Pssst - looking to seriously boost your finances over the summer? You could save large amounts of money quickly if you are prepared to try something different and reassess your living arrangements.

Renting in any city can be expensive - you pay a premium for being at the heart of it all, and the cost increases as you move further towards the city's hub. Most people choose to houseshare, move further out, or live with friends; however, there are alternatives.

You don't have to do what 'most people' do. You don't have to live somewhere expensive just for the sake of a nice postcode; there's more than one way to live in London and make sure you're not paying through the nose for the priviledge.

These alternatives are much cheaper, and can offer you a certain degree of flexibility - however, they do come with their own unique set of challenges. Tempted? You might be - you could save up to £14,000 if you're prepared to make some changes.

Monthly savings Realistic timescale Total savings
Live in a hostel 1-3 months £600 - £1,800
Legal squatter 3-6 months £1,560 - £3,120
Live in a warehouse 1-2 years £4,800 - £9,600
Live with a family 1-3 years £4,680 - £14,040

Live in a hostel

Potential monthly savings versus a houseshare in same area:

Renting a double room in London Bridge: Approx. £800 per month (including bills)

Staying in a hostel: Approx. £200 per month

Saving per month: Approx. £600

Realistic timescale: 1-3 months

Total savings overall: £600 - £1,800

You can live in a London hostel from as little as £6 a night, depending on how central you want to be. As everything's included, you could be looking at paying around £50 a week - £200 a month - which is a brilliant solution for people who need to be in the capital but who earn low wages, or those on internships/work experience.

The cheapest beds are often in long dormitories, so you might end up sharing with up to 20 people who will have different bedtimes, waking hours and, er, personal habits to yourself. It doesn't tend to be a long-term solution for many people as it can be stressful (lack of sleep, risk of theft, no privacy), even though it's an affordable way of staying central.

Andy, 30, lived in a hostel in London Bridge for a month in 2015 after buying a flat which needed work. The daily cost was £7, so the weekly cost was £49 and the monthly cost was just under £200. All bills were included.

"I chose to live in a hostel when I found out my new flat needed work before it was habitable. It was cheap, and I needed all the money I could get to do my flat up (it needed a lot of TLC!). I chose a hostel as it was easy and I could just put my stuff into storage.

"The hostel had a friendly vibe - I lived with a mixture of backpackers, foreign workers and kids exploring London. There were 20 of us to a room and sleep was pretty patchy, but I found an eye mask and using good quality earplugs helped. Just don't expect lie-ins and to get a full eight hours - people come in and leave throughout the day and night, and sometimes they're pretty noisy.

"Overall, I had an idea it would be a pretty rough and ready existence, so it wasn't a shock. It was fine, but I wouldn't do it again. I managed to save around £500, as my rent and bills before had been £700. The money came in handy (it helped me decorate my flat!) so I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a short-term solution."

For more information, check out Hostelworld or Hostelbookers.

Become a ‘Legal Squatter’

Potential monthly savings versus a houseshare in same area:

Renting a double room in Walthamstow: Approx. £720 per month (including bills)

'Property Guardian' cost: £200 per month

Saving per month: Approx. £520

Realistic timescale: 3 - 6 months

Total savings overall: £1,560 - £3,120

If you become a legal squatter - aka a property guardian - prepare to pay minimum rent and enjoy huge amounts of space when you come home.

This practice took off after the government decided to criminalise squatting in residential properties but overlook the same action in commercial ones. So that meant landlords who owned abandoned pubs, shops and offices didn’t have to worry about squatters - they could simply find property guardians to live in their space, charge them minimal rent, and take care of it.

This approach is a step below warehouse living, which tends to cater for the ‘arty’ middle classes. You’ll be living with a lot of people, some of whom you might not gel with, and there’s a possibility some of them might be light-fingered. However, if you prefer living light and you’re not fussed about working radiators, this will suit you down to the (uncarpeted) ground.

Jenna, 36, moved to London in 2016 and lived as a property guardian in Walthamstow for two months. The rent was £50 per week, all inclusive, although she was encouraged to be sparing with electricity and gas. She did not pay a deposit.

"I had heard good things about being a property guardian, so I decided to give it a go with a bunch of mates. I wanted to save money to pay off a debt to a family friend, who had loaned me some money a few months previously and needed it back.

"It was socially comfortable, as I was living with people I knew, but there was very little privacy and we had to get used to living in each other's pockets very quickly. Because it was a wide open space, there was no noise insulation, and the bathroom was horrible - it was out the back of the building, and it had loads of spiders!

"The total cost of my stay was £400, and I managed to save around £700, which doesn't seem like very much, but the relief at paying back what I owed was wonderful. I would say this, though - property guardianship is only for people who are seriously about saving fast, or unbothered about hot water, central heating, and not wearing a ski suit to bed."

Interested? Check out Ad Hoc Property, VPS and Interim Spaces.

