20 Tips for Surviving New York City on a Budget
Maybe you saw last week’s semi-sappy post about leaving NYC. Well, this week I thought it might be more helpful to share some of my NYC honest-to-goodness learnings.
1) Use a broker when searching for apartments. It’s more $, but you’ll get a better deal on the month-to-month rent plus a better place in the end.
2) In summer, transfer trains as little as possible. The platforms are too sticky to spend any time waiting on. And don’t waste your $ on cabs – you’ll save $$ a month.
3) Don’t assume that Manhattan is the best borough to live in. Brooklyn and Queens are often cheaper and just as cool.
4) Make an effort to meet new people outside your group of friends – and follow-up with them. Everyone’s always busy here, but that’s not a good enough reason not to make new friends…even if it is more work.
5) The Brooklyn IKEA has livery cabs waiting outside that will drop you and your stuff anywhere for $25.
6) Your friends will suggest Clinton Street Bakery for brunch because it’s supposed to be “The Best Brunch in New York”. It is – and ALWAYS has a 2 hour wait. However, they also serve breakfast for dinner ;-) . . .
7) Explore Governor’s Island. You’re welcome.
8) If you earn less than 40k, you will struggle to pay rent and pay for your life. Accept this – while reading all the great free things to do each week via Time Out New York. For example, see #7 above.
8a) Use Groupon, Living Social, LifeBooker to book cheap dinners, excursions and hair-cuts. When I moved here, none of the above existed and my nice dinners always happened on Monday nights.
9) Find your bar a la Cheers. You’ll explore multiple bars, but having one that’s familiar will help your neighborhood feel like home.
10) Good doctors are hard to find in NYC as everyone is, again, super busy. Ask your friends for recommendations to cut down your search. Let me know in the comments section if you still need help and I’d be happy to share my suggestions.
11) Broadway Lafayette is the half-way point to meet people from UES and Park Slope. It is still 45 minutes each.
12) Don’t text when crossing the street. There are crazy dumb drivers in this city and I don’t want you to get burned.
13) Need a great first date? Go row-boating in Central park for approx. $10. It is as romantic as it sounds.
14) Pearl Paint is the best and cheapest frame store in NYC.
15) Chinatown has some of the best, cheapest food in the city.
16) Roundabout Theater has a ticket discount program called Hip Tix, especially designed for patrons under 35. $20 tix to all their Broadway shows. For realz.
17) Newark airport is not much further than LaGuardia and unlike LaGuardia is easily accessible via public transit. So, if a flight is much cheaper out of NJ, consider it.
18) It’s okay to cry in public. It’s practically a rite of passage in this city and people understand.
19) Qdoba has very filling kid’s meals for $4.89, including tax.
20) Live like you won’t live here forever, because you probably won’t. No one has all the answers, but if you are true to yourself, you’ll find living in New York valuable. Maybe you’ll find success, maybe you won’t – but there’s only one way to know. Even if you fail, that’s okay too – often these are the times we learn the most.
It’s been a pleasure writing to you about My New York.