Is NYC Really That Expensive?

Freedom Tower
Yes it is. End of post. With the way I often complain about living in this high cost of living city, I was tempted to write that three word post. I have to admit, I am a bit of a complainypants about the costs of living in NYC. But is living in NYC really that expensive?

Well of course it is expensive. That is undeniable. NYC is often listed among the most expensive places to live in, both in the United States and worldwide. However, the biggest reason why NYC is so expensive is its housing costs.

The average rental price of apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn are crazy. According to the Daily News, the average rent in Manhattan is $3,902 and in Brooklyn $2,411. Home prices are equally obscene. In Manhattan, the average is $1,303,421 and in Brooklyn, it’s $959,907. The media loves to throw out those numbers to make a point, but I think most can find a suitable place for much less than the average rent and home price cited above. It is pretty much impossible to avoid the high cost of housing, unless you can somehow live rent free because a long lost relative left you a paid for apartment or some other crazy scenario like that. I’ve listed some ways you can try to reduce the costs of housing in a previous post that you may want to check out.

Now, let’s move on to reasons why living in NYC isn’t as expensive as you may think.

Transportation

In many cities and towns, having a car is pretty much a must. For a family or couple, a two-car household is also a necessity. Having to buy a car or two cars and paying for maintenance, gas, and insurance costs a lot of money. In New York City, often times, a car is not necessary. For $2.50 a ride or $112 for unlimited rides for a month, you can pretty much get to any part of the city. The transit system in NYC is pretty amazing and it is open 24 hours a day. Depending on where you live in New York City, most neighborhoods are very walkable. There is often no need to spend money for a car, or even if you have a car, there is no need to waste money on gas. Where I live now, I can walk a few blocks to a supermarket, a drugstore, a movie theater, restaurants and plenty of other places where a person would want to go. While I do have a car because I commute out to the suburbs for work, I know many living here who don’t have one and have no need for one.

Entertainment

There are so many things to do in New York City. Sure, there are plenty of expensive things to do, but there are also many cheap and affordable things to do. My favorite attractions include the museums, Governor’s Island (with free ferry service and free events), the Highline and free movies and ice skating at Bryant Park (not at the same time of course!). Actually visiting and walking around the various diverse and eclectic neighborhoods is entertaining enough for me.

I could compile an exhaustive list of the free and affordable things that you can do in New York City, but Erin who blogs at BrokeMillenial has already posted an extensive list here.

Stefanie who blogs at The Broke and Beautiful Life also has a list of posts about cool and free things to do in NYC. Just click on the NYC tab on her blog.

Groupon type deals
I’ve read some people mention that there are not many Groupon type deals in the areas where they live, but there are plenty in the NYC metro area. While Groupon does not always provide good deals, they do sometimes offer great deals for activities that you may be interested in. Groupon and other deal sites often have deeply discounted deals for museums, tours, sporting events, among other events.

Thai lunch special

Restaurants

I think there is a common misconception that New York City is expensive when dining out. Sure, there are plenty of outrageously expensive restaurants here, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a great affordable meal when dining out. You don’t have to go to the fancy Zagat or Michelin rated restaurants to have a good meal. My wife bought recently bought lunch for $4.75 (including a bottle of water) near where she works. No this was not in Manhattan, but even there, cheap eats are available. Also, with restaurants, Groupon deals and Restaurant.com deals are available to get a discounted meal at various places.

Cost of Goods and Services

Once again, similar to everything else in New York City, I think the cost of things here can be very expensive or it can pretty affordable. You just have to know where to look. It depends on what you’re buying and where you go to buy it. For many people, most things they purchase is purchased online so it doesn’t matter where you live. For things like fresh produce and groceries where it is much more difficult to purchase online, I still do not think the price in NYC is necessarily higher. Of course, if you do your grocery shopping in Manhattan, the options for lower costs may be harder to find. Read my post about saving on groceries here.

Competition

I think one advantage of living in NYC is that there is a lot of competition for your money. If you don’t like the service or price at one store, there’s probably another store that offers the same service or product very close by. It is not like in a small rural area where a store has a monopoly. You can use this to your advantage by negotiating the price or by shopping around.

Thrift shop/Freecycle/Craigslist
Another advantage of living in such a big city is that there are a lot of people getting rid of their stuff. There are many thrift shops and many people who donate some gently used items. And in a well-to-do neighborhood (think upper east side), you can score some pretty nice things. There are also many people selling things on Craigslist at a deep discount or people using freecycle to give away things they no longer need. Because of the amount of people here, you can often find what you’re looking for.

