in a poorer part of the town. The furniture and other items that will not fit in their new houses are stored in self-storage facilities. The storage facility industry has seen a substantial boom especially as more and more Londoners are choosing to downsize.
Many residents are also sharing flats and apartments which results in smaller storage space inside their homes. To mitigate this, self-storage facilities are rented. The self-storage industry, in fact, is one of the industries that have seen the biggest growth in the United Kingdom. People use self-storage facilities not only to store their belongings but to store business supplies and products, and even use these units as alternative offices.
Because of trying times, micro-flats are also the trend right now in London. Its rise in popularity could allude to the fact that money is tight and we all have to save up on money whatever your profession is. 19 Square metres is usually the average size of a micro flat and this is obviously too small for an individual unless you do not have possessions.
Go To Local Pubs
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.
Go where the locals go as it obviously will be cheaper than bars which are intended for tourists. 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.
Look around for Free Museums
Moving to London is expensive. Rent is sky high and is the highest in the United Kingdom. Groceries are also much more expensive which means that you need to take care of your expenses else you lose sight of your budget and before you know it, you’re bankrupt.
Living in a much more expensive place does not mean that you should not have fun anymore. You simply have to know where to go. It might be hard to believe but most of the museums in London are actually free. You can spend hours upon hours learning the history of England or see a T-Rex simulation at the Natural History Museum.
If you’re interested in biology and the human body, you can also check out the Hunterian Museum’s collection of deformed skeletons and dissected animals.
London is Kid-Friendly
Moving to London with kids do not have to be expensive. Often, many who were living in London decide to move away because of the impending expenses. However, there are plenty of free activities that kids can enjoy in London that are free.
Potterheads or fans of the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling can get a taste of the magical journey of Harry Potter by going to Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross. Platform 9 ¾ is more famously known as the magical gateway to the train that takes students to Hogwarts.
Not a fan of Harry Potter? Take your kids to a pirate ship at Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground and have them exert all their energy there.
Go To Parks
Perhaps, one thing that sets the United Kingdom apart from other first world countries is its numerous green spaces. Despite being nicknamed as The Big Smoke, London actually has many green parks where residents can spend their days in. 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 wildlife. 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. These parks are free of charge and have numerous courts for Londoners to have a space to play various sports like Badminton, Tennis, etc.
How To Find Low Rent in London
When you move to London, you will realize that finding a place with low rent is harder than finding a needle in a haystack. Whatever place is cheap has a long line of people waitlisted. If a place opens up, it will get scooped up within hours. However, you should not get discouraged.
Be aware also of too good to be true offers. Do not give out an initial deposit before you see the place with your own eyes. The description may be quite appealing but in actuality, it may just be a rat’s nest with a roof.
One way to save up on rent is to look for real estate that is outside of the city centre. Real estate in the city centre would obviously be more expensive than places outside. London has a reliable and efficient public transportation system which can take you to the place where you need to be.
Unless your profession is a highly regarded one like a doctor or an engineer, London is not a place where you can really increase your savings. Even the infamous Los Angeles is far cheaper to live in than London.
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.
London is Culturally Diverse
Americans and other nationalities, moving to London are always fearful of feeling out of place in London. However, they could not be more wrong. In London, the official language may be English, but the city is so diverse that over 100 languages are spoken there, not to mention the many neighborhoods 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 neighborhood in this city that will make you feel at home.
Education on a Budget
If you plan to study in London but don’t quite have the money for it yet, there are still 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.
Moving to London can be tricky but it is all worth it. To help you relocate, you can rent out storage facilities and have a Man and Van company make your life easier. Obviously, moving would entail way too many things to do but you do not have to fear as moving to London may just be one of the best decisions you have ever made.