Thriving and Surviving in NYC {Tips}

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The city is fabulous, but it is also expensive. Lots of people dream about living in New York City, but they don't because they know it's extremely hard to afford the cost of living. There are certain areas in my life where I do my best to pinch pennies (i.e. utilities. If I'm not in the room, the light is OFF). However, there are some areas where it's important to spend a little extra money because they increase my quality of life and make life easier.

I will discuss a few categories of common expenses when it comes to city living and how I deal with them:

What I was doing - At first, I was doing the standard: go to the Laundromat and do it all myself. A standard wash cost $2.25 (pretty cheap for NYC) and a dry was $.25 for 8 minutes (usually $1 total). Laundry detergent and a dryer sheets also cost money :). That sounds relatively affordable BUT it was not worth it. WHY? because going to the laundromat takes TIME and a good chunk of it! The laundromat is 2 blocks away from my apartment, and I don't want to spend the time going back and forth or just chilling at the 'mat for two hours. Doing laundry takes about 2 hours because of the waiting,  changing the laundry over, and FOLDING. ughh. Not worth it.  
What I do Now - 3 words: wash and fold. It changed my life. I drop off my laundry at the laundromat, and they take care of it! My clothes smell amazing and they are folded much better than I know how. It takes like two minutes out of my day because I just drop my clothes off on the way to the subway and when I come back they're done! It only costs $0.80 per pound and everything is included (washing, drying, detergent, folding). Bam! A weeks worth of laundry costs around $6 to $8 dollars. Now I can enjoy my Saturdays a little more and not have to hang out in a laundromat!

What Some People Do and I Don't Understand:  I don't understand why people who live in NYC pay per ride. $2.50 each way / $5.00 for a round trip. It's so limiting and annoying because you have to fill up and keep track of your rides. I feel like I swipe my metro card hundreds of time in a month, so I'm not sure what I would do without the monthly $112 unlimited card. The MTA also offers a 7 day metro card option for $30. If you are visiting NYC for more than 3 days, than the 7 day unlimited is for YOU. The card pays for itself after 6 round trips, and if you are a tourist in the city I certainly hope you would take more than 6 round trips.... there is so much to see and do!
The subway is the best way to maneuver the city. There are other ways like a bus, taxi, ferry, or even a carriage. These can be addressed at a later time.


Get a Smart Phone! I wouldn't be able to survive in the city without my iPhone. The camera, the map apps (I get lost a lot), Yelp!, the alarm clock, music, text messaging, it's all there on one lovely device. Before I moved to the city I had a standard T-mobile phone, and it did me no good. Having a smart phone will help you make the most of the city. I promise! Plus, I can take fun pictures like the one above :)

In order to eat healthy and not live off Ramen noodles I make sure to save leftovers and freeze food when necessary. I get $190 (excluding eating out) to spend on food per month, so that's actually a good chunk of money, but it can still go fast. One rule I follow is that I don't go out to eat by myself. I think going out to eat is meant to be a shared experience, so whether I go to Chipotle for a burrito or Max Brenner for a nice dinner, I always do it with people. Otherwise, I always eat my own food and I bring a lunch to school. There's lots of yummy food to enjoy in NYC, I just want to enjoy it with people! 

There are many ways to get by in the city. What would you add? Do you have tips for living in your city? 

1 comment :

  1. These are great tips! I would just suggest that you make a Pinterest worthy photo at the top of the post so that you can share it on Pinterest/social media. That can bring in lots of traffic for you. Great points though. I had no idea about the wash and fold. That is great to know!


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