Home Budgeting How To Save Money Living In NYC (New York City)

How To Save Money Living In NYC (New York City)

by Tara Robinson
How Can I Save Money Living In NYC

If you’re living in the Big Apple, it’s easy to feel like your wallet is constantly shrinking. There are so many expenses that can add up and make New York City one of the most expensive cities in the world. This blog post will give you some tips on how to save money while still enjoying life here!

How To Move To NYC

Real-estate-wise, it’s easier — and cheaper — to get a foothold in New York City than in recent memories. The migration of many New Yorkers during the bleak, terrifying early months of the pandemic, coupled with a three-month moratorium on apartment displays that ended at the end of June, means that there are a record number of apartments available for rent this year.

Sweet deals emerge, with landlords more willing to bargain and make concessions in order to fill vacancies, especially in large rental buildings — launching freebies like free months or owner-paid broker fees.

How Can I Save Money Living In NYC and find a good affordable place?

One alternative is to find yourself a rental for a short term and perform a bit of recon in a few areas that you think you would like. This will encourage you to learn things that you can’t completely understand from internet analysis, such as how long the walk to the subway really is, the nature of the variety of products in the local supermarket, and how the area feels at night.

Sure, there’s a lot you can learn online, but never underestimate the value of having a feel for a location. If this is not feasible, at least take a virtual walk around the city using Google Street View. This is one of the smallest moves that will help you know how to save money in NYC while you’re searching for a new location.

Art Of Living In NYC On A budget

If you’re planning on moving to NYC alone or have recently moved there, it probably seems like your funds are disappearing at a much faster pace than you’re used to. This is not just your imagination though: as living in NYC is higher than in other cities.

Why is New York so expensive? And by how much, you ask? Okay, that depends on where you’re from.

You may not note the move from San Francisco, L.A., San Jose or foreign cities like London outside your housing costs. If you’re from Portland, Oregon or Asheville, Kentucky? Ouch. You’ll feel your wallet’s pinch.

How Much Rent Can I Afford In NYC?

Despite recent news that NYC’s rental market is slowly (very slowly) cooling, rents are still unbelievably expensive; the costs of living in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens are all well over $2,500.

In a balanced budget, you can spend no more than 30% of your income on rent.

According to one report, New York City’s average rent pressure is a frightening 65%. While it’s a city-wide average, you’d be better advised to spend less on rent.

Such a rent-to-income ratio is intolerable, particularly for low-budget individuals. A more realistic target will be around 40%, which normally includes landlords.

Measure what’s affordable while using a monthly rent rule. When you can’t meet the mark, a guarantor is still available – so be completely confident that your monthly budget can handle a higher rent.

Expectations And Living With Roommates

How can I save money living in NYC with a roommate?

Living with others is a perfect way to cut costs. Like one thing, the rent would be higher, as well as dividing maintenance costs. If you can’t find a roommate through your network of friends, sites like Listings Project and Craigslist make finding like-minded people easy.

Just make sure you ‘re on the same cost-sharing page: can you understand you both want to pay for cable? Can you even split the rent if someone’s space is bigger? Try living in outer boroughs if you slash expenses because the dollar gets more bang.

Budgeting Transportation and Moving Costs

Whether your travel cost change would rely significantly on how you want a New York vehicle. Inner boroughs are extremely low on-street parking, so a garage can cost you a penny.

How can I save money living in NYC while commuting?

Many people prefer public transport to/from work. A single ride is $2.75, making $5.50. Many commuters opt for an annual monthly pass for $127, which is around $4.25 a day.

Such transportation rates are higher than in many other cities. Tip: If you have lower wages, you can qualify for a discounted fare.

Know your moving costs will be high. Landlords typically need first month’s rent plus a security deposit. You will need to recruit movers and probably purchase new furniture. Taking these costs into account when making a transfer.

Entertainment Costs In NYC

If you have some money left after paying for lodging, transportation and food, you might want to enjoy yourself. Okay, it’ll cost you. For movie buffs, Midtown ‘s average entry price is $15.25, according to ValuePenguin.

