How to Succeed in a Month of Remote Work in a New City Without Breaking the Bank

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This is an option worth pursuing if you can afford it.


Key points

  • Many people can continue to work remotely.
  • If you’re in this boat, it’s a good chance to try out a new city.
  • Canceling services you don’t need and finding affordable housing can help you stick to your budget while experiencing a new city.

Late last year, a friend of mine was thrilled to learn that his company was offering employees the option to continue working remotely full-time. As his New York-based office opened, employees weren’t forced to return if they didn’t want to.

My friend was happy for two reasons. First, he enjoys working remotely and isn’t looking forward to getting back on the road again. But second, he’s used the past few months as an opportunity to couchsurf with friends and try out different cities in the hopes of potentially finding a new metropolitan area to live in (it’s no surprise that the exorbitant prices of New York make him rethink his options).

Of course, many people are being offered the option of continuing to work remotely. And if you’re in this boat, you might want to take the opportunity to spend some meaningful time – say, a month – in a new city that interests you.

Now, pulling off a month of remote work in a new city doesn’t have to be a low-cost endeavor. But here’s how you could manage to get away with it on the cheap.

Step 1: Sublet your home

If your lease allows you to sublet your home, it’s worth it. This way you won’t have to cover the cost of your rent more the cost of accommodation in a new city.

Of course, finding someone to take over your lease for a short time can be easier said than done. To get started, spread the word on social media and send an email. You never know if someone in your network knows someone who needs temporary accommodation. You can also use a site like sublet.com to list your available space.

Step 2: Cancel the services you won’t be using

Perhaps you are bound by a cable or internet contract. But if not, see if you can pause your service for a month, or not renew it, if you don’t live in your house while you try out a new city. However, if you are subletting your space, you may want to keep this service as a selling point for the person temporarily taking over your lease.

Step 3: Find affordable housing in your new city

You will need accommodation if you are working remotely in a new city for a month. You can try exploring sites like sublet.com to find a temporary home, but don’t overlook sites like Airbnb either. If you’re spending time in a new city for an off-peak month, you might be able to get a good deal on a short-term rental.

Also, by using a site like Airbnb, you’re likely to find a place that’s furnished and equipped with the various things you need to function. This could greatly facilitate temporary relocation.

Step 4: Talk to locals

Want to find the cheapest grocery store in your new town? Looking for cheap entertainment? You can search online to see what you find. But your best bet may be to strike up conversations with random people, like the person standing in line in front of you at the bank. They will be in the best position to tell you where to find deals locally and how to avoid overspending.

One of the upsides of the pandemic is that it has made long-term remote work a possibility for many more people. And that means you’re not necessarily tied to a single locale.

If there are different cities you can’t wait to explore, it’s worth doing. You may find that there is a city outside of your current city that offers you better amenities at a lower price. And in an era of skyrocketing costs of living, it never hurts to be prepared to spend less and increase your savings.

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