Let’s just say that I have been extremely stressed this month because I’ve been frantically looking for a place that is close enough to where I work. Now, I work on Tottenham Court Road and it’s really expensive if you want to be within walking distance (up to an hour on foot is what I call walking distance) of Tottenham Court Road. According to Rentonomy, if you wanted to live within the City of London then the average rent for a 2 bedroom flat is £592 p/w, 87% higher than the average elsewhere. I assessed that it was going to be bloody expensive, unaffordable and likely horrible to find a place in London.
I looked in Angel, Islington, Camden Town, Regents Park, Shoredtich and found a few places that looked good. But of the few places I went to view – they were not what they looked like in the pictures. The first place I went to was in Shoreditch. In the pictures the single bedroom looked decent and so did the kitchen. However, those were just the pictures. When I arrived to meet the agent, the door was spray painted with graffiti and the room was 4 floors up without an elevator. Not that any of that bothered me. What bothered me was the fact that he showed me around the double room when I specifically asked for the single. Unbeknown to me the single room that I asked to view had been taken an hour earlier, as the current tenant had given it away to one of his mates. Yet this never came up when I spoke to the estate agent over the phone. The price for the double room was £170 p/w, but it wasn’t even worth the £135 that I could afford and what I wanted to pay for the single. The kitchen was dirty, the flight of stairs you had to climb up was horrible and smelled of damp. It was horrible. I had other experiences of a similar nature until I came across a place in Farringdon – not 40 minutes from where I work.
A friend from work who lives in Shoreditch walked with me down the road that I needed to go to, as I’m totally clueless when it comes to navigating around London. This place in Farringdon only took 35 minutes to get to on foot from Tottenham Court Road. I’m really happy about that as I thought that I’d be walking a minimum of one hour for the sort of place that I’d like to live in. The place isn’t a palace, but it’s a lot better than the places that I’ve viewed so far and the area is absolutely gorgeous.
Working out my monthly expenditure
I’ve also taken the time to do a bit of budgeting with Excel. As it stands, living in Farringdon will cost me 43% of my income – a huge chunk. Right now I’m only paying 30% of my income on rent, so that extra 10% is certainly going to hurt a bit.
The last thing I wanted to do was spend 35% of my income on rent; however, I figure that if combine what I’m currently paying for rent with what I’m currently paying for travel to and from work (£135) then that equates to around 39% of my income. I guess if you combine what I think I’m going to pay for travel with my future rent costs then that equates to 47% of my income. I think it’s still worth it and that 4% (TfL) that I’ve budgeted for might not actually be a monthly cost as I’ll likely be walking everywhere or perhaps I may even buy a bike!
It’s going to be interesting living on this budget. There are also a lot of one-off costs that I’d like to budget for as well. I’d like to buy a computer monitor so I can hook it up to my laptop and have dual monitors going and this should make it a lot easier for me if I want to finish off work that I’m behind on at home etc. I’m quite excited about moving! 😀