Living in Washington, D.C. on $28K | 6 Tips on How to Afford City Living on a Budget

Here’s how to live in Washington D.C. on a budget. I’ll provide the 6 tips that helped me survive on less than $30K in Washington, DC. These financial tips cover everything, from Housing options to living off FREE STUFF – like breakfast, lunches & dinners. So pay close attention because you’ll learn how to not only survive, but thrive in one of the most expensive cities in the United States!

As a former Congressional staffer, my starting salary was $28K (before taxes). Since DC is an expensive city, and the salary did not reflect the cost of living, I hustled my first couple years. I want to emphasize that even with a low salary, you can still thrive in DC, you just have to be smart about what your financial priorities are. Would you rather have a ‘luxury apartment’ or have extra money to build savings and have experiences like go out with friends.

For me, I chose the latter. It is important to me to live a quality life. I did not, I repeat, DID NOT live a cheap life sacrificing fun. Instead I found ways to be financially savvy and lived my BEST DC life. Now I’ll share 6 tips on how you can afford living in DC!

00:00 Intro
00:57 Quick overview on my DC life
02:12 Tip #1: Set a Budget & My DC Budget
04:43 Tip #2: Find Inexpensive, Livable Housing in DC & Where I Lived
08:81 How to Find Inexpensive, Livable Housing in DC
09:36 Tip #3: Meal Prep & My Food Recommendations
11:09 Tip #4: Take Advantage of Happy Hours
11:35 Tip #5: Get a Side Hustle & What I Side Job I did in DC
12:24 Tip #6: Get on the Reception List & Why Receptions Are Good for Meals & Career

Mic 🎤 :

Add me on Instagram: @Melissa_Dargan
Twitter: @Melissa_Dargan

Budget Like a Pro –
8 Financial Secrets of Working in Congress –

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The content on my YouTube videos and other social media platforms is for educational purposes only and is based on my personal opinion. It’s not meant to be investment or professional financial advice. I am not a financial advisor, certified accountant or a tax professional. You should speak to a licensed professional for financial or tax decisions if necessary. Remember that investments involve some form of risk and there is no guarantee that you will be successful in making, saving or investing money; nor is there any guarantee that you won’t experience any loss when investing.

#LivingInDC #DCBudget #HowToMakeDCAffordable

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