New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world to live in but it can come with a price. With 8.5 million residents packed into 300 square miles, the costs of living in NYC can be as high as the Empire State. With the average price of coffee in New York City reaching a whopping almost $5 per cup and the average New Yorker spending $70 per week on lunch alone, regular expenses such as food, transportation, and entertainment are notoriously sky-high.
However, we are here to show you that living in NYC on a budget can be done, whilst having a lot of fun doing so! Here are some tips and tricks for living as cheaply as possible in New York City, whilst making the most of living in one of the greatest cities in the world.
Transport In New York City
We’ve all seen the big yellow taxis in the movies, but perhaps the slightly less glamorous (and perhaps slightly more exciting) modes of transport, such as the subway, buses, ferries, biking, or by feet are the way to go. A CityBike membership is one of the best hacks to get from a to z in NYC, whilst also being incredibly fun, healthy, and cheap. CitiBike can be found everywhere across Manhattan and Brooklyn and can be used for a single ride, a day pass, or an annual membership, the savings are huge (and the workout is not too bad either!). Alternatively, save money on one of the oldest transportation networks in the world, the subway, but getting a monthly Metro Pass, which will bring down the price per ride if you are riding the subway at least twice per day.
Also, did you know that if you use your card to tap in on the subway, did you know your seventh journey of the week is free?
Eating on a Budget
If you avoid eating out at fancy New York restaurants, buying $5 cups of coffee, and drinking $13 glasses of wine (not including tips), there are certainly other ways to live on a budget, eat great food, keep your stomach happy, as well as your bank account! Where does one begin when thinking about food – the Grocery store! One of the golden tips is to always shop at cheaper grocery stores, and try to avoid always shopping at places like Whole Foods and West Side Market. Instead, try to see past the fast-moving line and head to Trader Joe’s or shop online at Amazon Fresh. Alternatively, if you are looking to eat out, try apps like Too Good To Go or Flashfood, which offer food at a reduced price from various restaurants across the city, in order to fight food wastage.
And finally, what do you do with all the food you have acquired – make lunch! The average New Yorker spends $70 per week on buying lunch, so why not pocket that cash, and meal prep? Check out Taste of Home’s Expert Guide To Meal Planning for inspiration.
When you first move to the Big Apple, you may gravitate towards all of the New York Hot Spots for entertainment, such as seeing a Broadway show or going to a Rooftop Bar in the East Village. There is no doubt that New York entertainment and nightlife will occupy a lot of your weekends, but did you know it is possible to do this on a budget? Firstly, why not substitute a Broadway show, which can cost upwards of $250 per ticket, for a free event? Event apps such as Eventbrite, DoNYC, and Dice all have a fantastic array of free events across Manhattan and Brooklyn where you can join different communities. Finally, become a Happy Hour Hero and find out which bars in your area have the best Happy Hour deals, check out Where Happy Hour to find the perfect drinks deal.
Skip the hype and spend as little as possible on weekend entertainment while living in NYC, so long as your desires allow it!
Life can run very fast in New York City and searching for somewhere to live can be very overwhelming, not to mention costly. Choosing a location, finding roommates, and organizing your bills takes up a lot of energy and time. It may come as no surprise that rent is the largest monthly expenditure for New Yorkers, but rent is not the only cost that needs to be factored in once you consider broker fees, furnishing, and organizing utilities. Co-Living is not only cheaper than getting your own studio apartment, but you also don’t need to buy a couch, kitchen supplies, or wifi router. Not to mention, Co-Living in New York City means less financial responsibility as opposed to a group lease. Gone are the days of being on the edge to find a subletter for your roommate!
AYA provides trendy co-living within the most desirable areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn, so if you’re looking for a way to save money whilst living in NYC, we may have the answer for you.