Living in a metropolitan city can sometimes make even the most frugal people wondering how to save their money. With average rent being around $3.000, no wonder New York is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world. However, with a little resourcefulness, a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle doesn’t have to be your reality. A few insider tips will take you a long way, it’s just a question of prioritizing. Stick with us until the end of the article to learn some hacks on how to save money in New York City.
Make a budget plan
Now, the first thing to do if you want to stop money from slipping through your fingers is to prioritize. Basically, it’s a question of want vs. need, and realizing some of your wants go in front of your needs instead of it being the other way around. Make a list of all the things you typically spend money on and see where you’re overspending. Dinners at restaurants can be cut to weekend-only events, instead of every other night whenever you’re feeling lazy to cook. This way, you can buy that winter jacket you’ve been eyeing for a month.
To save money in New York City, break down your budget according to your monthly expenses. List your rent, utilities, food, transportation, and gym membership and then see what you’re left with. Set a spending limit for each of the sections, and everything else you can either save or spend as you like. To help you stay organized and on track, you can install one of the numerous budget apps on your phone. Being on top of your monthly finances will make it all the easier to save up. Keep at it, or, to use some money talk – in for a penny, in for a pound!
Move to a more affordable neighborhood
We’ve already mentioned that NYC has a notorious reputation for being one of the most expensive cities there is. So you’d be surprised to learn that there are, in fact, neighborhoods in the city that are actually quite affordable. After all, New York isn’t just Manhattan and Brooklyn. A great alternative can be found in Forest Hills, a quiet neighborhood located in Queens. If you want to remain at the center of events, Manhattan’s neighborhood Washington Heights is where you can get more bang for your buck. The key is being ready to move often and keep track of the real estate market. You never know when you can find a better apartment for cheaper rent, saving a considerable amount of cash in the process.
Speaking of moving, you need to take into account the cost of moving as well. Still, relocation doesn’t have to be too expensive if you find a reputable company that offers cheap quotes. A good way to lower the bill is to book early – that way you can get discounts and save some bucks.
Start eating at home
If you’re a foodie who enjoys eating out, prepare to be shocked when making a budget plan. It’s unbelievable how much money we spend on dining out for the sheer convenience of doing so. However, who said that at-home meal preparation has to be difficult and time-consuming? It’s all about organizing your meals on a weekly basis, so start by planning your meals on your day off. It’s literally as simple as sitting down and writing what you plan to eat that week and then heading out and buying the ingredients. Then, do some meal prepping, or, in other words, prepare the main entree and a side dish in advance, and then evenly distribute it into dishes. Store them in the fridge and enjoy! This strategy will not only help you save money in New York City but will also save your time and energy too. Happy cooking!
To save money in NYC, buy second-hand!
Do yourself and your wallet a favor and never shop for anything you can find in a good condition for half a price on Craigslist. This will not only save you hundreds of dollars, but it’s a sustainable lifestyle that is good for the environment. In fact, buying secondhand has lost the stigma once attached to it and is now going viral. In a city that can make living a little too expensive, resell sites can be a lifesaver. Without breaking a bank, you can shop everything from a cool jacket all the way to apartment décor. But the best part of it is – it goes both ways. That means you can also sell your used items and make a few bucks on the side.
If you realize that buying second-hand items is your cup of tea, by all means, research for various websites. There are so many apps that make it super easy for you to buy or sell all types of products in your area. That’s right, you can narrow down on your neighborhood and make the whole experience even simpler.
Look up free things to do
The pricey side of NYC might be true when it comes to housing options. But, if there’s one thing you can do here without spending a penny is – have fun. It’s not all about Broadway shows and fancy restaurants – the Big Apple offers an enormous number of free and low-cost events too! Believe it or not, there’s almost never a reason to pay for museums in NYC. So many of them offer free general admission that you’ll never run out of new exhibitions to see. Maybe the best way to save money in New York City, and stay fit in the process is by taking a stroll through Central Park. Whether it’s visiting the zoo, seeing a new band or simply laying out a blanket, it’s all possible in this world-famous park. For book lovers, a visit to the New York Public Library is a must, and while you’re there, visit Bryan Park for free yoga classes too. And whenever you lack ideas for a night out, a simple Google search will reveal a sea of events where you can enjoy without breaking the bank.