The United States capital is becoming a more popular place to live, but not everyone has the funds to live expensively.
Washington DC is an expensive city in which to live, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live there on a budget. Indeed, many DC residents have tighter finances than you might expect and still pay their expenses in a timely manner.
If you’re looking to move to Washington DC in the near future and you foresee yourself under financial stress, don’t fret because we’ve got you covered on ways to save money. Here are some of the must-know tips that will help you stay above water while living in Washington DC.
Find the Right Neighborhood for Your Needs
There are plenty of houses for rent in Washington DC, no matter what residential area you find yourself in. The question is what you need and what you can afford, which both vary wildly depending on circumstances.
However, there are some easy tips to help you get situated. If your work is bringing you to Capitol Hill, houses on the Hill or in Eastern Market are going to be within commutable distance of the Capitol. Several of the quality houses and apartments found on Capitol Hill have rental prices under $1500 per month, which for DC is quite low.
Even with rent prices shifting, now is a good time to find plenty of homes for affordable prices, especially if you know where to look.
Avoid Traffic by Taking Advantage of Public Transit
Washington DC’s public transport system is, like most big American cities, the best way to get around.
If you’re coming from a place without a major public transit system, DC’s Metro train is easy to use, understand, and, most importantly, afford. And if you’re coming from a place with its own subway or train system like New York, Philadelphia, or San Francisco, you’ll find the Metro to be a well-funded and clean alternative to what you’re used to.
Outside of public transit, though, DC has plenty of bike paths to encourage physical activity and reduce traffic and personal cost. If you do have a car but don’t have a way of storing it at your home, DC also has an exceptional car storing system to take advantage of as well.
Buy Cheap on Groceries and Food
Food is going to be an easy fix for you if you’re budgeting in DC. Washington DC has its fair share of independent grocery marts as well as larger chains within walking or biking distance of most residential areas.
Additionally, many affordable restaurants can be found around Capitol Hill, Eastern Market, and even the more lavish Logan Circle. An advisable choice would be to limit your consumption of alcohol, as the city’s sales tax on beer and other alcoholic beverages is somewhat steeper at 10%.
Home-brewed coffee is also cheaper than many outdoor alternatives. As far as major cities go, however, food prices are lower than average for DC’s size, so you’re in luck there.