New York City is known for being notoriously expensive. It’s just a fact that everything in this city costs much more than it does an hour outside of Manhattan. And while it’s known that renting eventually costs much more than buying a home, the usual million-dollar price tags attached to each apartment are enough to crush the hopes of almost anyone considering buying. So, how is it even possible to gather enough money for a down payment? There’s one answer for that; saving!
Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best saving techniques to navigate your way through the expensive NYC lifestyle, while still making the most of your life here.
Budgeting is probably the most effective way to save money. We suggest using an app, such as Mint or PocketGuard, to keep track of what you’re spending. On apps such as Mint, you can see exactly where your money is going (clothing purchases, groceries, bars, etc.) and set budgets for yourself, which the app will then alert you if you exceed that budget.
These apps also let you set up a savings goal and helps to calculate how much you will have to save each month to reach it. Aside from apps, we also suggest breaking down your paychecks into “piles”. For example, keep track of what your expenses are each month and set that money aside. Then, take another portion of the check to stash away in a savings account. And finally, treat yourself and keep the final portion of the check for you!
Cook Meals Instead of Eating Out
With the endless food options around New York, eating out is an easy and surefire way to deplete your savings. Think of it this way, if each meal runs about $10 and you buy two to three a day, by the end of the week you’ll have spent well over $100 on meals, aside from any groceries you bought to keep in your apartment. Buying groceries cuts these costs in half, and is much healthier in the long run!
Take Advantage of Thrift and Discount Stores
New York City is home to some of the best thrift shops (Beacon’s Closet is a must-see) in the country, where you can grab steals on designer brands such as Gucci and Prada for a fraction of the cost.
Instead of spending a fortune on your wardrobe at full price, hunt around for the deals! If you don’t have any luck at the thrift stores, check out places such as Burlington Coat Factory and TJ Maxx, which are scattered around the city.
Get a Roommate
The luxury of living alone runs with a high price tag. If you’re really looking to save money, opt for a two or three-bedroom apartment. The average starting price for studio apartments is about $1,800, which can take a huge bite out of your paycheck.
But, living with a roommate or two can lower that cost to about $900-$1,300, which will help put you ahead financially.
Invest in an Unlimited Metrocard
While many are hesitant to drop the $121 for an unlimited Metrocard, if you commute around the city it will save you a fortune. Refilling a card with about $20 every few days adds up very quickly, ultimately surpassing the sum of the unlimited.
Also, take advantage of New York’s public transport system and use the subway instead of taxis or Uber. A subway ride costs $2.75 one-way, while an Uber or taxi can run about five times that.
Along with all these tips, set a goal for yourself and determine how much you want to have set aside for your down payment. With that goal and this list in mind (and remembering to stash away a chunk of your paycheck each week) you’ll be on your way to funding your own New York City apartment!