How to Pull Off a Month of Remote Work in a New City Without Breaking the Bank
- A lot of people are able to continue working remotely.
- If you're in that boat, it's a good opportunity to try out a new city.
- Canceling services you don’t need and finding affordable housing can help you stick to budget while experiencing a new city.
It's an option worth pursuing if you can afford it.
Late last year, a friend of mine was thrilled to learn that his company was giving employees the option to continue working remotely on a full-time basis. While his New York City-based office was opening its doors, employees were not obligated to return if they didn't want to.
My friend was happy for two reasons. First, he likes working remotely and isn't eager to start commuting again. But secondly, he's been using the past few months as an opportunity to couch-surf among friends and try out different cities in the hopes of potentially finding a new metro area to call home (it's not shocking that New York City's exorbitant prices are making him rethink his options).
Of course, a lot of people are being offered the chance to continue working remotely. And if you're in that boat, you may want to take the opportunity to spend a meaningful amount of time -- say, a month -- in a new city you're curious about.
Now, pulling off a month of remote work in a new city isn't necessarily a low-cost endeavor. But here's how you might manage to pull it off affordably.
Step 1: Sublet your home
If your lease allows you to sublet your home, then it's worth doing. That way, you won't have to cover the cost of your rent plus the cost of lodging in a new city.
Of course, finding someone to take over your lease for a short period of time may be easier said than done. To start, put the word out on social media and send an email blast. You never know if someone in your network knows of someone in need of temporary lodging. You can also use a site like sublet.com to list your available space.
Step 2: Cancel services you won't be using
Perhaps you're tied into a cable or internet contract. But if you're not, see if you can pause your service for a month, or not renew it, if you won't be living in your home while you try out a new city. If you'll be subletting your space, however, then you may want to retain that service as a selling point for the person who temporarily takes over your lease.
Step 3: Find affordable housing in your new city
You'll need a place to live if you'll be working remotely in a new city for a month. You could try exploring sites like sublet.com to find a temporary home, but don't discount sites like Airbnb either. If you'll be spending time in a new city during a non-peak month, you may find you're able to get a great deal on a short-term rental.
Plus, by using a site like Airbnb, you're apt to find a place that's furnished and equipped with the various things you need to function. That could make it a lot easier to relocate temporarily.
Step 4: Talk to the locals
Want to find the most affordable grocery store in your new city? Looking for cheap entertainment? You could do some research online to see what you come up with. But your best bet may be to strike up conversations with people at random, like the person in line ahead of you at the bank. They'll be in the best position to tell you where to snag deals locally and how to avoid overspending.
One silver lining of the pandemic is that it's made long-term remote work a possibility for a lot more people. And that means you're not necessarily tethered to a single locale.
If there are different cities you've been itching to explore, it pays to do so. You may find that there's a city outside of your current one that offers you better amenities at a lower price point. And at a time when living costs are soaring, it never hurts to set yourself up to spend less and add more to your savings.
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