Nick who blogs at Pretired.org had an interesting post about great cities and listed factors including safety, affordability, walkability, Transit, bicycle friendliness, cleanliness, weather, infrastructure, open space, culture and aesthetic beauty. Based on these factors, I think New York City scores very high in all of these factors, except maybe the affordability factor. However, if you live frugally, you can enjoy the city’s amenities and cultural offerings. I don’t feel deprived living here (well not most of the time!), but my wants and needs are modest.

Does the media portray NYC living as outrageously expensive? Would you ever want to live here? If you are a fellow New Yorker, what other ways is NYC not as expensive as it seems?

77 thoughts on “Is NYC Really That Expensive?

    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, I actually think groceries can be cheaper here than many other places, mainly because of the options you mentioned.

      Reply
  1. Kim@Eyesonthedollar

    I think the only way we could be further apart in living situations is if I moved into a mud hut in the middle of the forest. I love to read about people who live in the city and how they deal with the added expenses. It seems if you can get over the cost of housing, the rest isn’t so bad. Do you feel that having so many options for food or entertainment causes you to splurge more or do you get used to it and block things out? Obviously you don’t have to, but if I walk by a cool place, it makes me want to go in.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I guess once in awhile all the options may tempt me to spend a little more. But I have a good amount of self-control and I don’t really indulge on those things anymore. It might be harder if I lived right in Manhattan. I like to be close enough to get there quickly, but living there probably would be very expensive (even if I didn’t take into account the rent).

      Reply
    2. sam

      “having so many options for food or entertainment causes you to splurge more or do you get used to it and block things ou..”honestly food and entertainment sucks ! It’s way cheaper to live in Paris and have the best restaurants and shops and museums and architectural premises than in NYC ! I feel sorry for these people that want so badly to be living in this rusty dusty ugly third world city !

      Reply
      1. Gabriel

        You’re so fucking retarded. Paris sucks, specially the people there. NYC is the ultimate city every aspect, specially, entertainment. Best natural history museum + broadway? What else do you want lol

        Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Holly. I will have to say Times Square is a different animal. Plus, I’m sure they like preying on innocent tourists there! Although there are some Grey’s Papaya hot dog places in the city that sell $1 hotdogs and stuff. $22 for a grilled cheese and fries is crazy…that’s like prices at a sporting event where you have no other choice!

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I definitely agree…housing is the biggest cost. Other than that…the other stuff is pretty similar to other places, and possibly even cheaper.

      Reply
  2. Pretired Nick

    Thanks for the mention! NYC is objectively expensive, however, its public amenities can give you advantages in other ways (not having a car most obviously). Depending on your lifestyle and self-discipline, you could get ahead there. The only thing is you’d have to give up on buying your dream house in the city in many cases because it could take too much of your net worth to pay it off. But as I mentioned, you could rent in the city and be buying yourself a little place somewhere cheaper at the same time and have it all paid off and ready for you when your working days are over.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Oh yea, dream home in the city is pretty much out of the question. But, yes it is still possible to make it here!

      Reply
  3. E.M.

    So basically, NYC is as expensive as you make it =). I think it is great that the city offers so many options for everyone. The variety really does enable someone to get by on a less than stellar income. As you said, you just have to know where to look. If I lived there I definitely wouldn’t own a car – the streets are just calling to be walked on. That said, I don’t think I could live there, mostly because I don’t like the hustle and bustle. I like to be removed from all the craziness at the end of the day.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes it definitely is very walkable. It drives me nuts when people drive short distances when walking is such a viable option…especially when finding parking is such a hassle. When my neighbor saw me carrying a couple of bags from the supermarket, he asked me why I didn’t just drive to there. It was like 5 blocks away! There are some places that are pretty quiet in the city…probably not Manhattan though!

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        1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

          Oh Astoria is still pretty close to Manhattan. There are many parts that are probably much more peaceful and suburban. I don’t understand how people live with the train tracks right by the window! That is just a little too noisy for me.

          Reply
  4. Justin @ RootofGood

    Yes, it’s expensive, ha! Friends come back from NYC to Raleigh to visit and we’ll go out. I’ll ask why don’t we pick a cheap dive bar with $1-2 drink specials. They say “oh, $3-4 for a beer IS cheap in NYC so this place is great”.

    Same with restaurants. A $5-6 lunch special here seems to be $8 in NYC (for similar food).

    I guess a couple bucks here and there don’t seem like much, but percentage wise, spending an extra 25-50% on items like these adds up over the course of a year.