Live in a warehouse

Potential monthly savings versus a houseshare in same area:

Renting a double room in Holloway: Approx. £700 per month (including bills)

Warehouse in Holloway: £300 per month

Saving per month: Approx. £400

Realistic timescale: 1-2 years

Total savings overall: £4,800 - £9,600

Renting a warehouse became big news at the end of the 90s and early noughties when people realised they could rent huge spaces in London for a fraction of the cost of a flat. Things became even cheaper when they moved their friends in, and the warehouse owners were happy to fit kitchens, bathrooms etc. as their tenants protected the property from squatters and, on the whole, took care of it.

Warehouse renting is still going strong in London - there are plenty of properties seeking tenants for around £300 - £400 a month. A major pull factor is the social side of things; you’ll always have someone around to chat to, and you’ll never be bored.

Don’t expect carpets and central heating - things can definitely get chilly in the winter - and if you don’t like noise, steer clear. The more remote places are cheaper but can have less impressive transport links, so if a quick commute’s important to you, do your research.

Anna, 32, lived in a warehouse in Holloway for two years. The rent was £200 a month, not including bills. Overall, the monthly cost was approximately £300.

"When I was given the opportunity to move into the warehouse, I went for it. I'd been living in a stuffy two-bedroom flat in Balham before, and I really wanted space, to meet cool new people, and save up for a round the world trip! The landlord was pretty relaxed with the rent and I paid a very small deposit, which was returned to me without issue (around £200).

"My overall memories are that when it was good, it was very good - and when it was bad it was horrid. The parties in summer were brilliant, and it was cool and spacious when it was roasting outside. However, in the winter, the cold got right into your bones and I was poorly several times. There were no carpets and not many home comforts, so it was a horrible place to be ill.

"My advice to anyone would be to do it for six months in the spring and the summer - during the winter things get much gloomier! I did it full time for two years - I couldn't have done any more - and I saved around £9,000, which was brilliant. I went away for a year after I moved out and I can honestly say I loved every minute, so the warehouse was worth it."

Interested? Check out Gumtree and Craigslist for details.

Rent a room in a family home

Potential monthly savings versus a houseshare in same area:

Renting a double room in Peckham: Approx. £690 per month (including bills)

Staying with a family: £300 per month

Saving per month: Approx. £390

Realistic timescale: 1-3 years

Total savings overall: £4,680 - £14,040

Lots of families in London find their monthly bills skyrocket after they have a baby, so they rent out their spare rooms to make some extra cash. Depending on where you look, you could be paying around £300 all-inclusive, and you’ll get all the mod cons you would with a normal houseshare.

Some families are prepared to slash the rent even further if you’re prepared to help out around the house or help with childcare/watching the kids for a few hours - but this tends to be infrequent and on a ‘Only if you’re about’ basis.

If you like children and you’re prepared to accept your place in the hierarchy of the family unit (last), this will suit you fine. If you want to have people round, spend a lot of time cooking, dominate the lounge a few times a week and generally treat the place as your own, it won’t.

However, it is a lovely way to feel that you’re part of a family, and you’ll be living with people who will care for you in return - a quality many run of the mill housemates don’t have. You can find lots of opportunities to rent with a family on Gumtree.

Cass, 28, rented a room in a small three-bedroom house for two years in Peckham when she first moved to London. The rent was £300 a month all-inclusive.

"Despite being told that buying a house in London was a bad idea, I wanted to save up for a place of my own, so being able to save aggressively was really important to me. My two years with the family were great, but by the end, I'd had enough. I was able to save for a deposit on my first home, so it was worth it - but I wouldn't want to repeat it now!

"There was a hierarchy in the home - the family came first, and I was right at the bottom. When I first moved in, the parents told me their two kids needed routine, so I couldn't be back too late - I was either home by 10pm, or I had to stay out all night so I didn't wake them up. They were nice, it was just the way they wanted things done in exchange for cheap rent.

"If I wanted any peace and quiet, I had to go to my room - the kids were always playing in the lounge and they could get quite noisy. There were a few nights where they were ill and the whole family was up all night, but on the whole, it was OK.

"I would say that if you're a party animal, or you don't like kids, it won't work for you. I saved £9,000, which was fantastic, and I love having my own house. It was two years of hassle for a lifetime of security and privacy - totally worth it!"

Interested? Gumtree and .

Here’s what you have to remember:

- By thinking for yourself and working out what's driving you forward, you can save huge amounts of money quickly and easily

- Never feel like moving somewhere cheap or less fashionable is 'beneath you' - the money you'll save certainly isn't

- If you love your creature comforts, it may be wise to stick to renting a ‘normal’ room - here’s our guide to getting it right

- Don’t forget to bank all the money you’re saving! There’s no point living frugally if you’re spending all of your salary on going out

- Bear in mind some of these options have no contract, so you can leave fairly easily - but you may be told to move on with very little notice, too

We set up The Lifehouse.Co as we believe that everyone - no matter their age, or what they earn - should have the opportunity to make the most of their money.

Think differently about money. Get more from your finances with personalised financial coaching delivered to your mobile.

try it now