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NYC life on a Dime: The Best of New York on a Budget

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Ross Sapir

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There are a lot of great things about moving to NYC, but the high rent prices and cost of living are definitely not one of them. Still, millions of people are able to enjoy the benefits of living in New York City, despite not earning a fortune in wages. For the uninitiated, it can seem impossible to imagine being able to do anything in New York once all of your cash is spent on rent and food, but the reality is that, if you know what to do, you can actually do an awful lot in New York whilst still saving your pennies. Here are some of the tips for a quality life in New York on a budget our team at Roadway Moving NYC prepared for you!

There are plenty of free NYC activities

Believe it or not, living in NYC can be pretty affordable. All it takes is a little bit of research to figure out where to get quality groceries at affordable prices, clothes, furniture, etc.

Here’s why living in NYC can be much cheaper than you might think;

  • ParklifeOne of the best things about New York is the number of parks throughout the city. Everyone knows about the central park, and it is a fantastic park, but nearly 14 percent of the city is covered in parks, so there are a lot of other options to pass the time. Here are a few of the best.
  • Free TheaterAnd the free entertainment in public parks do not end there. The Public Theater hosts Shakespeare in the Park every summer, bringing high art to anyone for absolutely no cost.
  • Free TVAnd if the theater isn’t your thing, one of the best advantages of living in NYC is the fact that so many great live TV shows are based here, ones that need live audiences and allow you to attend for free. There are even more great options now as the two big late-night shows—on NBC and CBS—recently moved back to (or stayed in) New York.
  • Workout for FreeIf the most obvious free workout isn’t for you (running or cycling in the park), here is a list of gyms that will offer you free passes for anything from one to seven days. If you do like running, there are a lot of free running clubs throughout the city.
  • Free InternetThere are also an ever-increasing amount of free wifi hotspots across the city.

What else can make your NYC life affordable?

Rest assured that living in NYC can remain within your budget if you know where to shop and what to do. That being said, here are some extra cost-cutting tips:

  • Get groceries where it’s cheap. It’s just a fact that buying groceries is going to be cheaper if you go to the Bronx rather than Manhattan.
  • Buy groceries online. There are a lot of places that will allow you to order your groceries online, including non-perishables on Amazon.
  • Skip the Taxis. If you can walk, walk. It’ll save you the cost of a taxi or subway fare, and it’ll be healthier. If you have to go a long distance, always choose the subway over the convenience of a taxi or Uber.
  • Work out at a Rec Center. Instead of paying the high price for a gym membership (once your free trials have run out), sign up for a membership at a recreation center and it’ll be a lot cheaper than a gym.
  • Get an NYC ID as soon as possible. Life in New York City has many perks, but a big one is the various benefits that come with being a resident with an IDNYC. You can get discounts and free access to museums and other places around the city.

Move to some of the most affordable neighborhoods in New York

The costs of living in NYC depend on where you live. If you opt for affordable NYC neighborhoods, rest assured you won’t make a mistake. Just because they are affordable, doesn’t mean life is too cheap or low-quality. It’s actually the opposite. In NYC, people from all parts of the world may find their place and lead a financially stable life. Therefore, make sure to choose the right neighborhood in New York City that matches your preferences and needs.

three friends speaking of living in New York on a Budget
You can live in New York on a budget if you relocate to an affordable neighborhood.

The Bronx is known as the most budget-friendly area in NYC

Make no mistakes – the Bronx is also one of the best places in NYC for living. It’s equally popular among business owners, families, and anyone who just dreams of living and working in NYC. This neighborhood has plenty of peaceful areas with lots of housing choices. Most of its residents rent homes, however, the rent prices are significantly below the national average. Apart from this, there are many other reasons why moving to the Bronx would make your life bliss like the proximity to the beach and an excellent transportation system.

By moving to the Bronx, you get to live affordably, while staying connected with crucial parts of the city. It’s not surprising that entrepreneurs and remote workers often have the Bronx in mind when moving to NYC. Plus, there are plenty of arts and culture events, as well as dining places in this part of NYC. As for its community, rest assured that the Bronx natives are some of the most open-minded, and laid-back people you will ever befriend.

Harlem is getting more attention

Harlem has evolved as another cultural hotspot of New York. Plus, its many areas now have some of the lowest poverty and crime rates in the entire city. If you add affordable housing to all of this, it’s easy to understand why Harlem has a growing number of residents. Central Harlem, as a cultural center, is the most popular part of the neighborhood, alongside West Harlem.

Tips on how to prepare for your NYC move

Have you considered maybe it’s time to make a local move to a different borough? We all know that some areas are cheaper than others, and perhaps this is the right decision for you. By moving to a lower cost of living borough, you can easily see a decrease in rent anywhere from 10-25%. You can then use this extra money to be more financially free, and allow you to do the activities you desire.

two guys packing boxes and talking about life inNew York on a Budget
Your life in New York on a budget begins with a well-executed move.

Moving between boroughs is actually really simple! If you decide that this may be something you’re interested in, let us do the heavy lifting – request a quote.

Search only for credible, top-rated NYC moving companies

Don’t rush when looking for residential moving companies. The moving market in NYC has so many movers on offer that would carry out your move completely stress-free. So, take time with your search in order to pick the best moving company:

  • Make sure the movers you choose have all the necessary licenses. It’s important that the company that handles your move operates within legal frames.
  • If a company that interests you provides a free estimate, book it right away

In case you’re moving from another state, you will have to prepare for your relocation as soon as you decide on your moving dates. In that case, you’ll be looking for top-rated long distance moving companies. Although long moving journeys require more effort, they become doable if handled by professionals. This is why you should check reviews on various websites that speak of a company’s expertise. What you need is a moving team that aims to help you settle in your new home in a timely manner, stress-free.

Choose experienced NYC commercial movers if you plan to relocate your business

When it comes to business relocation, keep in mind that only specialized movers can do it professionally, with precision. So, when searching for moving companies, focus on commercial movers NYC residents recommend for many valid reasons. Once you have them booked, the rest of your commercial relocation will run smoothly the entire time.

Professional NYC movers have special services as well

Do you own sculptures, art collections, or anything of greater value you want to move? If so, then white glove moving NYC companies are the answer to your worries. White glove movers are specialists that will go the extra length to properly secure, pack, store, and relocate all your valuable goods. Therefore, make sure to hire a company that offers these services as well.

purple moving van
Your life in New York on a budget starts with a professionally executed move.

Opt for full-service NYC movers

The reason why full-service moving companies remain the most popular choice is obvious – they include all services in one offer. That way, you don’t have to spend plenty of time looking for storage, piano movers, etc.

Unpacking takes time

Your life in New York on a budget begins once you have your new place fully set up. That’s why, apart from a budget and moving plan, you need a simple schedule for your first week after the move. Obviously, you won’t go out the very first evening or explore your entire neighborhood. It will take time to fully recharge after an exhausting endeavor like moving. So, take time to rest, then explore what the area you live in has on offer.

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