    Although the free/cheap fun attractions might offset the cost, but I wonder how often I would actually take advantage of those? I mean I rarely visit museums, the opera, or live shows in my own city, so how likely would I be to pick up the habit if living in NYC? If that’s your thing though, the slightly higher costs elsewhere in the budget would be worth it (versus flying to NYC for a weekend, paying for hotel, and then rushing around town).
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Wow, $1-2 drink specials…pretty cheap! But I do think there are a lot of options here. I think you can get a $5-$6 lunch here too. You just need to know where to look. I think the big money saver is not having a car…though that hasn’t helped me because I do have one. I’ve never been to Raleigh, but hear that it’s a great city. Probably has a decent amount of cultural events and entertainment being near the UNC. While NYC is expensive, it doesn’t have to be as expensive as what some people think.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I think a lot of people point to “higher salaries” in NYC and argue that it makes up for the high costs. But while the “average” salary is high, I think the investment bankers, lawyers at white shoe firms, etc kind of pull of that average. There may be a slight adjustment, but I doubt that salaries across the board for most jobs are adjusted according due to the high costs. Just look at the minimum wage here…a person working at McDonald’s in NYC is probably making the same is most other cities. I work in government and there is a “cost of living adjustment” for living in the NYC metro area. The adjustment is about $3000. I don’t think that makes up for it when the rent here is probably double the cost.

      Reply
      1. theFIREstarter

        This is very similar to London weighting, as far as I am concerned it is practically non existent. However there are many jobs which don’t exist at all outside London and others that do pay significantly more in the city compared to elsewhere.

        The bottom line I think is that there are more jobs in and around London, and I assume the same is true of NYC. I could move to some northern town in the middle of nowhere for one third of the cost of here but would I be able to get a job full stop let alone a well paying one… Maybe not. Plus all my family and friends are here, similar to you.

        My trade off is living in a slightly lower cost area and commuting to London every day. Kinda sucks but literally thousands of people are doing this everyday (in fact that is one of the reasons it does suck!)

        I think I could get a similar job now closer to home that works out pretty much a wash when you factor in a commute so it’s always worth keeping an eye out, but I’ve been here 10 years now which probably says all you need to know about other job opportunities that have arisen over the years!

        Reply
        1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

          There are definitely more job opportunities in NYC and sure some jobs are higher paying, but many assume that everyone working here is making more than elsewhere. Not necessarily true. I think a somewhat lower paying job in a lower cost area would make it easier to reach financial freedom. But like you, I also have family and friends here so don’t plan on moving.

          Reply
  5. Joe @ TheFreeFinancialAdvisor

    My son and I talk about this often. If you believe that it’s possible to have more success when you’re around more successful people, you’ll pay for that proximity. He lives in Austin now, which is quickly growing but isn’t nearly as expensive as Manhattan.

    I love your opening line. One of the few times I actually “l.o.l.’ed” today.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks! I’m not sure I think that you’ll have more success around more successful people, but there are a lot more opportunities here than some other cities. I’ve heard good things about Austin and a couple other Texas cities that are growing. And housing there is so much more affordable. If it wasn’t for that Texas heat…

      Reply
  6. Matt Becker

    The one thing I thought was cheap in NYC was the cab rides. It’s way more expensive to use a cab in Boston. There are certainly a number of things to do for free, but any big city like that is pretty expensive. Even in Boston it’s really hard to find a house that’s even semi-affordable AND in a desirable location. I look at housing prices in Pensacola, where my wife’s from, and it makes me think really hard about moving there. The difference is staggering.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      That is odd that the cabs are way more expensive in Boston. I did hear about that though as my aunt went to visit my grandmother who lives in a suburb right outside of Boston and she mentioned that it was quite expensive taking a cab. Boston is definitely also an expensive area especially with regards to housing prices. I’ve contemplated moving to a cheaper area too, but just can’t bring myself to do it. Plus, both my parents and my wife’s parents live in NYC.

      Reply
  7. Romona @Monasez

    Although I’m a Jersey girl, I luv New York. I hope to move there in the next few years. I really don’t think it’s as bad as people make it out to be. It’s just the housing costs that are outrageous, everything else is pretty manageable. That’s why I’m trying to pay off debt and save now so if I do move to NY, paying for housing won’t be that hard to deal with.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Good luck with your dreams of moving here. It will definitely be good to pay off debt and save, but I know you’re on the right track. I agree, it’s not as bad as people say it is…though the housing is probably as bad!

