New York City is the largest city in the state of New York. It is an amazing place to stay but that comes at a premium; the city is pretty expensive and one of the most densely populated in the country, with more than 8.8 million inhabitants.
Some people consider NYC to be a cultural, economic, and media hub of the world. Others describe it as the world’s capital city, due to its influence in politics, education, research, technology, fashion, sports, art, dining, entertainment, tourism, and commerce.
As we said, the cost of living in NYC is considerably higher than in other cities. To avoid any shock and disappointment, it’s important for you to understand what to expect before relocating here, including the expenses to anticipate.
In this guide, we break down the cost of living in NYC to enable you to make more informed decisions and help you better plan for your relocation.
Ready? Let’s get started!
As with most top cities, the cost of rent in NYC generally varies from one neighborhood to another. For starters, the city is made up of five boroughs, each of which is its own county. They are Manhattan, (which is the most expensive and which most people refer to as “New York City”), Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and lastly the Bronx, which is the cheapest place to live in NYC.
Expect to spend at least $4,200 in rent for a standard one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan, while in Brooklyn this will probably be in the range of $2700. You’ll also find some of the best monthly rentals in New York in the two areas. The outer boroughs of Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx are relatively cheaper and more affordable.
All said and done, it’s up to you to choose a neighborhood that you can afford to stay in without stretching your finances too much. Subletting or getting a roommate to share the rent with are other viable options if your landlord allows it.
You will be surprised to know that the majority of New Yorkers don’t own cars, with most preferring to commute using either public transport, bicycles or just walking.
Just like housing, transportation is one other thing that can be super expensive in NYC. Indeed, on average NYC residents spend over $4k per annum on transportation alone!
Luckily, you can reduce these costs by simply using public transportation as your principal means of commuting. Get yourself an unlimited MetroCard pass, which gives you unrestricted usage of the subway as well the buses.
New York’s public transportation system is credited to be one of the most convenient and comprehensive systems in the world. It runs 24/7, which influenced the city to coin its nickname as “The City That Never Sleeps.”
From pizza to hot dogs and a variety of ethnic cuisine options, New York provides it all in terms of food. In particular, the ever-present food carts and stalls that are all over New York’s streets are a must-try when you are in this city.
A meal in a fairly cheap eatery can cost less than $15, and a meal for two at a moderately expensive restaurant costs about $50-70 without drinks.
You can still find a $1 slice of pizza or a pho (Vietnamese soup) or backyard double by BK Jani (a Pakistan restaurant) for less than $10. Finally, every restaurant that you visit here will almost always be worth it!
Utility rates will differ from one person to the other based on personal preferences, apartment, and lease agreement. Don’t forget to include mobile phones and internet service when estimating your utilities.
Hands down, NYC offers more fun and entertainment activities than any other city we’ve been to in the entire universe. And no, you don’t have to go kayaking on the Hudson River, visit Central Park, go for a helicopter ride, or attend a circus-based theater performance to experience NYC. There is a lot more on offer than the most common must-see attractions.
For example, New York will reward you with its unlimited hidden gems of options, from going to Coney Island to racing against time at an escape room, defying gravity at iFLY5, and enjoying a game of bubble soccer.
The options are endless, the only scarce thing you will have in your hands will be a lack of enough time to enjoy all this fun, and maybe cash if your entertainment budget is limited.
But one thing is guaranteed; at the end of the day, you will never regret your choice to relocate to NYC. Welcome to The Big Apple and be sure to enjoy the most of it.