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According to a recent report by Deutsche Bank, which analyses the cost of living and compares prices among the largest cities around the world, London is the most expensive city in the world for public transport. Despite this, it has fallen six places to number 24 when it comes to the most expensive cities in the world, as assessed by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, which analysed more than 133 cities around the world.

Money saving tips for expats living in London

London may not be in the top 20 most expensive cities in the world, but it is still regarded by expats as an expensive destination, especially if you are arriving with South African rands in your wallet or purse. So here are some tips on how to keep your costs down:

Find accommodation in the outer zones

London is divided up into nine fare zones and Zone 1, the area closest to the city centre has some of the highest house prices and rentals in the world. A three-bedroom flat in Zone 1 could easily cost over £2 000 000. While renting a one-bedroom property in Zone 1 will cost in the region of £2000 a month. As you move to the outer zones of London, property becomes more affordable – or you could consider moving to one of the towns or cities just outside London, which are home to many expats who enjoy more reasonable property prices

Minimise transport costs with an Oyster card

Try to reduce your transport costs with an Oyster card, which can be purchased at any tube station and allows unlimited travel on all London underground tubes, over ground trains and buses. Top up your card with a weekly or monthly travel card. An all-zones card will cost in the region of £320 a month. If you only have to travel between Zones one to three, it’s far more affordable and will cost £150.

Entertain at home or in happy hour

London’s bars and pubs generally have a happy hour between 5 pm and 7 pm when drinks are half price or reasonably reduced. Try and socialise around these times in order to go easy on your pocket. If you’re entertaining at home, remember London and its outlying cities and towns hold traditional markets where you can stock up on fresh vegetables, fruit and many other edible delights for a fraction of what you would pay in the supermarket.

Use the free Wi-Fi

London’s coffee shops, restaurants and many trains train stations supply free Wi-Fi. If you’re job hunting or looking for accommodation use these sources as appose to Internet cafes which can charge from £1 an hour.

Reduce your bills by customising your heating

You can customise your heating to ensure you’re not using energy unnecessarily. Some top tips include:

  • Setting your hot water boiler to only come on when you will need it
  • Set your heating to only come on when you come home
  • Ensure your fridge and freezer are kept well stocked to reduce their running costs

Residents of Kensington and Chelsea pay more than any other Londoner for their energy bills, whereas Wandsworth, Kingston, Sutton and Richmond tend to have the lowest bills – so the area you choose to live in will also affect these costs.

If you thinking of immigrating to the UK and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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