      Reply
  8. Done by Forty

    You’ve brought up some intriguing points, Andrew. My initial thought is that even with the cheaper transportation, entertainment, and food options available, that the housing costs of NYC still make it more expensive than alternatives. But, that doesn’t include the higher incomes that typically can be found in NYC.

    I wonder how to do an apples to apples comparison. Savings rate? I’d love to see a more detailed breakdown of the granular costs of living in NYC. (Maybe a joint post comparing the costs of Phoenix and NYC?)
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, a joint post sounds like it would be interesting. It might be tough because the cost of things vary even within the city and it’s hard to make an apples to apples comparison. And while I think there are more opportunities in NYC, with many having high incomes…not everyone has a higher income just living here.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Haha, that’s funny. I absolutely agree…housing prices are number one on my hate list.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      No problem. I couldn’t have said it better and you pretty much summarized my point in your comment. There definitely is a crazy dichotomy with expensive and affordable resources here.

      Reply
  9. eemusings

    Now I’ve only visited NYC, and haven’t lived there, but from what I see, apart from housing, everything else seems pretty affordable. From a New Zealand perspective, food is so much cheaper, there’s tons of free/cheap entertainment, and transport is pretty cheap too. And of course utilities and other consumer goods are just wayy cheaper in the US overall. I didn’t find groceries as cheap as I thought they might be, but again, still a bargain compared to Auckland.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks for your comment. I never knew that New Zealand was expensive in terms of food as well as other consumer goods. Groceries can be had for a good price, you just have to know where to look. Probably not Manhattan though.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Oh yea, Time Square is definitely a tourist trap where things are marked up. While I do think rent stabilization regulations in NYC are kind of crazy and not fair, I’m not sure it that is the main factor driving up rent prices. I think there is a lot of demand, and probably not enough supply. So many people seem to want to move here.

      Reply
  10. C. the Romanian

    New York is at the top of my list when it comes to visiting the United States. I didn’t really know that it was that expensive, though so it’s pretty obvious that I would never be able to live there. Just for a good laugh, the price for unlimited subway and bus rides for a month in Bucharest is close to $30, but people usually get for $15 either unlimited bus rides or subway rides as they rarely need to combine the two.

    Still New York sounds like a city I’d love to visit and one that would be great to live in.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Wow the transportation sounds like a pretty good deal. But I still think the subway is a good deal here. Compare it to a car payment, gas and insurance in most cities in the US.

      Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, you should definitely check it out. It’ll be fun. The prices are definitely a lot different here compared to rural Ohio! $60K sounds like the price they want you to pay to buy a parking spot in Manhattan!

      Reply
  11. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living

    The costs of services sometimes are CRAZY cheap in NY compared to elswhere. In NYC you can get a pedi-mani in Brooklyn or Queens (outside of super trendy hoods) for $22… in a walmart beauty shop in rural PA near my in laws, you’re expected to pay $50!

    For the most random things, NYC can be VERY cheap. You just have to know where to look and how to find those things!
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks for bringing that up Tara! I always thought that many services and some goods are cheaper here, but I don’t really go to any rural towns so I can’t compare. I definitely think that you can get some cheap things here if you look hard enough.

      Reply
  12. anna

    “Yes it is. End of post. ” – Completely still cracking up over this statement. :) I have a few friends that live in NYC and though I like visiting, I don’t think I could ever swing living there. I do agree the housing costs are huge, plus everyone looked at me weird when I would smile (I’m sure that’s not the case everywhere. ;))
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Thanks Anna! I think New Yorkers get a bad rap for being rude and mean. Although they definitely aren’t as laid back as people on the west coast…they’re always in a rush here.

      Reply
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  14. Eva @ Girl Counting Pennies

    It seems that the cost of living in NYC is pretty similar to London. I read somewhere not long ago that 1sqm of real estate costs £13k in London. Outrageous! One of the differences is that our transportation system is awfully expensive. Whereas you pay $112 for a monthly pass to get you anywhere in the City, I pay around £120 to use underground in Zones 1-2. There are 9 in London if you’re wondering. The cost of underground does drive me mad! Aside from this, eating out can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be, same goes for everything else really. I can’t wait to visit NYC in February now that I know transportation costs are low! 😛
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Oh yes, I’ve heard that London is very expensive so I’m sure you can relate. Thanks for sharing the info about the underground in London…I’d like to visit sometime. My friend from NYC who visited London found it expensive there too! Have fun on your visit in NYC…let me know if you have any questions.

