Polka Dot Maxi Dress + Beach Hat // How To Afford Living In NYC

by Esther


Living in NYC is not cheap. Rent is just one factor. There’s the overpriced groceries, expensive Uber rides, and $20 cocktails. No question, the cost of living is very high. So, if you don’t have some fancy job or maybe you’re still a student or even a full-time blogger like me, how in the world do people afford to live here?

When I decided to move here, I was very hesitant because of the outrageous rent amounts, but I wanted to enjoy my 20’s in my favorite neighborhood for as long as I could. I figured I would treat myself until I get married and have to move somewhere more affordable with my husband. As happy as I am with my decision, I still had to make some sacrifices. Moving here meant giving up my massive master bedroom with a bathroom and two closets, and instead of paying more for a smaller converted bedroom with a closet next to the kitchen. My apartment is literally half the size for double the cost. Some people would say that’s not worth it, but on the plus side, I gained a doorman and a much shorter commute. My quality of life has also gone up because my friends all live in a 5 block radius, I can walk to the grocery store in less than a minute, and I can come home at 2 am and still feel safe. If you ask me, it’s worth every penny, and here’s how you can make it work too.

  1. Get Roommates.
    The only way I can afford to live in my city apartment is by having two roommates. We divided the rent based on room size and we all split the electric and internet costs.
  2. Find Freelance Work.
    I love working in an office, but as a blogger, my time is more limited and I love the flexibility that comes with freelance jobs. Not to mention the fact that you can charge more than your average salaried hourly amount and you can take on multiple projects at a time.
  3. Take The Subway.
    Some people cringe at the word subway, but if you’re not rolling in money, get over it. Taking the subway is the easiest way to save since taxi and Uber ride everywhere add up really quickly.
  4. Try Uber Pool.
    If you really hate the subway or don’t feel comfortable taking the train at night, switch to Uber Pool or another ridesharing service like Via. (If you sign up with Via, use the promo code esther9v7 to get $10 of ride credit.)
  5. Walk Whenever You Can.
    My favorite part about living here is that I can walk everywhere. I generally have appointments and errands to run on any given day, so what I try to do is schedule everything in a line going from uptown to downtown. I’ll take a train to my first meeting, then walk to my following appointments, and take a train home later that night.
  6. Two Words: Trader Joe’s.
    Their prices are unbeatable in New York City.
  7. Order Groceries Online.
    It’s not always cheaper, but it can be. Grocery prices in NYC are insane. A box of cereal should not cost $7. Enough said.
  8. Save Money As You Shop.
    I spoke about Ebates in a previous post. I highly recommend checking it out.
  9. Babysit.
    I wish I knew how to find a nighttime babysitting job because from what I hear, the pay is amazing in NYC and you never even have to meet the kids.
  10. Become A Blogger.
    It’s not as easy as it looks, but I’ve gotten collab requests for everything from toilet paper to bed linen, so I don’t really have to buy much anymore. I did not accept the toilet paper collab btw, but it’s nice to know I have options. 😉


Thank you, Lulus, for sponsoring this post!


Cold Shoulder Polka Dot Maxi Dress: Lulus

Straw Beach Hat With A Bow: Giovannio

Beaded Chokers: Ela Rae Jewelry 

Photography: Chaya Ross

 xxx Esther




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