The Londoner who commuted to work from Barcelona – because it works out cheaper

Sam Cookney saves on cash - but the commute is murder

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The Independent Online

A Londoner who figured out it would be cheaper to rent a flat in Barcelona and commute across the continent to work rather then suffer the capital's rip-off prices has taken the plunge.

Sam Cookney, 32, seemingly hatched his plan two years ago in a speculative blog post.

He said he had discovered it would be cheaper for him to rent a two-bed flat in Barcelona than a one-bedroom in London.

On the basis of travellling to Farringdon, in the city of London, three or four times a month, he calculated that the cheaper commute would leave him with €387 extra.

He bargained on being able to live in a “fairly upmarket residential district” and paying return flight costs to London Stansted airport of just €34.

“I can then walk to my desk by 9.30am, with time for a Pret coffee and bacon and cheese croissant en route,” he added.

Three months ago, Mr Cookney took the plunge and moved to Barcelona after the tenancy on his shared flat came to an end and he realised he could not afford his own place, the Daily Mirror reports.

The social media manager now lives in a two-bedroom with a roof terrace which costs €800 a month.

But he told the newspaper that he spends five-and-a-half hours commuting door-to-door each time he makes the trip, "which sounds grim but so far it's proved very easy".

“I moved mainly for the hugely improved lifestyle I have here, but in reality it’s now working out that I’m actually saving money on my previous London life,” he said.

“I’ve even started spotting a few familiar faces on the morning flight so it looks like there’s a few people already doing the same thing as me.”

He said that, contrary to his original calculations, the price of his return flights have varied, with some costing 80-100 euros each time.

Mr Cookney has said the change was “remarkably easy” and he's now living in Barcelona just a month on. And he is enjoying every minute of it it seems:

Last month, research from Labour mayoral candidate Tessa Jowell found it was potentially cheaper for people to commute to London from Madrid than live in the capital because “Londoners are now paying so much to landlords”.