1 – 6 Months: Ignorance is bliss
Living in London is a blast. You’ve made new friends at work, you’ve got to know the area you live in and you’re out most weekends with your camera, exploring all these hidden London treasures that you never knew existed. The night life is great, but you are shocked by the numbers on the receipts you find in your wallet the next morning.
The average round in London.
You tell yourself that splashing out is fine when you’re earning a top London wage. You check your bank account for the first time in 5 months and realise you have less money than when you left home! You don’t panic because all you need to do is cut back on the partying for a while and that should be the end of your money troubles.
The commute to work isn’t as fun as it used to be. You’ve been bumped into, pushed and prodded on more than one occasion. You’ve probably just been unlucky to be standing next to some rude people, probably tourists.
6 – 9 Months: Monetary moment of clarity
You’ve just transferred another month’s rent to your landlord (who still hasn’t fixed the shower) and then it hits you ‘I’m. So. Poor’. But you can’t understand why; OK, so moving into a zone 1 flat in a skyscraper with a gym and sauna may not have been the best idea financially, but you don’t have many other expenses. Only food. And drink. And your travel card. And clothes. And spotify. And the phone bill. And the electricity bill. And the water bill. And the Council tax bill. Shit.
Please. I only need enough to pay for my netflix subscription
OK so you’re poor, so what! You’re still living the dream in London right! Well, you haven’t actually doneanything interesting for a few weeks but you’ll get round to it. There are probably loads of cool free things to do anyway. Yeah London is still great! What’s that? No Northern line all weekend. FOR F*** SAKE AGAIN!?!
8 Months – 1 Year: The Party is over
You’ve had to move out of your zone 1 shag pad. You finally realised that you’re not a city banker and that the only bonus you’ll be getting is a work dinner at nandos. You’ve moved to a distant zone 3 which seems a bit barren by comparison ‘so many semi-detached houses’ but it’s still a far cry better than going back to live with your parents in what would be zone 86.
Whilst this move has saved you a ton of money, it has meant that your commute has been extended from 2 stops to 12 and your relationship with transport for London has taken a turn for the worse; you no longer see the tube as a miraculous invention but a giant behemoth of inefficiency and misery.
1 Year – 1 Year 9 Months: The Rat Race
You are single drone among many. You wake up at 7am each morning and force yourself to leave your house; you wonder why everything is so grey all the time as you sit on the bus, praying that no one sits on the seat next to you. You join the crowds at your nearest tube station and squeeze yourself onto the carriage. You make every effort to not project any body language which may imply you are available for conversation.
You arrive at your job which you now despise, a feeling which multiplied exponentially when you realised how average your pay was and how it brings you no fulfilment in life.
You have done none of the things you told yourself you would when you moved to London. You haven’t been to any museums, festivals, historic buildings, visitor attractions or parties, because any free time you have is spent wallowing in self-pity in front of your laptop screen.
You have a few friends, but they are all on the opposite side of the city and it takes over an hour by tube to get there. You realise how ridiculous is it that it takes 1 hour to travel 12 miles. You could have flown to Paris quicker. Why did you move here again?