Whether you are arriving in New York City as a young graduate, a freelancer, kickstarting your startup, or you are just in town temporarily on a work contract, there are a few vital things you should know about the challenges of NYC living, and the handy hacks that make the challenges worthwhile.
The Big Apple Lifestyle Has a Hefty Price Tag…
…but there are budget-friendly alternatives! It’s no surprise that the city known for its gourmet $15 burgers and gym fees upwards of $200 a month, NYC has the deserved reputation for being among the most expensive cities to live in – worldwide. Residents are squashed like sardines in tiny apartments when they aren’t commuting through the dense traffic or walking (very brusquely) on the busy sidewalks.
There are a variety of factors that contribute to how expensive New York is, in particular, the rising housing costs. Some expenses are just not worth it, like owning a car. Parking is notoriously expensive if you are able to find any, and the inconvenience is something most locals would rather avoid; not when there are so many things they would rather overspend their money on, and in New York City, there are plenty to choose from! Entertainment costs are off the charts compared to other cities, with cinema tickets starting at $15 a seat -at fleabag establishments most would not recommend. That being said, while theatre tickets could set you back $500, you can easily find a concert in the park for absolutely free.
7 Tips For Saving Money on Living Costs While Working in New York City…
… and how to splurge the money you save in the process! That’s right, for as many opportunities as there are to spend, there are ways to save, it’s simply a matter of research and planning and keeping this handy guide on hand. If live performances and culture are your scenes, there are countless treasures to be found in NYC that will not break the bank vault.
- Use Shared Accommodation like Corporate Apartments
For weekend work trips, hotels are pricey but manageable. However, if you are staying in New York City for a month or longer, then hotel prices can quickly get out of hand, especially if you hope to live in comfort with some level of luxury and accessibility to entertainment and amenities. When that is the case, NYC offers an innovative accommodation option known as furnished corporate housing.
Corporate housing refers to short-term apartment rentals where the spaces on offer are fully furnished, with a comprehensive package of amenities, entertainment, cleaning, and laundry services, WiFi, and much more – all on a flexible month-to-month basis. Complete with modern decor and all the High-tech gear you could need, corporate apartments are an affordable way to save money on rent, leaving you more room on your budget for entertainment.
- Do All Your Shopping Online
Many retailers have seen the value in easing traffic congestion by encouraging you to stay at home and take advantage of their online shopping and home delivery services. This eases the queues at the tills, making it more convenient for everyone involved, saving you in time and transportation fees. Anything you can think of from lunch to groceries, fashion and cosmetics to office supplies can be delivered promptly right to your door, including supplies from discount retailers such as Target and Walmart.
- Don’t Overspend on Commuting
It is a long-standing joke in NYC that locals never leave their block, and it makes perfect sense – traveling is very costly and staying put is so much cheaper. You can get around the hefty fees if you carpool and buy a month pass for the Metro. Lyft and Uber have made taxi fares considerably cheaper, and sharing these ride apps with your friends and neighbors brings the price down even more. If you own a bicycle, you can even get around for free, but remember to carry a bike lock on you.
- Forage for Affordable Food
(Try and say that ten times!) The most convenient meals will probably cost you the most because you are so used to going to the coffee shop next door or the bar across the street that you never venture out of your neighborhood and spot all the bargains. Take a walk through the blocks neighboring your home, and you will be surprised at the variety of food vendors and hot dog carts that you will bump into if you look hard enough. Take a day trip to Chinatown for your grocery shopping and be blown away by the low price of fresh produce.
- Get Fit & Gain a Bulkier Wallet for Your Effort
If the weather cooperates, you can save a lot of money by going the healthy route and walking. There are countless gyms and fitness studios available, but working out in the park is totally free. Give yourself extra time by leaving for work earlier and taking the scenic route; there are plenty of navigation apps like Google Maps designed to help you explore and discover the city on foot.
Entertainment is notoriously expensive at the top of the scale, but the scale is extremely diverse. There are many underground subcultures in NYC and activities that don’t even cost a cent, plus the city regularly hosts a number of parades and festivals for you to participate in. The online guide is constantly updated with upcoming gigs, so keep an eye out for events that suit your taste or schedule.
- Map Out Your Local Happy Hour Haunts
It’s been said that anything can change in a New York minute. If you’ve got an hour, that’s even better! The city is littered with pubs and restaurants offering Happy Hour drink specials, generally daily from around 4 pm to 7 pm. Keep your eyes peeled on Sunday morning for unlimited brunch specials, which often include drinks specials like bottomless mimosas!