Home budget?! Better say tiny one bedroom apartment budget! Planning a home budget in NYC is a must that is, if you are not a drunken millionaire, then you’re good. New York City is one of the greatest cities on the planet and easily the most expensive one. Nonetheless, people still choose to live here, scrap that, people will do anything to live in NYC. It’s not about the comfort it’s about living a legend, “if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!” NYC is a challenge and a life goal, so only the toughest will get to try their luck in this concrete jungle. Do you have what it takes to survive and even thrive here? You need a strong budget game, so listen up, it’s not going to be pretty.
Home budget in NYC is a must!
We are just going to assume that the person reading this article is a millennial with an entry-level job trying to maintain a living in NYC on a small income. If you are actually a person with two or more kids plus a partner, planning your home budget will come down to “not going into too much debt every year.” You are not going to have enough leftover money for savings, charity or even your own retirement. So let’s go back to that younger, more enthusiastic person, with an entry-level job and big dreams. The biggest item on your NYC budget will be rent.
Renting in NYC-ouch!
Financial advisers will tell you that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent. Well, let’s say that an average rent in NYC can easily reach 65%. The more realistic goal here would be 40%. There is something called “the 40x monthly rent rule”. Take your annual income and divide it by 40. The result represents the rent you are able to pay while staying within your budget. This is also the amount landlords usually require in NYC. You can’t escape this one! Rents in NYC are famously expensive so don’t expect to find some overlooked treasure in the form of a beautiful, romantic, shabby chic, Carry Bradshaw-style apartment for little or no money. This will take a major chunk out of your budget so you need to do it right.
Plan to have a roommate (roommates)
Planning a home budget in NYC is almost unimaginable without a roommate. Realistically, you will have more than one roommate, which is not so bad when you look at the money you will be saving. Sharing utilities and rent with others is a great way to cut those NYC living expenses. If you can’t find a suitable “mate” in your own social circle, try websites like Craigslist. There you will most definitely find like-minded people, but make sure early on, that your roommates are on the same page as you when it comes to the division of costs.
Always be ready to land an apartment
The NYC real estate market is infamously cutthroat. There is no time to think or wonder about rental adds if you found something remotely good that fits your pathetic budget-jump on it! To achieve this you need to always be ready. Apartments in NYC get advertised in the morning and are gone by the afternoon, so have your paperwork ready with you when you’re going to look at places. Be prepared to put in an application right away after you move with NYC movers, and think about how you are going to live in that hole later! Be ready to pay the first month’s rent, plus a security deposit. Moving costs will also pack a punch to your home budget in NYC plus take into consideration the probability of needing a storage NYC or even buying new furniture.
Where to start with your home budget in NYC
Once you landed that cheap*** apartment and you no longer have to move with family to Long Island because you failed at living in NYC, you are ready to visualize your budget.
Keep track of your every expense
It’s all about controlling your money and not letting it control you. The key is to make sure your home budget in NYC is as detailed as possible and I know one needs to be very brave to face one’s expenses, but you need to do it. To be able to defeat the beast you need to confront it. And don’t feel bad if it doesn’t turn out perfect right away, budgets are living organisms and it will take time to figure out how to allocate your money properly. To track every dollar that comes in and out of your home budget in NYC, use an excel sheet or even better an application such as Quickbooks, which will make it way easier.
Use debit instead of credit
We are all guilty at times of seeing our credit card in shape of a magical cornucopia spewing money all over the place. That’s why it is so important NOT to trust your senses and simply use cash or debit as your default payment. This option will make you think twice before you spend money and you will be making smarter choices in no time! Of course, you will have to use a credit card from time to time, but try to use it very rarely and only on the same things every month.
Pay bills as soon as the paycheck comes in
Paying your bills and other big expenses as soon as the paycheck comes in will give you such peace of mind that you won’t care about the fact you have to eat ramen noddles for dinner 5 times a week. “Bills” include rent, utilities and whatever credit card expense you decide to pay that month. After you finish crying a little you can enjoy the rest of the money freely, knowing that you won’t be scrambling for it at the end of the month.
NYC public transport offers a great opportunity to cut costs and alleviate your budget’s hemorrhages. Forget about owning a car here, you can’t afford it, you can’t even park it! Anyone trying to survive in the Big Apple on a tight budget needs to be very intuitive when it comes to getting from point A to point B. No one said it would be easy so be prepared to carpool, walk, bike or run to your preferred metro stop to get to your workplace.
The advice put out in this article can only be interpreted as starting points for your own NYC adventure. To avoid budget mistakes after NYC relocation is an art form, and you will often find it to be “art for art’s sake” type of lifestyle. Creating a home budget in NYC is a smart move that will give you an edge and a better odd of staying there longer than you previously thought.