So you are looking for ways to save money while living in NYC are you?
Well– you’re in the right place!
In this post– you will find some easy ways that you can save a significant amount of money. Many of these tips you can start using right now.
So don’t wait– check out these tips and start saving money right this second.
15 Easy Ways to Save Money While Living in NYC
Establish a budget
If you are serious about saving money, you need to create a budget.
Creating a budget lets you track how much you are spending, and what you are spending it on.
without a budget, it is impossible to identify where your money is going– or how to save more of it.
Creating a budget will help you in two important ways.
1) A budget will give you an idea of how much you are currently spending to maintain your lifestyle. And, it will enable you to find certain expenses that you should probably cut back on (like all those $200 bar tabs…. you animal)
2) A budget will make it easier to be disciplined about how you divvy up your hard earned loot.
For instance, maybe next time you feel the urge to buy a round of 10 tequila shots (you know… a round for the boys)- you can think about the budget that you created and how it did not have a line item for “absurdly overpriced tequila shots” — then instead of buying those shots you can save that money to pay for your murderously high rent.
Make sure that you can afford your apartment
Are you spending too much on rent? Ill give you a hint—in NYC the answer is always YES!
For those lucky souls who are unfortunate enough to pay rent in NYC, getting gouged by your landlord is inevitable– but how much is too much to pay for rent?
Regardless of how much you are currently paying- a great way to save money is to downsize the checks that you are sending to your landlord every month.
Maybe you should even find a roommate or two. Or three.
Move to an affordable neighborhood
NYC has a neighborhood for every budget and every taste. A few neighborhoods are actually an incredible value—offering safety, livability and affordability. If you are tight on money, moving to an affordable neighborhood can be a great way to save money.
Prepare meals at home
After rent, food is likely to be your second largest expense.
If you can cut back on the amount to spend on food– you can save some serious dough.
One of the easiest ways to spend less on food is to prepare it at home.
Depending on your current spending habits, it may be possible to save several hundred or even thousands on food every month.
Unlike savings that you can reap from moving into a cheaper apartment- saving money on food requires discipline- and a bit more work / planning on your part.
The best way to save money on food is to stop eating out.
Even an inexpensive meal at a café or deli (which in NYC is usually around $10) is significantly more expensive than preparing your own food at home.
To give you an idea of how much you can save by cooking at home consider this following example:
If instead of buying lunch at a deli every day for $10, you prepare a meal for $5 and bring it with you to work- you save $5.
I know what you’re thinking… $5, whoop-de-do. But, hang on a second- if you save $5 a month every day that equals $150 a month, or $1,800 per year.
You could save $1,800 a year just by preparing food at home. That is a pretty good chunk of change.
By preparing all of your meals at home, you can easily save $10 to $15 dollars per day vs. eating out at cheap delis or cafes- that equates to a savings of around $5,500 a year, which is nothing to scoff at.
Get Deals on Food at Peapod.com
Peapod.com is an online grocery delivery service that has amazing deals on food. You can often find stuff for less than half the price of your local NYC supermarket.
For instance, I recently saw cans of Albacore tuna selling for $0.99 each– vs. $2.39 that they sell for in my local grocery store (The Gristedes in the West Village).
Not only is Peapod actually cheaper than buying groceries at an NYC supermarket, it also saves you time and you won’t have to carry way to many heavy grocery bags all the way back to your apartment.
check out Peapod here (you can save $15 off your first order using this code: PPCJ15)
Cut back on air conditioning
Everyone knows that NYC is the city that never sleeps. But what they didn’t know is that the reason this city is up all night is because its studio apartment is like a million degrees at night and its sweating all over its bed and its sheets are sticking to its body like a wet piece of toilet paper. Yuck.
New York? More like Stew York.
As temping as it is to blast your AC night and day – don’t do it!.
Being a little over zealous with the AC can increase your electricity bill by $100 to $200 dollars a month- without even breaking a sweat! (sorry– bad joke)
Next time you’re tempted to switch on the AC – fight the urge and save some money instead.
You will feel good about the money that you saved, because you literally had to sweat for it.
Buy non-perishable goods online
If you are buying stuff like toothpaste, shampoo and other non-perishable items at your local NYC market you are literally throwing money away.
Everything that you buy at a store in NYC is overpriced.
Any store that is located in NYC pays an absurd amount of rent. Those rent payments get passed on to you in the form of higher prices.
So if you are buying things like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant or cleaning supplies at your local NYC store… do your bank account a favor and STOP.
you can save serious amounts of money by purchasing these items online.
Here is where you can do it:
Peapod.com – Save $15 off your first order using code PPCJ15
Avoid checking & overdraft fees
Nothing makes you feel like a sucker more than being charged a $20 overdraft fee because you paid for that $3 cup of coffee with your debit card.
Don’t feel like a sucker.
Keep an eye on your checking account balance, or get banking that offers overdraft protection (I did it, and my life will never be the same).
Avoid taking taxis
Cab fare can quickly add up. $10 here, $20 there and pretty soon you have spent $300 or $400 in a month, just on getting from point A to point B. That is equal to round trip airfare to someplace sunny and tropical.
Think about that next time you get the urge to hail a cab.
Take the subway instead- is almost as quick.
The money you save could easily pay for your next vacation.
Go to cheap / free events
One of the great things about living in NYC is that there are always free ways to entertain yourself.
I am talking about free concerts, free open bars or outdoor movies, that sort of thing. If you are looking for free / cheap stuff to do- check out this post (resources for people living on a budget in NYC) which has a bunch of handy resources that will give you the lowdown on a bunch of fun stuff you can do—who knew that saving money could be so fun?
Select an affordable / appropriate wireless plan
The bill for a wireless plan from a mainstream carrier can easily exceed $100 a month. Getting a wireless plan from a lesser known carrier such as Sprint, MetroPCS or T-Mobile can often yield significant savings.
For those looking to save even further, pre-paid wireless plans are often much cheaper and do not require a contract.
In fact– one budget wireless provider, Republic Wireless, offers unlimited cell / data plans for just $40 a month– that could save you some serious cash (check it out here)
Check for alternatives to cable TV
Living in New York, the last thing that you want to end up doing is sitting in your tiny apartment all day watching TV. So why waste $100+ every month on a cable TV plan that you will never watch?
Nobody subscribes to cable TV anymore…
Its all about Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Check them out here:
Make your own coffee
Buying coffee at a café might be convenient, but, if you spend $3 every day on a cup of joe, or $5 on a Latte (yes, you can spend that much on a Latte in NYC) – it quickly adds up.
Brewing your coffee at home is an easy way to save $50 to $100 dollars every month.
Buy used books, or rent ebooks
If you are a reader, buying used books from Amazon, or subscribing to Amazon Prime so that you can rent ebooks is a great way to get your reading fix on the cheap. Used books can often be had for %80-90 off their new retail price- which is a huge savings.
Also, if you read lots of books on a kindle or ereader, you can rent more books than you could ever read as an Amazon prime member.
Get a Saver’s Mindset
An essential part of saving money is having a saver’s mindset. Two essential components to being a successful saver are 1) planning 2) discipline. Not only do you need to create a budget- you need to have the self-control to stick to it.
Easy Ways to Save Money: Conclusion
Hopefully these tips will help you save some money- share them with your friends so that they can become better savers too… use the buttons below.