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Where you live can have a huge impact on your ability to save and spend as well as your personal lifestyle. There are many reasons to choose a specific place to live. Cost, weather, demographics, crime, recent growth, school performance, and proximity to work may all impact your choice on which neighborhood is best for you.
Living in an urban center can be great if you enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city or want to be close to action and new possibilities. Check out some financial, cultural, and lifestyle benefits of living in the city below.
6 Advantages of Living in the City
- Public Transportation & Walkability
- Social Possibilities & Networking
- Medical Care & Service for Seniors
- Money-Saving Opportunities
- Higher Credit Scores Earlier in Life
- Flexible Renting
1. Public Transportation & Walkability
For many people, access is the main perk of living in an urban center. While the cost of parking can be expensive, many urban dwellers ditch cars as well as the cost of gas, insurance, and maintenance. Instead, they travel by foot, bike, or public transit.
Most large cities boast bus or train systems that run regularly and offer affordable rates that allow residents the opportunity to be mobile. This can make traveling from one location to another much more convenient and cost-effective.
AAA estimated in 2020 that the average annual cost of owning a vehicle was around $9,561. That includes insurance, maintenance, fuel, and cost of monthly payments. In contrast, a monthly Unlimited Ride MetroCard in New York City is only $127 a month—or just over $1,500 annually.
2. Social Possibilities & Networking
With millions of people living in close proximity, cities offer unlimited social potential for friends and networking. In a smaller town or rural area, you might have to plan ahead and drive miles away just to meet up with someone. In a city, it can be as easy as popping downstairs to a coffee shop or across the street for a bite to eat. In this way, urban life offers a chance to broaden both professional contacts and personal relationships.
3. Medical Care & Service for Seniors
Newsweek ranked hospitals in the United States in 2019 by a variety of factors, including quality scores, number of hospital beds, and how many specialties were represented. Most of the top 100 on the list were in urban areas and large cities. Cities represented on the list included Cleveland, Baltimore, Boston, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix.
Urban areas also tend to have lower premiums than rural areas.
4. Money-Saving Opportunities
Living in a city can be expensive, especially when it comes to housing. But urban environments offer other opportunities for saving money. Cities often invest in free education, entertainment, and other opportunities for their residents. Follow local social media accounts, visit public libraries and keep an eye on local news to hear about these programs.
If you qualify for a rewards credit card, living in a city might help you make the most of the savings and perks it can offer. Cards that offer points on dining or transportation costs, for example, might get a lot more use when you’re in the city versus a rural area where there simply aren’t a lot of dining options to be had.
It’s important to have a personal budget and stick to it, though. When everything’s within easy reach—or accessible via a fast delivery service—it’s easy to splurge a little too often and end up without savings.
5. Potentially Higher Credit Scores Earlier in Life
Living in the city could help you naturally develop a strong credit score, even earlier in life. According to Experian, Millennials in urban areas have higher average credit scores than their counterparts in rural or suburban areas. In part, this is because they had more debt, which provided them opportunities for strong payment histories and credit mixes.
6. Renting Is More Flexible
Living costs vary dramatically depending on your location, but renting tends to be more flexible and the overall costs of homeownership tend to be higher than renting.
With limited space for real estate, many people in cities rent rather than own, but that doesn’t have to stop you from attaining a good credit score. With Build It from ExtraCredit, you can add your rent (and utility) payments as new tradelines on your credit report. This can help you build your credit profile and get credit for bills you’re already paying.
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