Is New York City expensive? When you are trying to find an answer to that question, it can become very complicated. The simple answer, yes. But why is it so expensive? Location, location, location…but then again there is the internet and all these other different resources that could help you figure out ways to save money.
The following blog is based on actual events surrounding the topic of living in the Big Apple (which includes areas like Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan etc.). If you are interested in moving here or just want to see if this city is for you. Read carefully! Our Boston to New York movers team will provide you with information about expenses for grocery shopping, eating out, bills and even culture events.
We’ll start with the first installment of ‘What is the Cost of Living in NYC’
Let’s begin by saying that New York City (or specifically Manhattan) has lots of famous landmarks like Central Park, Broadway, Times Square etc. These attractions are visited daily by locals and out-of-towners alike. But what happens when the sun goes down? This is where things get interesting…
First up: Eat Out at A Restaurant!
If you think you’re going to save money by eating at home then think again. There are plenty of places to choose from but why not try some new cuisine?! What about Italian? It seems like there are hundreds of Italian restaurants everywhere you look. Or maybe Japanese. Or Korean. You get the idea? The cost of eating at a restaurant in Manhattan is about $20-$30 per person (not including drinks). But if you head to Brooklyn, you can find some places that charge around $15 per person. Just saying!
How about groceries: can I shop for food and save money?
Yes, but it can be tricky. There are lots of markets with nice selections like Whole Foods Market ($10+/lb) located on 14th street between 5th & 6th Avenues. Or there’s Trader Joe’s ($4-5/lb for fruit!), found on 18th street near 7th Avenue or Food Bazaar ($3-5/lb), found on Broadway not too far from Union Square. We could go on for days with grocery options so let’s just say that the prices are comparable to shopping in your hometown…but you’ll probably need a car to take all your goods back home!
What about bills? What does it cost me to live here if I have a phone, internet, cable etc.?
This can be complicated because there are so many providers out there. And each company has their own special offers which makes it hard to compare. But generally speaking, you should plan on spending around $70-100/month for internet service (if not more) and another $65-90/month for cable TV. Don’t forget phones either! Most people choose plans from Verizon or Metro PCS because they have the best coverage. This means you will be spending at least $100/month if you make a new contract or decide to pay for your phone up front (about $400).
Can I save money by doing laundry?
Yes! If you don’t mind going to a laundromat, then this is a great option! You can use the internet to find places that charge around $3-4 per load of laundry and there’s typically more than one washer & dryer per store so people can go as their cloths are done. You might need some quarters though. Maybe 30-40 per visit depending on how big each machine is. But before you head out check online first to see what’s within a short distance because you’ll need a subway ride. You can save more money by finding a laundromat that’s within walking distance of your home.
This will reduce the cost because then you’ll only have to pay for round-trip subway fares instead of wasted time if it’s located in another part of the city. Another strategy is to see what you have around the house before deciding on an option. Do you have quarters? Bring them with you! Have detergent at home? Take some over to the laundromat so there won’t be any hidden charges or surprise fees when they bill you later on.
If you need detergent while you’re at the laundromat, there are usually small machines next to each washer where you can purchase powder or liquid detergent for about $1 per bottle.
Is there anything else I should know?
Oh, so much! But if we had to pick one thing, it’s this: bring cash with you when going out in Manhattan! You’ll be surprised by how many places don’t accept credit cards and most people pay for things using their cellphone instead. So go ahead. Take a walk around your neighborhood and find some new restaurants & shops that look cool. Then ask yourself: What’s the Cost of Living in NYC?
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