Boston is a city rich with history, and you have to try pretty hard to be bored (or hungry) there. What's not difficult, however, is spending a lot of money in the process.
To learn more about how to enjoy Boston on a budget and keep finances in check, we talked to Georgina Castellucci, Boston resident and founder of the blog A Noted Life.
"There's always so much going on in Boston," Castellucci said. "It all comes down to planning. If you plan your spending, you're less likely to overspend."
If you're looking to make the move to Boston and score some serious bargains, Castellucci suggests the following for getting settled in Beantown.
1. Be flexible in your apartment hunt
Finding housing in Boston can be challenging, but not if you approach it with a game plan and stay open-minded. For Castellucci, this meant working within her social networks to find prospective roommates and consulting services like RentHop and Zillow to find an affordable home in an area that made sense.
Cambridge is a popular neighborhood for millennials, known for its accessibility to public transit, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. But if you're looking for a cheaper option — median rent in Cambridge is $1,612 per month — check out Allston, Somerville, or Brighton, all of which are a bit less central, but cheaper to live in.
2. Expand your transportation options
For most Bostonians, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) CharlieCard will get you where you need to go: Fares run $1.70 for a bus ride and $2.25 for the train. For commuting millennials who want to get the most bang for their buck, opt for a monthly pass for $84.50.
For an environmentally friendly option, Castellucci recommends Hubway, Boston's bike share program. For $6, you can access 1,600 bikes at 160 stations across the city for a full 24 hours. If you're an avid rider, spring for the $85 annual pass and use a bike whenever you want, whether you're rushing to work or taking a scenic spin down the Boston Harborwalk.
3. Look for dining and entertainment deals
New England is synonymous with quality seafood, but that doesn't mean it has to come with a hefty price tag. According to Castellucci, dollar oyster night deals at spots like Bar Boulud in Boston's Back Bay are a great way to socialize on the cheap. Have a little extra to spend? Check out the annual Boston Seafood Festival on the historic Boston Fish Pier for fresh lobster, steamed clams, and corn on the cob.
If tacos are more your speed, stop by Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar on Mondays after 9 p.m. for $9 all-you-can-eat Mexican food. And if drinks on the cheap are what you're after, Charlie's Kitchen in Cambridge is a classic dive bar with a lovely beer garden.
4. Think outside the box for entertainment
When it comes to entertainment, the city has a lot to offer. Museum buff? Castellucci loves the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which has free admission every third Thursday of the month. Support local Boston artists at the New England Open Markets, which service more than 400 small businesses every weekend, including numerous vintage and thrift vendors filled with cheap finds.
The Boston metro area also boasts a total of 54 colleges and universities, many of which offer free events to the public. And a stroll through scenic Harvard Square won't cost you anything. Of course, the quintessential Boston experience wouldn't be complete without sports. Score cheap tickets through discount vendor sites like Vivid Seats or SeatGeek.
Living in Boston can cost you, but it doesn't have to. With so many free or discounted offerings, there are plenty of opportunities to get a true taste of city living without breaking the bank.
This post is sponsored by Santander Bank.
Santander Bank does not recommend, endorse, or make any representation or warranty regarding any of the other businesses or individuals referenced in this article.