Monday, September 24The Voice of London

Zone 1: Is the way of life worth the price?

Credit: Mikey, Flickr Creative Commons
Credit: Mikey, Flickr Creative Commons

This investigates the realities of living in London’s Zone 1 and whether or not the lavish lifestyle is worth the top prices. Words: Gemma Smith, Jade Ratcliffe, Aled Scudamore, Caitlyn Hudson


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To see Gemma Smith’s Storify online please visit the link below:


18 reasons why you need to be rich before residing in zone 1!

London is never cheap, especially in zone 1. It might seem like the place to be, what with the shops, bars, attractions and everything else the capital has to offer. But here are 18 reasons why it’s probably not the best idea for a young Londoner… unless you’re rich of course!

  1. There’s no fun in window-shopping!

Surrounded with the temptation of shopping can really make a dent in your wallet. Can you really walk past Topshop, Michael Kors and Dior on the regular without purchasing something?


  1. Public transport will be the bane of your life!

You thought rush hour was stressful! Every moment in zone one will feel like you’re stuck in a hectic time loop. Better get saving for those taxis if you want space.


  1. Don’t expect a place in Oxford Circus

Oxford Circus is one of the best shopping destinations, but would you really want to live there? Imagine the chaos! Think about what places you can realistically afford, multiply that by two for bills and living allowances and then divide the square metres of that property by two. Bingo! There’s your flat! You’ll start thinking of life as a monopoly board, where you’re forever landing on ‘income tax’ straight after you’ve been paid.


  1. How does it feel to live in a box?

Unless you can afford a gazillion pound home, expect to develop claustrophobia in your hobbit apartment. At least you can chose where to have a break down; the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom, although it doesn’t really matter… it’s all the same room.

“Let’s go back to yours for drinks! My place is being decorated.”


  1. Get used to the phrase “sharing is caring”!

It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to afford your own place, so get used to renting an apartment with someone else. Or even worse… sharing a room.


  1. Bye-Bye social life!

Because your box is draining your bank account dry, your change isn’t going to cut it on a night out with your friends. Try saving for a few months for a McDonalds date.


  1. Do you even like tinned beans?

You can say goodbye to your beloved takeaways and fine dining! Even Nando’s will feel like a luxury… “No it’s fine, I didn’t want a meal anyway.” You’ll say as you cry into your small chips and sip your tap water.


  1. There’s no such thing as a quiet life…especially when you live here.

Yes, there are quiet roads in London, but they’re not in your budget. Invest in a pair of earplugs to put up with those drunken teens and busy roads. If you’re lucky, you might get three hours of beauty sleep before the British city that never sleeps disturbs you again.


  1. Beware of your life flashing before your eyes!

So you’re used to shopping and going out in central London, well forget all that. When you live there your eyes will be opened to what you’ve subconsciously ignored before. The speedy bikes, hectic traffic, angry Londoners and lost tourists will make you question how to go on. Plan of action… get a chauffeur!


  1. You’ll miss seeing random cats ‘chilling’ on the streets

If you’re lucky enough to see one, the chances are slim that it will be near your apartment. Cats like luxury too! So, even when their owners aren’t the richest, they like to play pretend and hang out next to the million pound houses.


  1. After work drink? Not in this neighbourhood!

You cant afford to pay £8+ at a cocktail bar on the regular and not many others can either, which is why you’ll probably never see any of the customers reappear in the same week.


  1. There’s so many events… it’s a pity you can’t afford to attend any

London, London, London, that’s all you ever read when you look at the destinations of events. It’s always been “when I live there I’ll definitely go to that”, now when it’s right on your doorstep it seems even further away.


  1. Get used to watching fireworks and outdoor concerts from over the wall

It never seemed as pricey when you lived on the outskirts of London, but now you have to justify all of your spends. £10 to watch the sky light up for less than an hour, are you joking?

  1. Tourists will take up the vast amount of the queues to ANY and EVERY attraction

Queuing is never fun, especially when you’re faced with flashes from cameras and excited tourists. Remember, you’re an angry Londoner now. You can’t be expected to be patient. VIP entry seems like a distant dream, one you wish you were in.


  1. ‘Made in Chelsea’ will seem like the most unrealistic programme in the world

Stop watching it! It’ll only make you jealous and depressed. You have to remember that they grew up there. Their parents are their banks.


  1. Can you really justify the cost of that TV licence just to watch something that makes you envious?

You’ll no longer leave the TV on as background noise, you’ll walk around in the dark and yes people are probably moving away from you because you haven’t had a shower in a while. Bills, bills, bills. The things your dreams are made of. Literally!


  1. You’ll be forever renting

Lets face it, how are you going to save for a mortgage when you’re using up 99.9% of your wages on living costs?


  1. Say goodbye to your holidays

Times have changed, instead of being desperate for a day off from work, you’ll want to go just to get out of the house. Oh and the holiday days you’ve earned… what’s the point when you can’t afford to go anywhere? Your apartment is your holiday destination! Sound good to you?