The first question that comes to mind when reading a blog written by someone who moved to London is… Why London? Spoiler: It’s not JUST about the tea.
While other sections on Savvy Londoner are geared more towards guidance and helpful tips for Londoners, it sometimes helps to know the person behind the words. So here goes…
It All Started With A Trip To London
I was born and raised in Israel, and I first visited the UK when I was 16-years-old (ages ago!), on a family trip to Paris and London. Not to insult my French readers – but even back then, I preferred London over Paris. Nevertheless, it took me almost 20 years to come to London again, for another trip, this time with my husband.
It was on that second trip that I really fell in love with London – we both did, actually. The people (so nice and polite!), the endless list of things to do, the musicals, the weather… (Yes! The weather! I love grey skies, I love the winter, and I even love the rain).
So upon returning home, we immediately started the process of immigrating to the UK as EU citizens (No Brexit back then – though the vote did take place a few months before our flight, which was nerve-wracking.) And a couple of years later… we landed in London.
Since this blog focuses so much on money (both earning and saving it), I have to state the inevitable link between money and moving to a new country – and even more so when moving to an expensive city such as London.
For years, I struggled with debt. I’ll write about that journey in a different post, but to sum it up, it was mainly due to overspending that came from not managing my money correctly. (Mark my words: A monthly budget is your best friend!)
While I was still in debt, something like moving to London wouldn’t have even crossed my mind. Maybe as a far-fetched fantasy… but if you can’t make ends meet in your home country, and you’re worried about paying your electricity bills, how are you going to move to a new country? (And yes, moving to a new country costs A LOT.)
By the time we moved, we weren’t at an age where people grab a backpack, fly to London, and hope for the best while working as a toilet cleaner (no offence to toilet cleaners).
So one of the main things that allowed us to even contemplate such a major life-changing event, was that we managed to get out of debt first. And then, even save some money ahead of the move.
Old Habits Die Hard – Even In London
I’ve always been someone who chases deals, ways to save money, and clever ways to earn money. Even when I was still in debt. And since I love writing, it was only natural to start writing about these topics. Back in 2012, while still in Israel, I started a money blog in Hebrew.
It was pretty successful for several years, though naturally started to fizzle out once I moved to the UK – there’s no point in writing about money and consumerism for a country you don’t live in any more.
But writing was still in my blood, so shortly after I moved to London, I started my first blog for UK readers – Cord Busters, which was all about a very specific topic – people who cut the TV cord and their expensive cable TV subscriptions. Cord Busters did (and is doing) well, and was even nominated for a UK Money Bloggers Awards, but… I wanted more.
Even as someone who was new to London, I quickly became the guy friends go to when they want to consult about broadband offers or supermarket coupons. As I always do, I heavily researched everything from energy companies to mobile contracts to credit reports and cheap cinema tickets – mainly for my own usage.
But then I figured – if I have all that information… why not share it with others? And while there are plenty of excellent UK money bloggers out there, I wanted to write something specifically for people who live in London – as well as people who are planning to move to London.
Will it work? I promise to visit this post again one year from now… and let you know.