      Reply
  15. Simon @ Modest Money

    By all standards, life in the Big Apple is certainly seems expensive. Then again, when you drill down into the numbers, it seems a huge chunk of that “priceyness” goes towards housing. Once you get over that, the rest am sure one can scrounge around and get cheaper alternatives eg on food and transportation. Expensive at the end of the day has some relativity to it.
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, I think the most significant part is the housing. There are cheaper alternatives for most everything else.

      Reply
  16. Financial Samurai

    Man, I spent 2.5 weeks in Manhattan this summer and it was crazy expensive! I took a friend out to dinner at Lure Fishbar downtown and the bill was $250!

    US Open wasn’t that bad at $60-85 a session, but I went 5X so that adds up. My friend’s 2/2 apartment on the UWS costs $5,250/month and it’s only about 1,000sqft.

    I donno man. I wrote a whole post about trying to figure out how people survive on less than $100K in Manhattan. Perhaps the solution really is to live in Queens?

    Delinked: financialsamurai.com/2013/07/05/how-do-people-to-live-a-comfortable-life-making-less-than-100000-in-expensive-cities-like-new-york/
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yea, I’ve never gone to Lure Fishbar and probably don’t have plans on going there either. Manhattan can be crazy expensive, but I’m sure you could have had fun for less if you really wanted to. $100,000 or less is probably doable for a single person splitting the rent. For a family…might have to move to the outerboroughs. Just read your post about living in an expensive city making less than $100,000…pretty interesting.

      Reply
  17. Brent

    I love visiting NYC and I especially enjoy going to the US Open tennis tournament. I have had great luck over the years flying in on airline points and finding great deals on accommodations using the various discount hotel sites. Plus, the discount show tickets can save lots of money.

    I think for me, the best way to save money while traveling in NYC is allowing yourself to be flexible on what you go see as well as your travel dates. With Air BnB you can also score great deals on private accommodations. Thanks for the great article about NYC, love that city!
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes I love getting travel deals. Visiting NYC can be expensive, but there are also a lot of great deals!

      Reply
  18. Budget and the Beach

    I always love reading about NY and how it compares to LA. Night and day, except we have our own version of expensive living and of course crappy freeways. I easily spend 112 a month in gas, and that’s not to mention car maintenance. I wish I would have lived there when I was younger, but I think now I need more space. I think I would almost feel a bit too claustrophobic living there. Love visiting though!

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Yes, I guess we’re used to tight spaces around here but with a growing family I also would like more space. My sister and parents went to LA took public transportation to various places. I heard it was really new but nobody used it! I’m sure it’s not extensive and doesn’t cover that much of the city though. But still, if you can use it, why not? It beats getting stuck on the crappy freeway!

      Reply
  19. Cash Cow Couple

    I’ve never been, therefore I don’t have much to add. Interesting post though because I’ve always heard how high the prices are. the housing is shocking to me. We pay for our mobile home land, but everything including utilities usually runs us $300/month. Of course, we are extremely frugal with our utilities and own our mobile home outright, but it’s an amazing difference. Housing is 10x more there!
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    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      That’s amazing that your housing costs are so affordable. Actually housing in Texas is very affordable. It’s great that you’re able to save so much. But you should come here…just to visit!

      Reply
  20. susan

    Nyc sucks! In some parts of ny…you need a car. I live in queens all the way by li and you need a car here! I live here only because my family lives here. Not to mention if you dont take the lirr then the traveling time from here to Manhattan is about 90mins to 120 mins. If you move closer to the city then the rent goes up by $1000 dollars. The only affordable places to live in nyc is in parts where you can easily get shot at or robbed. If you have kids, in most “affordable housing” areas, then good luck finding a decent school.
    What nyc needs to do is stop allowing foreigners, foreign developers and developers to stop buying up property! Alot if these houses are rentals and the landlord doesnt even live in this country! Stop selling out property to people who are not even going to live in those apts or houses!

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      That’s true, a lot of places require a car and the bus to subway can be very time consuming. And it does seem a lot of the places which are more affordable are not that safe and do not have a great school district. I don’t think banning foreigners from buying property will reduce the rental rates. The rental rates are probably more affected by the demand. There are just so many people who want to live here. Plus many landlords, foreign or domestic, buy investment rental property here and do not live in them. They have a property management company take care of them.

      Reply
  21. Santa

    NYC is undoubtedly very expensive city. But what do you want from the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area? The average rent of an apartment in America is just over $1,000 per month. But the average rent of an apartment in NY is $3,017 a month, according to new market data. But, you know, sometimes you can find the apartment for a reasonable price (of course it won’t be the apartment of your dream). I was looking for a long time (because I was able to pay only $1,000 per month), my friend recommended me Localmart, and resulted that I found my flat there.

