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Living in NYC on a budget - myth or reality?

>> Feb 25, 2019

New York is a city with an abundance of opportunities. A cultural cocktail, unique in its exuberance. Although known by many names and for a number of reasons, New York isn’t known as being cheap. Surely, living in a city that's one of a kind comes with a cost. However, is living in NYC on a budget really a myth or rathera plausible reality? Is the city that never sleeps reserved only for the well-heeled, or does the middle class have a standing chance? The following lines will address this question in depth.
Is living in NYC on a budget feasible? We think it is, but let's see what it takes.[NYC seen from air in the morning]
How much does it cost to live in NYC?

No matter the budget you are planning on allocating for your move, it's imminent that you will need to start with hiring a moving company. Since your ultimate goal is to save money, but not skimp on the quality of service, hiring U. Santini Moving and Storage Brooklyn is your best option. Besides being affordable, these movers are experienced and efficient. After you have that covered, you can familiarize yourself with the standard cost of living in the Big Apple. We can summarize it with the following basic expenses:
  •  housing
  •  utilities
  • transportation
  • food
  •  miscellaneous
Now, let us address each of these individually so that we can see what living in NYC on a budget means.

Housing in NYC

This factor will take the biggest toll on your wallet. If you plan on renting, know that the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,638 in the New York metro area. In addition, the suburbs, which are generally cheaper, were included in the data, making this price tag an understatement. If you are interested in living in the city's core, prepare to pay $3,895 for the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Just for comparison, that’s roughly equal to the entire monthly income of the typical U.S. worker. So, you will need to prepare your moving budget well in advance. Especially if you don't have a job waiting for you.

Buying a home in New York

The thought of buying rather than renting may have crossed your mind. However, it's best that you think again.The National Association of Realtors says that the average home price in the New York metro area is $455,500. This, again, includes the suburbs. If you are eying Manhattan, know that the average price is $848,600. Brooklyn follows with $557,00, while Queens and Staten Island are close, the former being $439,500 and the latter $432,600.

Is living in NYC on a budget possible with these prices?

It is, but you need to be ready for some adjustments. Living with a roommate, or a number of them for that matter, can reduce the price of housing notably. You must also be ready to pounce. You can see an apartment in the morning, only to have another person sweep in with an offer in the afternoon. Consequently, it's best that you have all your paperwork with you when you are seeing apartments and be prepared to put in an application right away.
Although abundant in space, NYC is packed. With no lack of competition, be ready for a fast race to the finish line that is a decent apartment. / an aerial shot of NYC
The cost of utilities

Whether you rent or buy, live on your own or with a roommate, utility costs are unavoidable. If you include heating, electricity, water, and garbage, the average cost for a 915 square-foot place in New York is $127.02. This is, however, about 14% lower than the U.S. average for a month’s basic utilities, that is $147.30. It is worth mentioning that wherever you can save up, you should. Thus, consider yet again living with a roommate, if you aren't already sharing a flat. It will aid in living in NYC on a budget.

Transportation in the City That Never Sleeps

Having a car is a game changer in this particular instance. The reason being that it includes the costs of buying, maintaining, insuring, fueling and storing the vehicle. What's more, all that aside, the biggest expense may be the parking itself. The average parking rate in downtown Manhattan is $533 per month, more than twice the rate in expensive cities such as Los Angeles and Honolulu. Fair enough, parking in Brooklyn and Queens is cheaper, but you will still need to plan on spending at least a few hundred dollars per month to keep your car in a lot or garage.

However, there is a way around this expense as well. Public transportation. The cost of a single ride is $2.75 per trip, invariably. Unlimited monthly cards can cost between $116.50 and $121. As seen from what was previously stated, this will reduce the monthly cost of your life in this beautiful city.

Food costs

Depending on where you live, groceries in New York cost between 28% and 39% more than the national average. To put it in simpler terms, while you spend $200 per month on groceries living somewhere else in the country, you’ll spend about $260 when you move to New York. And eating out is not the cheaper option, with the prices being from 50% to 67% above the national average. So, how to save on food? Even small cutbacks can make a notable difference. Opt for cheaper alternatives when grocery shopping. Most of the times, you are paying for the label, not for the quality. Compare the prices in your neighborhood. It might be an onerous business, but it will pay off. And, if your situation is dire, know that you can choose a good rewards credit card that provides cash back or extra points for restaurant and grocery store purchases.
Renouncing a brunch or two will most certainly pay off / alt: a waiter holding plates of expensive looking food
It's not that hard to find affordable clothes in NYC. Indeed, it will require proper research, but it will come out as useful. If you still want to save up, ordering your clothing online is also an option. Going out can also come out as costly, being that the average price of admission to a movie in New York is $14.00, as opposed to the national average of $10.00. However, things like finding affordable but safe storage units in Brooklyn can turn out to be easy, if you know where to look.

The main conclusion to draw from this text is that living in NYC on a budget is indeed a reality. However, it does require a little wisdom. You will need to do some calculating and research but will come out as a winner in this marvelous city.
NYC during night-time, filled with people who make living in NYC on a budget a reality

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
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