Living in New York isn’t cheap. At all. In fact, New York living costs are about 68.8% higher than the national average. If you are thinking about moving to this city, first of all, you need to establish can you afford it. NYC is the dream of many, and a great place to live in, but that comes with a pretty high price tag.
What is the true cost of living in New York City?
As a big metropolis, New York City is one of the most expensive towns in America by the living costs. You need to have a big luck to find affordable housing. Even then, you are facing the highest income taxes in the country, and food prices that can be up to twice the national averages.
What are the New York living costs and can you afford them is one of the first things that you need to know about NYC.
Cost of housing in New York
The housing market in NYC is one of the Americas most expensive markets.
The median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is in average $1,638 in the New York metro area.
Doesn’t seems too bad, doesn’t it? Still, this average calculation includes cheaper suburbs also, so they don’t paint the real picture. The location has a big impact on the renting prices.
If you like to move to the core of the city, be prepare that average two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan can set you back for around $3000 – $4000 each month.
That’s roughly equal to the entire monthly income of the typical U.S. worker.
Cost of buying a house in New York
Have you ever wonder why many New Yorkers are renting instead of owning a home? While they can trick you with the teils that they don’t want to be tied down with property ownership, the truth is a bit grimmer – they can’t afford it.
Statistics data says that home price New York metro area is $455,500.
Once again, that severely understates the situation, since the cheaper, less attractive parts of NYC are included in the survey. Since location is everything in this city, homes at the city core are selling from $1 million and up.
Cost of Utilities in New York
While the other things are more expensive, the monthly bills for utilities aren’s so high in NYC.
Average basic utility package that includes heating, electricity, water, and garbage is about $127.02. Which is approximately 14% lower than the U.S. average.
The monthly cost of internet averages $53.37, which is just slightly above the national average of $52.02.
Costs of transportation
New York living expenses rise significantly if you are a car owner. Parking is very expensive, and parking spot in Manhattan can cost you up to $533 per month. The parking is more affordable in other New York boroughs like Brooklyn or Queens, but you should set aside a few hundred dollars to keep your car in a lot or garage.
The gas prices are often 5-10% higher than the national average, as well as the car insurance.
If you are planning to move to New York, think about leaving your car behind. It is one of the most expensive in the nation, but it is a great way to get around after moving to New York.
A monthly transit pass in New York costs $116.50 per month, which is 75% greater than the national average, but it really worth it.
Cost of Food in New York
Groceries costs are a big impact on New York living costs. Depending on which part of the town you live in, grocery prices are 28% to 39% higher than the national average.
If you spend $100 on the food in your hometown, you can expect that the costs for groceries in NYC will be around 160%.
New York is the city of wonderful food and amazing restaurants, but eating out is even less affordable. A meal in the inexpensive New York restaurant costs 50% more than the national average ($15), while the dinner for two in the moderately expensive restaurant will set you back for about $75, which is 67% higher the national averages.
Can you afford New York living costs?
Now that you know approximately how much money you will need to cover New York living costs per month, you need to be realistic. Write them all down and calculate the total amount. Be truthful to yourself and see can you really afford them. If the total monthly New York costs exceed your incomes, then you need to evaluate your decision about moving to this city.
Especially because these are all just the basic living costs, without entertainment and lease costs.
If you are sure that your finances can handle your relocation, you can start planning your moving to New York.
Tips to save money in NYC
If you are determined to start your new life in New York, you should know the tips and tricks for saving money in this expensive city.
Some of these methods may seem too alternative for you, but some may give you a good idea of how to save a few bucks:
- Find a roommate.
Cut your rent expenses by half and living in a larger apartment is a better option than renting a single unit. And much cheaper option also.
- Hit the ethnic markets.
Selection of food, vegetables, fruits, and meats tend to be much cheaper in Hispanic markets and markets in Chinatown.
- Street food is a delicious bargain.
New York is famous for its pizza, and you can get a slice of a street vendor for $1
- Get out of Mid-town.
The more you are further from this area, the more money you will save for eating out, entertainment and rent.
- Have lunch instead of dinner.
Dining out has its charms, but it will increase your New York living costs immensely. Instead, make lunch your biggest meal, since there are many affordable options and discounts in restaurants at that time of the day. Lighter dinner will also be beneficial for your health.
- Enjoy free events.
Entertainment option in NYC can be very expensive, so take advantage of numerous great free events that this city has, especially in the summer.
True New Yorkers walk about 5km on the daily basis. It isn’t just the great physical exercises, it is a big save on transportation. Sideways of New York is walking-friendly, and the terrain is mostly flat, so you will be passing a few blocks before you even realize it.