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  22. aaaa

    I am sick, sick of living in NYC. It is ludicrously expensive. I am actually from NYC and my mother has a rent-controlled apartment that we found for middle class housing – and have clung to it all these years. However, with my 40k income, i can only afford to live there – with my mom. I’ve lived in other cities where the same salary goes far in terms of living expenses, and i can afford to have a beer with friends without going bankrupt, as well as have a decent dating life.

    THere is a myth that brooklyn and queens is cheap. It is NOT. brooklyn and queens used to be a cheap place to live, I grew up in queens. It is now ludicrously expensive. The ONLY cheap place left to live is in the bronx. as for other places, yes, you might find an apartment in harlem for the same price as a FULL HOUSE elsewhere, but your maintenance fees and property taxes will be obscene. AS far as living in the bronx/jersey is concerned, that is still affordable – but the farther out you go, the longer you have to commute to your job. and is a 1.5 hour a day commute worth living in nyc?

    i guess it depends on what you want – if you want to be a broadway star, this is the place to be! perhaps if you work on wall street, its also the place to be. but if you’re an architect, engineer, plumber, businessman, artist, teacher, etc., you can get a bigger bang for your buck elsewhere, and with the money you save, you can take 2 european vacations a year. No im not kidding about that.

    If you are middle class, you have a shot of living in new york but not saving any money. Of course, there are some people (including bored suburban kids) that prefer to live in new york, even though they cant save money there. To each their own. I have a job here now but am doing my best to find an equivalent job elsewhere and move somewhere where I can actually have a decent lifestyle, some space and buy a house. I am done with this rat race, and have found that it is much better to slowly build your skills and income in a sustainable and affordable way.

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I definitely agree. Even the outer-boroughs are pretty expensive unless you live far away from public transportation or in a bad neighborhood. And as you mentioned, a long commute isn’t worth it. Time is very valuable. And living in a lower cost of living area might be better and offer “better bang for your buck.” I guess when you’re young, living in NYC definitely is exciting. Much different story once you have a family. Still doable for some, but difficult. Good luck with finding a job in a lower cost area. Where do you think you’d want to move to?

      Reply
  23. Pingback: How Exciting is Your City? | Living Rich Cheaply

  24. Richard

    I’ve lived in Queens my whole life and really haven’t visited so many states especially now at the age I am (23), I’ve been curious to know how expensive is New York, how much is a vitamin water in New Hampshire or Delaware what about a coffee at Starbucks or 7-11, a bacon egg and cheese, deodorant, things like that.. Are they so much more cheaper in Colorado or California?

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      I’m sure things like vitamin water, coffee and other things might be slightly cheaper in other areas, though you can find good deals here if you know where to look or shop the sales. I think the main thing that is cheaper in other areas is housing. Rent can take up a big chunk of your paycheck here in NYC.

      Reply
  25. Nick

    I’ve lived in suburbs of NYC. I’ve went to school and worked in Manhattan. I now live in a place in the suburbs of the south, and it doesn’t have any of the negative things that NYC has… which I fantasized and romanticized about at times when I was commuting my hour and a half commute in the freezing rain. But here there’s negative aspects of its own. At least NYC was worth it. The cost of living is cheaper here, but you’re also making less here, so I feel like the ratio of income to living might not be that far off from making more and paying more in NYC. If people don’t like NYC they can leave. “but I make so much more money here” So find ways to live on the cheap in NYC! Millions of people do it successfully. If you think it’s going to be better somewhere else, you may be right…but you may also be severely mistaken. Thank you for highlighting these things in the article! There are many apartments between $700-$1600 a month in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Jersey City that are 30-90 mins from the city, and you won’t even have to drive! Get on a bus, take a good book with you and enjoy being in one of the greatest cities in the world. We can’t have our cake and eat it to. We can make the salary we would in NYC, enjoy the city life, while also enjoying low key suburban life, and the fruits of nature…OH WAIT! YES WE CAN! Live in the outer boroughs! DUH!

    Reply
    1. livingrichcheaply@gmail.com Post author

      Love it! I love to have my cake and eat it too! Yes, I really don’t know why many people think that Manhattan and now parts of Brooklyn are all that NYC offers. I can get to Manhattan in 20-25 minutes without paying Manhattan prices. It’s not just the housing…everything is more expensive there!

      Reply
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