New York is also renowned for sports teams. Whether you want to catch a game from the Brooklyn Nets or New York Knicks, you pay on average $87 and $190, respectively. Baseball fans can watch both Yankees and Mets games.

New Yorkers have one preference for cheap entertainment. During a typical weekend night, city-wide subway platforms become stages for all sorts of musical performances. Whether you like classical, jazz, hip hop or blues, there’s something you’ll enjoy.

Stock Up On Sales

There’s no need to buy full-price toilet paper or paper towels. If you prefer a brick-and – mortar shop, just buy these things when your nearest pharmacy sells.

If you buy in bulk, Amazon has some fantastic offers and its Subscribe and Save service will save you up to 15%.

Make Frugal Friends

When your party is crazy spendy, well, it’ll take a lot of willpower to be frugal while you’re around them. Second, don’t feel the need to catch up with others. You may not have the same financial conditions as you.

You could have financial aid (let’s face it: do so many people in NYC!), credit card debt, or paycheck living. If they frequently suggest costly things, they don’t know you’re trying to be frugal. To them, be frank. If they’re real friends, they’ll try to find more inexpensive things to do, or they’ll understand when you turn them down every now and then.

Avoid Purchasing New Furnitures

After moving to a new location, the next move is buying furniture. Yet why must it be brand new? Besides your mattress (because eww, bed bugs), stalk second-hand Craigslist furniture.

Think about it: lots of people in town with high-paid work and discerning taste. That means you can find more choice and better-quality things when you live in a community.

Another advantage of living with roommates is the common areas in the apartments would possibly already be furnished. That means you only need a bed and desk for your room, which is far more manageable than furnishing a whole apartment.

Saving Money In NYC On Food Expenses

There are lots of ways to save money in NYC, especially on expenses for food.

How can I save money living in NYC With Expenses On Food?

There are plenty of ethnic neighborhoods in NYC with more budgetary grocery items.I wouldn’t generally call these ethnic markets a better food range, but vegetables , fruits and meats appear to be cheaper in Hispanic markets and Chinatown markets. 

Neighborhood grungier, goods cheaper. Manhattan, Flushing, and Brooklyn’s Chinatowns. Take a pick. Budgetary Indian grocery in Jackson Heights, Queens. 

If ethnic grocery stores or street markets aren’t your type, you may still find discounts at pricey grocery stores like Whole Foods and Fairway. Those are the markets where you pay $12 for a dragon fruit, or $24.99 / lb for salmon you can get free from Alaska rivers. 

Restaurants are a dozen in NYC. When you stay there, you’ll find your favorite cheap food. Tell Yelp, or your buddy with thousands of Yelp ratings.

Cheapest Places To Live In New York City

New York City has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most expensive places. If you were wondering about how to save money in NYC through places that provide cheaper rent, then these places could be right in your budget.


Inwood NYC

Our first choice is located in Manhattan, if you can believe it. Inwood is on Manhattan’s very northern side, giving it a near-suburban feel, but with many of New York ‘s cultural benefits.

The neighborhood is separated by the main avenue, Broadway, and features narrow, village-style shopping streets and quiet residential areas. There are also several parks in Inwood, including Inwood Hill Park, one of the best parks on the East Coast, with acres of old-growth woodland and deserted summer estates to explore.

Crown Heights 

Purim, Crown Heights

For those wanting an eclectic feel in Brooklyn, Crown Heights is a wise place to look. Wedged between Bed-Stuy to the east and Prospect Park, Brooklyn Museum and Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the west, Crown Heights is closest to the best that Brooklyn has to offer. 


Shalom Aleichem Houses, Kingsbridge Heights

This portion of the Bronx is much farther north than Inwood, but you’ll move to Kingsbridge and swap a slightly longer commute for some real rent savings. On the train it’s just two stops into the Bronx, and provides a 45-minute trip to Midtown. In other words, it’s as simple as going to every other neighborhood in Queens or Central Brooklyn. The neighborhood may not be a big nightlife destination, but youth are becoming increasingly popular.



