Living in the city definitely has appeal and downtown Bellevue has unlimited dining choices, a variety of arts and entertainment venues, world class shopping, convenience to day-to-day amenities – but city living can be expensive. With a bit of thought you can actually save money living downtown.
1) Entertainment . . . look for free entertainment and events. Downtown Bellevue has free summertime weekday lunchtime concerts, free evening movies in the Downtown Park, Thursday and Saturday farmers markets and the Bellevue Arts Museum has free entry once a month. There are frequent events in the Downtown Park and don't miss the annual events like the Bellevue Arts Fair, Snowflake Lane, holiday skating in the Downtown Park, Taste of Main Street, etc..
2) Walkability . . . leave your car at home and walk to dinner, movies, shopping, etc. Explore Metro Transit for getting to work or into Seattle for entertainment and sports events. Many downtown residents have found they can easily get by without a car (Uber, cabs, Zip Car, etc.) eliminating car, insurance and gasoline expenses.
3) Smaller space = smaller expense . . . condominium or apartment living in a high or mid-rise community generally means a higher per-square-foot cost but a smaller footprint. Smaller spaces cost less to heat and cool. Many of the newer communities have fabulous owner amenities. Reserve the media center and invite friends for movie night or book the private dining room for a casual get-together or special celebration. Cancel your gym membership and use the on-site fitness center.
4) Reduce your commute . . . if you work downtown and live downtown, how perfect is that. Walking to work saves energy resources and uses your energy (good for you). If walking isn't realistic take the bus and use the commute time to prep for your first meeting or relax with a coffee and read the paper before your day starts.