Day Trips & Travel

6 Tricks To Help You Save Money When Living In New York City


When living in a large city, you’re likely aware of how much higher the cost of living is. If you’re one of my readers lucky enough to live in the city that never sleeps, you’ll know that New York City is no exception when it comes to higher housing costs, grocery bills, and nights out, and when you’re finding yourself living paycheck to paycheck, searching for ways to save money is likely at the top of your list.

If you’ve recently moved to NYC, you might also be struggling to figure out the best ways to do things to cut costs as much as possible as the NYC natives do. It’s important to do your research as well as gather helpful tips from others. We’ve also put together a list of 6 tips and tricks that you can use to help you save a bit of cash in the Big Apple.

Cheaper Transport
Driving your car around NYC is not a cheap option at all. Let’s say you don’t own your car outright and have to keep up with monthly payments of $300 to $400. Then, on top of that, you’ll need to pay for insurance, taking you up to around $500 total. Once you then pay for everything from your monthly parking pass, filling up with gas, and undergoing general annual maintenance, your yearly spending on your car could take you well over $8000.

If you instead choose to ride the NYC metro around the city, not only is this a faster means of transportation, but a monthly unlimited ride pass only costs you $127. This sets you back a mere $1524 every year, which is a stark difference from running a car.

Skip Taxis
Despite great public transport options, the streets of New York City aren’t free from traffic. However, they are also notorious for an abundance of iconic yellow taxi cabs lining the roads. And that’s where our next tip comes in handy for both residents of NYC and visitors alike: avoid using taxis whenever possible.

Of course, taxi drivers need to make a living, and they can be useful if you’re out of options, but they are expensive and don’t necessarily get you to where you want to go much faster than public transport or even simply walking. The streets of NYC are also relatively safe and well-lit, and people stay out and about quite late into the evening: it isn’t known as the city that never sleeps for no reason.

Budget Entertainment
When living in NYC, you’ll be able to enjoy a wealth of different forms of entertainment, from amazing Broadway shows, great bars and restaurants, and amazing cultural locations to explore. If you’re interested in seeing a show on Broadway, you can avoid the high costs by searching for cheap Broadway tickets shopping around online, or even queuing up at the box office on the day of the show.

The best entertainment price for your budget is obviously when you manage to get free admission to places. Certain museums grant you free access if you go on off-peak times or have the NY Pass, which gives you access to many different attractions and city tours.

Use Coupons And Discounts (NYC card and airport codes)
Searching for discounts wherever you can also helps reduce those monthly costs, allowing you to save a little extra. One of the best things that residents can do is to sign up for an IDNYC card. This serves as an official ID card for residents, but it also comes with a slew of benefits for you to use. There are a vast number of discounts you can receive when using this ID card, and this includes everything from sporting events and entertainment to supermarket discounts and transportation too.

There are so many other discounts you can receive around the city too. For example, if you’re planning on traveling out of the city itself via JFK airport, you could make use of a JFK airport parking promo code if you end up driving to the airport yourself. Parking can otherwise be relatively expensive for longer stays, so cutting this cost can be very handy.

Make Your Lunch And Shop At Markets
While you can find some great deals on food out and about in NYC, generally, it’s much easier to spend a small fortune on lunch when out and about in the city, especially if you’re pressed for time and hungry. Instead, preparing your lunch at home and taking it with you to the office is a great way to avoid the temptation of the nearest artisan bakery or café. While the city is home to some amazing places to grab a bite to eat, regularly visiting these places can cost you a small fortune every month. So instead, limit your reliance on these places and do some food preparation at home. It can be a healthier option too.

When buying your food, it may be tempting just to get everything at a convenient location like the supermarket, but NYC is home to amazing grocery stores and marketplaces which offer fresh and tasty produce at a much lower price than the big chain stores. These are especially good for fruit and vegetables, so consider spending a bit more time adding one of these markets to your route when grabbing your groceries.

Try To Work Inside NYC
This isn’t always possible, but if you can, try to get a job inside the city itself instead of having to commute outside. Of course, public transport makes this fairly affordable, but it will also mean that you’d likely need a monthly or annual transportation pass. If you work from home, though, or only need to walk a few blocks to your job, you’ll only need to pay for transportation if and when you need it.

Not only this, but jobs within the boundaries of a city tend to pay more than those outside to make up for the higher cost of living. Plus, NYC has some of the highest-paying jobs in the USA too. While it isn’t necessarily guaranteed that you’ll find a job that pays more than elsewhere, you will see an overall pattern in the salaries of NYC jobs compared to those in the surrounding areas.

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