How We Live Frugally In The City

Mr. Frugalwoods and I have done the city thing. Since graduating from college, we’ve lived in New York City, Washington, DC, and Cambridge, MA (twice). Why would we, as notorious frugal weirdos, live in some of the most expensive cities in the world?

Come find out on my guest post over at Canadian Budget Binder today!

I felt very artiste taking this photo. I'm just glad I finally have an excuse to use it!

I felt very artiste taking this photo (hah!). I’m just glad I finally have an excuse to use it!

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17 Responses

  1. Andrew says:

    I went to grad school and lived in Boston for 5 years. Seriously thinking about moving back after the new year. I could parralll park my old 4Runner in spots w/ 2 inches to spare! It was one of my greatest accomplishments.

    But seriously, if I move back, I only want to live in the city limits. No suburbs or cummuter trains. Has to be served by the T. Cost of housing is my biggest concern. Living in AZ now it’s so cheap and allows me to put away so much money. Living in Boston, it won’t be so much. I’ve also lived in NYC, LA, San Diego…

    I noticed your zero budget for entertainment. It seems like everyone on the “frugality” kick doesn’t like sports. Thus they don’t attend games, or need cable for sports purposes. If I didn’t like sports there would be no other reason to not cut the cord.

    This is a very difficult decision, b/c I’m not living out in Meffa or the North Shore…

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      You’re right about the sports thing–Mr. FW and I just aren’t into sports. But, I know that a lot of folks are. I guess we do save a lot through our sport-related apathy :). Very cool that you used to live in Boston! It’s a great place to be!

  2. Andrew says:

    I forgot, it’s also much easier when there are two incomes. If I could live off one income and put the 2nd one away it would be a total game changer.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Two incomes is definitely a plus. Though we do have double the expenses in some categories (food, household supplies, etc). But, on the whole, I think you’re right that two incomes allows for more savings–provided both partners are frugal.

  3. Frugal in the city sounds like a hit show in the making. Now I will check out the entire article.

  4. Mrs SSC says:

    Sometimes I find it easiest to live frugally in the city. I used to live in Boston and Chicago – and I found it easier to be frugal there then some of my stints in the suburbs. More choices of where to shop, and also, more importantly – more free entertainment!!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Definitely more options yield lower prices! And, free entertainment is certainly ubiquitous in the city. Glad to hear you had good, frugal times in Boston too 🙂

  5. Great list! The gets at the heart of simple living and the myth of the “expensive city.” Most of the time, it seems like people expect to be living the exact same life in the city that they would in the suburbs. In reality, they’re missing all the savings in transportation and a host of other things. Great to see you shed some light on this topic.

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thank you so much! I think you’re absolutely right that you need to adjust your living expectations and habits according to your environment. Can’t live the city life in the country and vice versa. For example, right now, I pop into the grocery store probably 3 times a week because I walk right past it and it’s better to buy produce in small quantities (reduces waste). But that type of shopping when living out in the country would entail a ridiculous amount of driving 🙂

  6. I’m one of those people that think they could live in the city and sometimes fantasize about living in downtown Portland, Chicago, or Seattle. But after visiting these places I have a great time but I’m definitely ready to get back to home and a little more open space. I guess I’m a city imposter, a cityposter?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      A cityposter :)! It’s good to know where you’re happiest. All about finding the right place for your lifestyle. Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Henry Jung says:

    Mrs. Frugalwoods: When did you live in the Boston area. I have lived in Boston for over 40 years. It is definitely expensive. Do you have a group, chapter or followers (fans) in this area. If so I would like to contact them to share ideas and experiences. Thanks. Henry Jung

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