It’s no secret that living in New York City is exciting, but expensive. From rent to transportation to food, and entertainment, the cost of living can seem intimidating if you’re not careful. We asked Mirador’s real estate salespersons for their expert advice on how to enjoy NYC while still saving money!
TAKE THE SCENIC ROUTE
What’s great about the City is that you can practically walk anywhere. Not only does it help you stay in shape, but it’s a nice way to see the unique nuances of the city. Plus, you won’t be pressed against the subway doors by the hectic rush hour crowd.
Mirador’s Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Kiro Zakhary, strongly advocates for the use of CitiBikes instead of subways. “You save a tremendous amount of money considering Citibike only costs $14.95 a month,” he says. “Doing the math, if you commute to work by subway 5 days a week, you will spend over $95 more than if you biked.”
If you’re not in the mood to exert any energy into commuting, then carpool with fellow New Yorkers with Via for a flat fee of $5. Though Via picks up other passengers during your trip, it is still a significantly cheaper option than hailing a yellow cab.
DRINK (FINANCIALLY) RESPONSIBLY
You don’t have to feel guilty about grabbing drinks with friends after work if you find the right deals. Happy hours are great for discounted drinks.
Of course, Mirador’s Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Racquel Popovic, reminds New Yorkers that the most budget conscious way to drink is to grab a $10 bottle of rose from Trader Joe’s, invite friends over, and have a cozy happy hour at home.
FIND FREE OR AFFORDABLE EVENTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Did you know you can be a part of a live studio audience for a TV show taping for free in New York City? These shows include Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Late Night with Seth Meyers, to name a few. In most cases, you can reserve guaranteed tickets online (Daily Show), submit ticket requests (Late Night), or enter a ticket lottery (Saturday Night Live).
New York City also has a incredible selection of museums that are inexpensive to attend from The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) to the Museum of Natural History to the Met. Ticket prices are suggested donations so you can offer what you are comfortable paying. Public parks are also a great way to spend an evening; Bryant Park’s Summer Film Festival shows free outdoor movies every Monday during the summer.
Find sites like NYCGo, Nifty NYC, and The Miradorian to research affordable events around the city before your next day out. “I recommend the Theater Development Fund,” says Michael Minarik, Mirador’s Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. “For an annual $35 fee, you qualify for tons of cheap Broadway tickets there, up to 70% off!” You can also wait for standby Broadway tickets as low as $35 from Today Tix.
(FINANCIALLY) GUILT FREE MEALS
On days that you dine-out, choose places that offer large portions for reasonable prices so you can take home leftovers. The Halal Guys is notorious for their large rice platters and stuffed gyros for just $8.
Also note that happy hours aren’t limited to just drinks. At Haru’s happy hour, sushi dishes are half off meaning you can indulge in a California roll for just $3!
THRIFT SHOP YOUR NEXT OUTFIT
You don’t need designer brands to look great - thrift shops offer tons of stylish clothes for under $20 a piece. Luckily, NYC’s thrift scene is flooded with cute shops like Buffalo Exchange, Goodwill, and Beacon’s Closet. The best part is that you can even make money from thrift shops by selling your clothes to them to support fellow budget-conscious shoppers.
LIVE IN A NEIGHBORHOOD OUTSIDE OF MANHATTAN
Manhattan’s rent tends to be the steepest of the boroughs so if you’re moving to NYC on a budget, consider other neighborhoods that are just a train ride away from the bustle.
“I tell clients who are on a budget to consider Astoria, Queens,” says Thomas Walker, Mirador’s Licensed Real Estate Salesperson. “It’s a great up and coming neighborhood with a fun nightlife.”
Our agents’ top picks for affordable neighborhoods outside of Manhattan include Bay Ridge, Bushwick, and Midwood in Brooklyn, Sunnyside, Long Island City, and Kew Gardens in Queens.
What are your favorite ways to save money?
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