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How To Live In New York Without Going Broke

October 31st, 2010 |  Published in Apartment Hunting, Eating Out, Entertainment, Events, Living in New York, MetroCards, Public Transit, Subway, Things to Do  |  1 Comment

New York is the most expensive city in the United States, and the 8th most expensive city in the world.   However, you don’t have to be Donald Trump to live here comfortably.   Check out the following tips and learn how you CAN afford to love New York.

The cost of renting an apartment in New York can vary greatly depending on location, size, and amenities like a doorman or onsite laundry.  Regardless, this will probably be your biggest expense.

  • If you can’t afford to live alone, consider getting a roommate (or two.)  It’s always nice to have someone to split the bills with.
  • When furnishing your apartment check out Craigslist or the city’s many flea markets.  You can get a lot of great stuff with out paying a lot of money.

Food and Dining
Everybody has to eat, and in New York, your dining options are endless.

  • Restaurants can ‘eat up’ your disposable income rather quickly, so limit how often you dine out.
  • Sign up for Blackboard Eats, for those times that you do eat out. It’s a free newsletter that offers awesome deals for many excellent restaurants around the city.  Also, check out Everything You Need To Know About Dining In NYC for more tips.
  • Pack your lunch and save yourself around $200 a month.
  • Make your breakfast at home and drink the free coffee at work.
  • Do some comparision shopping around your neighborhood for groceries.  You will notice that some stores offer different items for less.  Shop accordingly.
  • Meat is expensive, so try cooking without it.  You might not even miss it.
  • Check out farmers markets and street vendors for produce.   Sometimes you can score end of the day discounts and two for one specials.
  • Head to Chinatown for cheap dumplings, produce and seafood.

Believe it or not, you can have a lot of fun without shelling out a ton of cash.

  • If your apartment is large enough, eat, drink and be merry at home.  Host a potluck or a dinner party.
  • A night at the bar can add up quickly.  Pay in cash and leave the credit cards at home.  As they say: ‘When you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass home’.  You will feel much better about yourself in the morning.
  • Skip cable and get a subscription to Netflix.
  • Most museums have ‘free days’.  Take advantage of them.
  • Check out The Village Voice and Time Out NY for free events around the city.

The great thing about New York is that it isn’t necessary to have a car.  You can get almost anywhere by foot, cab, subway, bus or bike.

  • If you frequent the subway, get a 30-Day Unlimited MetroCard.  $89 gets you unlimited rides on the subway and local buses for 30 days.
  • In warm weather travel by bike or foot.  Not only is it free, but it’s a great way to get exercise since gym memberships are a luxury that not everyone can afford.

Happy Spending!  As always, we welcome more advice.  What are your suggestions for living in New York without going broke?  Share them below in the comments.

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About the author: Karri Wells

Karri Wells Made in the midwest, making it in Manhattan.

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  • MichiganderTransplant

    Not sure if this blog is still regularly updated, but as you probably already know by now, unlimited passes are $112–for any newcomers here who are thinking “Ooh! $89 isn’t THAT bad.”

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