While Riverdale is known to many as a neighborhood of big fancy private schools and grand estates, overall, it’s actually very affordable. Outside the Fieldston, the place has a lot of affordable studios alongside one-bedroom apartments. Some apartment buildings, having pre-war architectural elements which date back even to the 1920s.

The only downside to this area is that it is inaccessible by subway, although there are Metro-North and Express buses.

How Does The Cost Of Living In Brooklyn Compare?

When you considering the cost of living, you may wonder about other famous boroughs like Brooklyn. Brooklyn, like Manhattan, has a wide variety of neighborhoods with varying rent rates and even variations in restaurant and grocery costs. On average, however, you can save some money by heading to Brooklyn as long as you stop going to the trendiest places.

Looking at neighborhood rent and home sizes, Brooklyn pays $1,500 less in rent than Manhattan. More objectively, if you look at similar Manhattan-to-Brooklyn areas, you can hope to save your rent a few hundred dollars a month.

When you weigh living costs in NYC and the opportunity to move to Brooklyn or another borough, make sure you do consider the cost of commuting. If you’re committed to a career in Manhattan, you’re likely to spend more on transportation than save on city walking or biking.

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Los Angeles Vs New York Lifestyle

New York City is where to go if you ‘re looking for freedom and liberty. There’s no time to mess around and you’ll be thrown into a stunning, hard-working metropolis. Its culture would make you straight and smooth, making you a better person.

Los Angeles is classier, but also harder to build your own life. The city is full of individuals struggling to make it out here. Some are fortunate, but LA is big, so there’s so much competition.

One important element NYC has over LA is transport convenience. It’s less stressful when trying to get your life together. This basic fact gives New York a slight lead over LA and has our vote for which city is better.

Caution When Dealing With Brokers

Moving to NYC is expensive, but a broker fee can add thousands of dollars to your cost. Although using a broker has advantages, this isn’t the most budget-friendly way to find an apartment. To stop using a broker, do it.

Many New York City brokers can charge 15 percent annual rent for locating an apartment. While this may save a lot of time for busy people, this can not be everyone’s best choice. In all, the 15 percent premium costs nearly 2 months of rent. By principle, people will pay 14 months of rent to live for 12 months when seeking an apartment through a broker. Over the years, this will definitely add up.

Living In A Car To Save Money In NYC: Would You Do It?

If we want to admit it or not, living costs escalate exponentially. Sure, there are some places that seem unaffected by increasing living costs, but it’s hard for many recent graduates and adults to find a spot on their own while trying to be frugal. And the bigger your city, the harder you can find a decent place on a budget.

Unlike living in an RV or moving from apartment to apartment, living in a car can be cost-effective.

Expenditure like power and infrastructure won’t matter. You could enter a gym to take showers and get ready for the day.

You could camp at any big parking lot for free. And even food costs can be managed as you can use a cooler, microwave meal when required for work , school, or even a gym.

It’s also necessary to consider securing you and your car. Consider buying a column lock for your car. That way, stealing your car is almost impossible for anyone. In most cases, when someone’s car is stolen, it’s just a property. For additional security steps, explore any self-protection solutions you ‘re comfortable with.

How To Make Extra Money In NYC

NYC offers almost a limitless number of versatile money-making opportunities. It doesn’t matter whether you’re working full-time or just trying to take part-time in some cash. There is always something here for everyone:

  1. Driving: It’s a new day on NYC highways, where cars associated with ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft now outnumber almost four-to-one cabs. Look for a good side hustle.
  1. Airbnb Listing: Got a spare room? If you’re a good host with a nice space, you might add hundreds — perhaps thousands — of bucks to your bank account with Airbnb, too.
  1. Work Online From Home: Homework has its advantages. You don’t have to tackle rush-hour or public transit. You can make money without even leaving your flat. Look at sites like Upwork and TaskRabbit for more work from home opportunities.

Final Thoughts On How Can I Save Money Living In NYC

Living on New York’s budget can be difficult. But that’s all: learning how to save money in NYC a challenge you can overcome with some basic techniques and strategies.

Choose a place you can afford, agree to some money-saving habits, and build your own interpretation of what New York’s “living big” looks like, like getting a better savings account.

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