How to Save Money in Chicago

How to Save Money in Chicago

Thinking of moving to Chicago? The attractions of city life might be strong for you, but the cost of living in Chicago is a deterrent for some. Everything is more expensive, from the high sales tax, to the parking, to the cost of housing. You might love the idea of enjoying what the city has to offer, but you’re not sure if you can swing it budget-wise. With these cost-saving measures, however, a life in Chicago is easier than you might think.

Live Smaller

If you’re not swimming in cash, then you won’t have your pick of any Chicago apartment. Instead, you might have to live far from the “Loop” (the main commercial area), in a less-swanky neighborhood, or in an older building. You can decide what’s most important to you and rearrange your living expectations. The smaller you go, the more you can afford, so you could choose a smaller square footage and rely on self storage Chicago for your unused things.

Get Roommates

If you’re not in a marriage or other long-term relationship, you could lessen your Chicago burden by getting roommates. It’s helpful to have someone who knows you and who will get worried if you don’t come home when you’re living in a strange city. The more roommates you have, the more you’ll save on rent, too. You might be able to get a friend to room with you, but even if you have to live with the friend of a friend, you might become pals later on. Even if you’re not crazy about them, you’ll be crazy about the money they save you.

Buy Differently

While certain things can be expensive in Chicago, they’re fine if you know where to look. You can buy irregularly-shaped produce online for much less and have it delivered straight to your door. You can shop at ethnic grocery stores or buy from thrift stores in top-notch neighborhoods. Certain Chicago stores are a better deal than most suburban stores; you just have to know where to look.

Do Free Things

There’s a lot to do for free in Chicago. If you’re living in the suburbs, and you’re often bored, then most of your activities might involve paying money: seeing a movie, going bowling, or going shopping. In Chicago, there’s a lot to do for free, from walking in the parks, enjoying the Lincoln Park Zoo, or taking advantage of the museum free days.

Live Near Transit

If you can’t afford an expensive apartment, you might feel limited. If you want to live only 20 to 30 minutes from your job, you might feel stuck in a single neighborhood, paying more than you’re comfortable paying. If you live right near an “L” stop, however, you could live much further out and still make it to work in great time. Anyone living right by the Red Line would be able to get to the Loop in 25 minutes, even if they live as far north as Uptown. Your commute is lessened a lot by how close you live to transit.