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How to save Money when living in Manhattan

Updated on October 11, 2014

New York City is the most expensive city in the United States. There are more millionaires living in Manhattan than any other place in America. But, what if you aren't a millionaire, what if you are just a regular Joe living in the most expensive city in the nation? How do you save money when living in New York City?

I've lived in Manhattan for over 10 years. And, I have to say I absolutely love it. But, it is very difficult living here because I am not a millionaire and I don't have very much money. So, how do I do it? How do you live in New York City on the cheap? Here are some tips.

Get Rid of Your Car

The very first thing you have to do if you are moving to Manhattan is to get rid of your car. Yes Manhattan is expensive but it's a lot more doable if you don't have a car. And guess what? You don't need a car in the city. If there is one thing that New York City is good at it's public transportation. So if you haven't gotten rid of your car already do it now.

Get a Bike or Walk

If you really want to cut costs don't take public transportation either. Buy a bike or a scooter or just walk. Believe or not you can walk all over Manhattan and depending on how much time you have it's a great way to save money. Why join a gym when you can get your exercise and save money at the same time? Walking or riding a bike in Manhattan is a wonderful thing, there is so much to see that it will take you years and years before you see everything and just think of all the adventures you can have along the way!


Pretty Funny Stuff

Don't buy or bring a lot of Furniture and Stuff

Do not bring a lot of expensive furniture with you. And, if you don't have expensive furniture whatever you do don't buy it there either. Unless you have a lot of money (and if you did you wouldn't be reading this article would you?) get cheap furniture from sources like Craigslist. The reason you don't want to spend a lot of money on furniture is #1, you don't have a lot..remember!, #2 it costs a fortune to move it, if you have to move it (and you will be moving it, trust me) and #3 it costs even more to get it out of New York City when you leave. A lot of people end up leaving their furniture there because they can't afford to move it when they need to leave. There are no garage sales in Manhattan! This will happen to you if you buy expensive stuff there or bring it with you but also, you can benefit from all those people who didn't read this article and pick up some great pieces for very little money.

Do Not Pay a Fee for an Apartment

It's difficult to find apartments that are a good value in New York City. Really one of the best things you can do is to sublet an apartment until you get your bearings. Craigslist is your friend! If you have to find a good apartment as soon as you get there you are going to pay a fortune. The real estate market in New York City is brutal. You have to pay a fee for most apartments and that can be thousands of dollars on top of the first, last and deposit. It's very expensive. If you sublet a place you circumvent all that. Then after you are there for awhile you will hear by word of mouth if a good apartment comes up and you can jump on it.

Take Advantage of All the Freebies Around the City

Once you actually move to Manhattan there are a lot of freebies in the city. There are freebies like movies at Bryant Park or free ice skating in Central Park. There is the organically free entertainment that the city offers just by being in New York City. Just sitting on a bus can be entertaining in Manhattan. Or you might come across a movie or TV show that is being filmed or a parade or a spontaneous event. Join, there are so many activities on there you will have a hard time picking which ones you want to attend.

There are also things you can take advantage of if you are particularly adventurous. Many times on Craigslist there are businessmen who are on the company tab who don't want to dine alone or go to a show alone and they will advertise a free dinner or show just to have company. I did this many times when I lived in the city. It was great for me and for them and I never had any problems or misunderstandings from it. I am still friends with some of these people and I don't mean friends with benefits!

I hope some of these tips help you to save money during your stay in Manhattan. I wish someone would have told me about these things before I moved there but even so I had a great time and wouldn't have traded it for the world.

Free Entertainment!


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    • Janellegems profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      Thanks, I will have to read about some of those adventures.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "Janellegems". Living in Manhattan is a crazy life..let me tell you! I've written about some of my adventures there on Hubpages if you're interested.

    • Janellegems profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      I have been to Manhattan, but always thought what it would be like to live there. I know it is quite expensive. You have shared some excellent tips to save money if one is living there. Thanks.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      I think it should be on everyone's bucket list. Thanks for commenting "teaches12345".

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I would one day love to visit Manhattan and experience the excitement of living there. Thanks for sharing these valuable tips.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "RandallJonas", I appreciate your comments.

    • RandallJonas profile image

      Randall Jonas 

      4 years ago from Canada

      This is great. NY is expensive. And Manhattan ... Toronto is expensive in my country, so much so that people often live outside of it and take the train it. Rents! Thanks.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks "crazyhorsesghost" that means a lot coming from you. I miss NYC every single day.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile image

      Thomas Byers 

      4 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Great information Brie. I lived in Manhattan for about 7 years at one time. I lived there and worked at the New York Voice. You have some great ideals for living in Manhattan. I miss New York City and going to the Yankee games. Maybe I'll get to visit there this coming winter. You did a great job on this Hub Page.

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan

      Thanks Faith, I think I love you!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      You have provided a lot of great ways to save money, especially living in Manhattan! Very interesting and I know will be helpful to those living there.

      Up ++ and tweeting and pinning

      Blessings always

    • Brie Hoffman profile imageAUTHOR

      Brie Hoffman 

      4 years ago from Manhattan should go, everyone should go to Manhattan at least once in their lives. I miss it a lot. Thanks for stopping by Billy, you're the best.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've never been there, and I'd say chances are pretty good I'll never live there, but it's good to know there are ways to save money there because I had heard it was a bit expensive to live there. :)


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