Everyone knows that living in New York can get very expensive. But the truth is – it doesn’t have to be! There are lifehacks that you can implement to your daily life in New York to avoid feeling like your bank account got assaulted. Unfortunately the only thing I can’t save you from is your rent (and maybe that Chanel bag you’ve been eyeballing for a week), but for everything else – see below:
1. Avoid ATM fees
This seems like a no brainer but you’d be surprised at how much the average New Yorker racks up in charges from ATMs. I’m not sure who came up with this idea but ATM fees are absurd! To avoid this hitting your bank account simply purchase a low priced item with your debit card and ask the cashier for cash out/cash back.
2. Subway over UBER/Taxis
The first time I visited New York I took an UBER everywhere (even a couple blocks down). I was one of those people who did not want to bother with finding the closest station to that restaurant I wanted to go to – but boy did my wallet cry. So next time you’re thinking of flagging that yellow cab be sure to think twice and save money through the subway. This can also be a great money saver when travelling to the airport!
Speaking of subways – have you ever noticed that no matter how carefully you plan you always end up with leftover cash on your metrocard? Save money by buying the unlimited Metrocard (this is perfect for New Yorkers who commute to work daily).
4. Do FREE stuff
Plan your days well and you won’t have to spend much. Visit NYC Museums on days that are free. The Brooklyn Botanical Garden is free on Tuesdays, Bronx Zoo is free on Wednesdays, MoMa is free on Fridays from 4-8pm and New York Hall of Science is free on Sundays. At Pier 26 you can also get a 20 minute free kayak ride (from May to October only).
5. Travel for Food (it’s worth it)
It might be a shock to you that grocery shopping in Bronx/Queens/Harlem/Brooklyn is substantially cheaper than buying the exact same items in Manhattan. Shopping in a different area could save you $80 and only cost you 30 minutes of your time via subway.
6. Avoid tourist destinations
You’re bound to get friends or family visiting you and during that time you’re most likely going to have to accompany them to these touristy places so do yourself a favor and save money by going infrequently to places like The Empire State Building or Top of the Rock.
7. Attend free tapings
My personal favorite is the amount of free tapings you can get into in New York. Shows such as Goodmorning America, America’s Got Talent, The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon are a few of the shows that you can easily register to be a part of. For tickets to Saturday Night Live the lottery only opens for one month so make sure to email in August to enter.
8. Cash VS Card
When in doubt carry cash. I’ve learnt my lesson to always carry cash. It may be shocking but the fact is a lot of cafes or restaurants only accept cash payments. Instead of running around looking for an ATM make sure you have some cash handy.
9. Use a bike
Get fit this year by cycling around the city. You can buy your own or simply rent one of the many blue Citibikes which are available from kiosks located all over the city. It costs about 26 cents a day if you have a Citi bike pass.
10. Cheap Broadway Tickets
There’s no reason to pay full price for Broadway shows when you can get discounted tickets through the TKTS Booth. I recommend hitting the booth at Times Square around 5pm to get some cheap same-day tickets.
What lifehack tips do you have for your city? Comment below and let me know!