4 ways to save money in a big city

So you’re moving to the big city for a new job or to study, but how will you survive (and thrive) in a notoriously expensive urban hotspot when your budget isn’t exactly bottomless?

Cities like London and New York can be prohibitive to those of us who have yet to hit our first million, but we’ve learned some ways to get around the high prices and enjoy a budget-friendly urban lifestyle.

Here are four ways to save money in a super expensive city.

1. Make a plan

Create a schedule for your weekly errands and stick to it. Knowing that you go grocery shopping on Sundays, or take cash out for the week on Mondays, for example, will cut down on impulse spending and force you to keep on budget.

2. Dine out the smart way

Make reservations at those fancy restaurants for brunch or lunch rather than dinner. It’s a great way to sample the best dining establishments your city has to offer while also saving money on a smaller meal.

Alternatively, seek out those diamonds in the rough – the little, undiscovered BYOB places that are delicious and affordable.

3. Become a freeloader

Take advantage of all the free things going on in your city, whether that’s food markets (with free samples), museums or live music. Sign up for websites that offer great deals for the activities you can’t do for free, like Groupon or LivingSocial.

4. Bring a packed lunch to work

Believe us, we know how temptingly convenient it is to just eat out at lunchtime or grab a quick sandwich from Pret. But those little treats add up – fast. You’ll save so much more money (and calories) by taking the time to pack a healthy lunch the night before.

The same goes for coffee. Invest in whatever you need to make an awesome cup of coffee at home, and take it with you to work in a thermos to get you through the morning.

Now what?