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United States

Surviving On Less In New York - Money Saving Tips For Expats

Published Sunday July 26, 2015 (14:16:18)

Image © Allie_Caulfield on Flickr

New York is a not only a melting pot of diverse communities, but also one of the largest economies of the urban world. Every year, many expats move to this global financial hub to live and work. A significant portion of the city’s workforce consists of foreign nationals.

While the New York lifestyle is fast-paced and glamorous, it can also be quite expensive.

New York is often considered one of the worst cities to live in if you are trying to save money. However, many New Yorkers will also tell you that the city is only as expensive as you want it to be. Here are some money-saving tips for expats in New York.


Buying and renting are both expensive in New York. Apartments in the heart of the city can be difficult to find, and the ones that are available usually have multiple tenants vying for them, which raises the prices further. Those on a budget can save money by securing an apartment further away from Manhattan. If it’s an option, sharing with roommates is also a good way to cut down on housing and utility expenses. Avoid getting a landline if you don’t really need it. To stay connected, you can even share a Wi-Fi connection with your neighbors.


Eating at home is one of the best ways to save money, because eating out in New York can be extremely expensive. The city has a wide variety of stores. For fresh organic foods, there are places like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Some of the big chains that have locations across the city include Stop n’ Shop, Fairway, Trade Fair and Food Emporium. The local non-chain stores are also great options for grocery shopping. Another popular trend is online grocery shopping, where you can take advantage of daily deals and have your shopping delivered right to your doorstep.


One of the best ways to save on transportation expenses is to make use of apps like cut-price taxi firm Uber, and Lyft, which allows you to carpool with others who are heading to a similar destination. This is far cheaper than hailing a cab. You can also use the subway for daily commuting. Buying a subway pass is cost-efficient and gives you unlimited rides for the period of validity. If you plan on driving, stay prepared by taking out a parking pass or coupons with which you can park at a flat rate, instead of spending on hourly fees.


If you’re living on a tight budget, spending anything on recreation may seem like a splurge. The good thing about New York is that there are plenty of things to do that hardly cost anything. Walking is one such pleasurable activity because the city has tons of interesting places. Spend the weekends exploring areas like Central Park, the Williamsburg Bridge, Union Square Greenmarket or the 28th street flower district. At Green-Wood Cemetery, you can also have a picnic on the beautiful grounds. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden allows free entry, and you can easily spend an entire day at the specialty Japanese Garden or the Cherry Esplanade, where the cherry trees blossom between April and May.


New York is a fantastic shopping destination and has some of the best department stores in the world, such as Macy’s and Bloomingdales. But if you want to save money, opt for discount shopping at any of the many designer outlets located in the city. You can even wait for the annual sales at department stores, where products are sold at huge discounts. New York also has many one-off sample sales, where designers sell off their sample merchandise at discounted rates.

Staying fit

If you feel you’re overspending on those gym memberships, cancel them and head outdoors. Walking and biking are both convenient and enjoyable to do in New York, and most of the city parks offer facilities like tennis and basketball courts, running and biking trails, and swimming pools. For something different, head to Yoga to the People, a yoga studio that runs donation-based classes at various locations in New York. There’s also the innovative option of ClassPass, a different kind of gym membership that allows access to wide range of unlimited classes at gyms and exercise studios around the city.

Those are our tips for saving money in New York. Do you have any tips to share? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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