The Big Apple is definitely not a cheap city to live in. Yes, it offers great opportunities for young professionals and the sheer amount of different cultures that live in it is staggering. But, all of that comes at a price. While you can manage to live cheaply in it if you are careful and lucky with picking your neighborhood, you are going to need some money if you want to live comfortably in NY.
As we mentioned, NY is an expensive city to live in. Especially if you are living with a big family. NYC is made for a young professional. Therefore, it is not very accommodating to big families and family lifestyle. Even less so if you are living in the city center. Many families move out of NYC when kids arrive, and it can be advisable that you do so also.
You can live comfortably in NY, but you need to have a modest lifestyle and a decent salary.
One of the more expensive parts of living in NY is the rent. While there are certain neighborhoods in which you can find cheap accommodation, it certainly won't be comfortable. Demand and supply dictate the price of rent. Therefore if an apartment is cheap it is most likely because no one wants to live in it. For a nice, one bedroom apartment, you are looking at $3000 a month, minimum. A three bedroom apartment will cost you $6000 at least. Maybe you'll get lucky and find a cheaper one, but don't count on it. So, lets for the sake of analysis say that you are a single, young professional trying to live in NYC. So far, you are going to need $3000 each month. That is $36,000 annually.
Utilities in NYC are a bit expensive, but certainly not unreasonable. For an 85 square meter apartment, you'll be paying $136 monthly. That will cover electricity, heating, water, and garbage. To that, you can add monthly internet, Netflix subscription, Amazon Prime etc. That will end up costing around $300 max. To sum that up, that is $3,600 annually. So far we are at $39,600.
Let's say that you are a busy person. You do not have time to cook your every meal. So, during the weekdays you eat out, and you use weekends to make some homemade meal. Great. On average, a meal in the NYC is going to cost you around $15. 3 meals a day, 5 work days a week, 4 weeks a month. That get's you to $900. And to that, you should add a weekend feast of $30 a meal. That will be 6 meals in a week, 4 weeks a month. You are looking at another $720. So, in total, you will pay $1620 each month on food. Let's say that you save money sometimes, but you take someone out a few times, so it evens out. Annually you are looking at $19,449. Combining that with previous expenses, we come to $59,040.
A decent meal will cost you around $15.
In order to spend your free time as you see fit, you are going to need to spend a few bucks. Let's assume that you like going out with friends. On average you are going to have to spend $20 on an after work drink. And if you want to make the most out of NYC nightlife, you are going to have to spend at least $150 on weekends. So we are looking at $250 bucks for drinks every week. That is $12,000. And let's say that you want to go on one big vacation during the year and 6-7 small weekend getaways. That will be another $10,000. So far you are looking at $81,040.
Monthly pass for NYC public transport is $121. That is the cheap way to get around. If you want to splurge and get a car you'll have to pay for registrations, parking, a fuel that is $0,79. And, as movers NYC can tell you, the city will bang up your car. People of NYC are aggressive drivers and your car will suffer for it. So to add it all up, you are going to need another $10,000 annually for car expenses. So that is $91,040 in total.
So, we've come up with $91,040. Let us add to that $5,000 for stupid "what the hell was I thinking" expenses. And another $5,000 for any emergencies. So, end the end of the day, we are looking at $101,040. Mind you, that is before the state takes its 40% share. So in order to have $101,040 annually, your salary needs to be around $170,000 to live comfortably in NY. Hey, we warned you that NYC is expensive.
Even though it can cost you a lot of money to live comfortably in NY it certainly doesn't have to be the case. Small sacrifices can save you a lot of money and make living comfortably in NY much more feasible. You just need to be a bit smart and attentive. Just like when looking for moving services NYC. A bit of research and discipline goes a long way.
Let's get rid of this right off the bat. You do not need a car in order to live comfortablyin NY. NYC's public transport system will get you anywhere in the city in a much shorter time than it would take you by car. And if you want to avoid subways and buses, you can always get a taxi or an Uber. If at any point you want to take a car to go on a road trip, you can always rent one. Overall, there is no reason to own a car in NYC. It is simply an expensive, needless luxury.
Uber is a great way to get around NYC.
Most of the expenses that can be reduced are the ones we don't pay attention to. Life in NYC is fast, and a lot of everyday expenses will go under your radar. So, in order to save money, you need to pay more attention. A good way to do so is to keep a journal. At least once a week write down every expense you've had. Only by having a list can you check objectively where your money goes and how can you save it. If you want to live comfortably in NY you really shouldn't waste money.