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Tips on how to live cheap in NYC

NYC skyline

If you are moving on a tight budget, plan how to live cheap in NYC

Having decided that NYC is the place you want to call home, it is time now for you to make some financial adjustments. Uprooting your life in a city that never sleeps has always seemed like an expensive affair. Venturing yourself into a world of endless possibilities comes with a number of advantages and disadvantages. Learning how to live cheap in NYC can be as exciting as much as it is overwhelming. Here we are sharing some helpful guidelines on how to settle into the Big Apple without breaking the bank.

As we all know, NYC is famous for being one of the most dynamic cities in the world that attracts a lot of people pursuing their dreams. Aside from all romanticized ideas about great NYC lifestyle, there are also some less appealing aspects of it. Considering all downsides and potential setbacks, the reputation of being a concrete jungle and a tough place to live in turns out to be well deserved. If you are considering a move to NYC you should take into account all the pros and cons so as to make a decision that works for you.

Living on a budget in NYC

Making a fresh start in an expensive city requires some advance planning. Unless you move with an efficient, long-term strategy, your savings may slip through your fingers before you know it. The good news is that even with an average monthly income, you can make it work with a bit of resourcefulness. And more importantly, living cheap in NYC doesn’t have to be about giving up all your social activities. In order to make a smooth transition, you may want to adjust your expectations so as to take control of your budget.

Hiring cheap NYC movers

a house model on a calculator indicating how to live cheap in NYC

Finding affordable movers may ease the financial burden of your transition

As we all know, moving is a rather expensive endeavor that can burden your budget. Luckily, there are a lot of honest and reputable movers in New York who can deliver a great service without overcharging you.

So, first and foremost, consider hiring affordable movers NYC who will be able to provide a quality service at a reasonable price. But, the question is where and how to find them. Your quest should start when having a casual conversation with your friends and coworkers. If some of them have moved house recently or know someone who has just gone through a move, make sure to gather all relevant information.

Remember, a recommendation from a trustworthy person can go a long way towards finding an honest and affordable moving and storage NYC company. Alternatively, online moving reviews can reveal a lot of helpful information about the movers’ reputation. Contact only the shortlisted companies requesting a moving estimate. Since the financial aspect of the move is of utmost importance, by comparing moving quotes you may have a better understanding of overall moving costs.

Apartment hunting in NYC

a walk-up building in NYC

Start your apartment hunt with a reliable real estate agent by your side

Finding an apartment in NYC can be a daunting and nerve-racking task for many reasons. People moving to NYC for the first time may expect to find a spacious and affordable apartment on a good location. But, as soon as they start researching housing options in NYC they will be hit by a local real estate reality.

If you focus on researching apartments within your budget, you will most definitely save a lot of time and energy. However, sooner rather than later you will realize that what you can actually afford is a small, not-so-central studio apartment.

A reputable real estate agent can help you find the most suitable place. Just make sure to determine what type of apartment you are looking for in terms of location, size, price range, transportation options, crime rate, commuting time and proximity to the places of interest.

As compromises are always part of the apartment search process, you are likely to end up in a small apartment barely spacious enough to fit one person, let alone all household belongings. That way you will have no choice but to leave most of your items behind and move only the essentials. Bear in mind that if renting an apartment in Manhattan costs you more than one half of your monthly income, you should expand your search criteria and learn how to live cheap in NYC by renting an apartment in Bronx or Queens. As it turns out, each NYC borough has its special flair and charm and it’s up to you to discover them and use them to your advantage.

How to live cheap in NYC with a roommate

Having taken all monthly costs into account (rent, utility bills, maintenance costs, personal expenses) you can decide which kind of apartment you can afford. Once you inspect closely NYC neighborhoods, you are likely to come across some of the fast-growing places you can call home. As it turns out, young people often decide to find a roommate to share rent and maintenance costs.

Living in NYC is a financially challenging project and many people find it a lot easier with a roommate. Although they will enjoy less privacy and have to comply with some rules for the sake of a good and peaceful relationship, the financial pros seem to outweigh the cons. To sum up, splitting rent and monthly maintenance and utility bills with another person may allow you to rent a more spacious place.

The budget for transportation costs

a girl waiting for a yellow cab

Research transportation options within your budget when moving to NYC

Getting around NYC may seem like a major ordeal, but as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the best commuting option is public transportation. Lack of parking space and the traffic in the rush hour may be a real headache for all car owners.

Luckily, the subway is a cost-effective alternative to driving a car or using an Uber. The subway will take you from point A to point B quickly and easily, so you won’t have to spend money on cabs. The point is to embrace a hectic pace and plan your activities accordingly. Not using a car brings some health perks as you will be walking a lot around NYC and explore the city along the way. Eventually, you will come up with your own solutions and strategies about how to live cheap in NYC.