With rent prices constantly escalating, more and more people are willing to commute into London every day rather than live in it. Indeed, studies have suggested that more than a third of a million people moved out of London last year alone.
But once they are out, so many people admit to missing the ‘London life’ – the pub on every corner, the vast array of ever-changing entertainment options, the sheer eclecticism of the city and, of course, that undeniable atmosphere.
There are ways, however, to continue enjoying everything the capital city has to offer without having to put up with the exorbitant prices of actually living there.
Commuter towns – If you want to leave London without leaving your job then you’re probably going to have to settle for one of the so-called London commuter towns scattered around the fringes of the city. Towns such as Cheshunt and Hatfield are little more than half an hour from the city centre, and even further afield, even towns like Overton and Basingstoke are less than an hour if you know the right trains to catch at the right times.
Weekend jaunts – On the flip side, if you can’t stand the idea of working in London anymore but would miss the nightlife at the weekend too much, there are plenty of options. The Mid Sussex town of Haywards Heath, for example, is located halfway between London and Brighton and is the home of some incredibly reasonable property prices. A train from Haywards Heath to London is also quite reasonable and you can also head to Brighton every other weekend if you fancy it for around the same price! Truly the best of both world.
Knowing where to go – When you are in town, knowing where to go is half the battle, particularly with so many options available. Try sticking to smaller shows instead of splashing out on the big West End plays and O2 Arena gigs and steer clear of the tourist spots. There are hundreds of hidden gems in London ready to be discovered that won’t fleece you. There are also many incredible sots to discover on the fringes of the city that offer the same atmosphere with less of the ‘sardines’ crush.
Saving money – Finally, perhaps the best way to save money and live a London life without existing on a London budget is to ensure you are masking your pounds stretch a little further. This doesn’t need to mean being frugal and boring, but you might need to make a few small lifestyle changes. Download budgeting apps to help you with your finances and cook more meals at home instead of going out for food. It’s a case of making a lot of small changes and hoping those small changes will add up to big savings. Then you’ll be able to enjoy your London-adjacent life without constantly worrying about keeping the wolf from the door.