New York City is one of the most expensive places in the world and if you plan on moving there, finding ways to save money is probably one of your main concerns. Although it might seem impossible from your current perspective, frugal living in NYC is entirely possible. You simply need to follow the advice we’ve listed below, and you’ll quickly learn ways to live on a budget in the most expensive city in the US.

Moving to NYC

If you want to experience frugal living in NYC, you need to start even before moving there. Therefore, ensure you make your relocation to NYC as cheap as possible.

First of all, look for ways to save on moving materials. For example, instead of exclusively using moving boxes for packing, use garbage bags, suitcases, or even blankets. You can even rent moving boxes as that’s a much cheaper option than buying.

Professional movers loading things into a moving van in NYC
Finding and hiring affordable movers is a great way to start your frugal lifestyle even before you move to NYC.

Also, try to cut costs when hiring movers. The best way to do that is to research and find reliable but affordable movers to help you with your relocation. A great place to look is, as they offer a vast base of great moving companies. You are sure to find one within your budget.

Frugal living in NYC

Once you move to the most expensive city in the US, you will need to find different ways to save money while still enjoying what this exciting city has to offer. Here are our tips for frugal living in NYC.

Find a rent-stabilized or no-fee apartment

The best way to ensure you’re saving each month is to find a rent-stabile apartment. The process of finding it is pretty similar to finding affordable movers.

Reliable movers are essential for a stress-free relocation, but you need to ensure you get the best deal. Suppose that you did your research before moving to NYC and didn’t hire the first moving company you’ve found. You’ve looked through several different options and chosen the one with the best quality-price ratio.

You can apply the same philosophy when looking for an apartment in NYC. Although finding a rent-stable apartment is not easy for a newcomer, patience pays off, so make sure not to give up even if it starts feeling impossible.

Also, brokers usually charge a 15% fee, so the best thing to do is search for a home on your own. There are plenty of websites where you can view available apartments all over the Big Apple. On the other hand, if you plan on buying a home in NYC, make sure to research financial tips that will help you save money.

Learn how to use the public transportation

Although taxis in NYC are very attention-grabbing, they are a big no. They cost too much in comparison to public transportation, which works great in NYC.

Almost nothing says NYC like the subway. It is an easy and very affordable way to get around the city.

An even better way to reduce costs and stay fit simultaneously is to walk as much as you can. But nothing will make you feel more like a New Yorker than taking the subway. You can even take buses which are a great and very affordable option. Another alternative is to bike as there are plenty of bike lanes all around the city. If you don’t own a bicycle, there are different rental options that are cheap.

Eat and drink in an affordable way

When in NYC, you can easily get attracted to various restaurants, bars, or coffee shops. However, that’s the easiest way to spend a lot of money without getting too much in return.

People eating outside a restaurant in NYC
Restaurants and bars in NYC are some of the most expensive in the world. Therefore, find cheap alternatives to save money.

If you love eating and drinking out, here are tips on how to do it frugally:

  • Forget coffee to go – If you are interested in saving, buying coffee every day while heading to work is not the way to achieve this. Therefore, invest in a good thermos cup and make your coffee at home.
  • Take advantage of happy hours – Bars are costly, but luckily, drinking deals are very easy to find all over NYC. How does a weekend brunch with unlimited cocktails sound?
  • Find BYOB places – If you enjoy eating and drinking out, but restaurants in the Big Apple don’t really fit into your budget, do your research, and you’ll find many great BYOB places. You can drink on the cheap while enjoying a lovely meal.

The best part about these places is that you can meet new friends who share the same lifestyle with you, and they can teach you even more great ways of living on a budget in NYC.

Watch out for cheap stores and discounts

A great way to lower your everyday expenses is to buy your groceries and home supplies at big box stores. These kinds of stores have the biggest choice of all types of products at very affordable prices. Sure, you might need to fight crowds or wait in line, but it pays off.

A supermarket aisle
Buying groceries and other home supplies at big box stores can help you save a lot of money.

When it comes to clothes, the best way to go is to visit thrift stores. You can find them all around NYC, and the best part is, you’ll be able to dig out designer pieces that you couldn’t even dream of affording at a bargain price. You can be stylish and dressed well while saving money at the same time.

Another way to ensure frugal living in NYC is to find ways to use coupons. This will enable you to get out more and spend on other things you like but couldn’t afford before. The best thing about it is there are so many great coupon websites to choose from.

Final words

As you can see, if you make sure to cut costs here and there, you’ll be able to easily achieve frugal living in NYC. By learning these tricks, you’ll learn how to get organized with your money and save in the process. That way, you’ll be able to experience everything NYC has to offer without worrying about your finances.

Author bio:

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Kelly McIntire is a New Yorker who enjoys living in the big city. She lives with her dog, Maggy, and enjoys long walks in Central Park. Kelly works as an office manager of a large real estate company in Manhattan. She spends her spare time writing, mostly about life in her beloved city.