When you feel the pinch of living in a city where affordability is becoming a concern for many residents, there are many ways to respond. The most effective adaptations deal with the problem on a long-term basis, allowing the smart planner to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. These are the keys to making it work.
Seek out a strategic location
Most capitals have been seeing a steady influx of population over the years; a lot of people come in search of better job opportunities and a diversity of amenities and lifestyle options. In turn, this generates a higher demand for living arrangements. Housing that could be considered affordable should take up no more than 1/3 of household budget; but recent years have seen prices spike as you get closer to the CBD in large cities.
Most people are reluctant to consider the prospect of having to move, but relocation may be the best way to directly address the biggest line item on the monthly budget. Finding affordable house and land packages in a strategic location like Western Melbourne can provide the perfect balance of proximity to the inner city for work, while also lowering the cost of living.
Look for ways to trim expenses
Housing may be the most significant expense any household must deal with, but that still leaves plenty of room to cut down costs in other areas. When you evaluate your expenses over a monthly period, the list can provide some great starting points for mindful budgeting. Many people will find it easy to begin with reducing or eliminating small, unnecessary purchases – impulse shopping to deal with stress, for instance, or indulging in snacks or treats as a personal reward. Tackle the root cause instead; find ways to lower or avoid stress-inducing factors, and strive for a healthy lifestyle.
Recurring expenses can also provide an opportunity for long-term cost savings. Bringing down the monthly utility bill can begin with practices such as using the AC less, or having all occupants stay in one room for most of the day to cut down on energy consumption. Having proper maintenance also helps keep systems and appliances efficient, and if replacements are needed, finding the best model for energy efficiency will maximize savings in the long run.
Find additional sources of income
While smart budget planning can go a long way, not every effort needs to go towards cost-cutting measures. Some people might find it advantageous to supplement or increase their income. While your mileage may vary in seeking a pay raise at work, most employers are willing to offer incentives to employees who want to take on additional workload.
Those with the bandwidth to spare may be able to avail of flexible jobs, especially in the modern gig-driven economy. The best side gigs utilize existing skills or assets – that’s why ride-sharing is popular, for example. If you work in marketing or as a developer, putting up a website, publishing content and earning revenue from affiliate marketing is an easy way to harness your expertise. Finding passive income streams such as renting out a room or even parking space can prove to be a valuable supplement.
In a world of rising costs and increased competition, it will only get more challenging to maintain our preferred lifestyle. Playing smart and being mindful of both income and expenses will always help to see you through.