It’s common knowledge that New York City is probably one of the most expensive places in the world to live. That being said, I feel as though it’s definitely all relative. You have the potential to earn a hell of a lot more money when you’re working here full or part time. Two of my best friends are living in Dublin at the moment and when we actually compared the prices of rent, mine isn’t that much more expensive (although I do live across from a construction site, so noise is definitely factored into the price!) Unless you’re seriously savvy with money, I can almost guarantee that when you’re starting off here, and just working your 9-5 job, you will be broke 24/7. BUT, you will be enjoying yourself too! I thought this post might be useful for anyone who is considering moving over to America, it’s so important to budget properly. Here are a few of the unforeseen costs I ran into!
Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t come over here expecting rent to be in any way reasonable. At the start of every month it is a whopper blow to the bank account, it comes with the territory though. I consider myself SO lucky – I split my rent with my boyfriend, which is so handy because it means everything is half price! We have a studio on the Upper East Side, and while it’s not exactly huge, it’s perfect for us because we’re never really there anyway. It also isn’t a case of the cooker situated beside the bed either thank God! For anyone moving over to New York, I would definitely recommend not ruling out Manhattan straight away. The further east you go on the Upper East Side, the cheaper rent will be, and it is such a cool neighborhood! Coffee
I’m really doing my best to cut back on the amount I spend on coffee, but the other day I spent $6 on a latte! It makes me nervous when I work out the amount I’ve actually spent so far on the stuff! One thing I changed, was ordering a coffee instead of saying Americano – it’s so much cheaper and I really don’t notice the difference that much to be honest! Laundry
I love my laundry man so much! We wave to each other every morning when I’m walking to work haha. This is definitely a hidden New York cost though. You wouldn’t factor in the extra $10-15 each week. While it’s absolutely necessary, it really adds up, especially when you’re strapped for cash! One tip would be to aim for accommodation that has laundry in the building. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have it, but it would definitely help!
At the start, I was fully convinced that it would be cheaper to eat out than doing a weekly shop – how wrong was I! Don’t be under any illusions though, it’s still so so so expensive. People always say to opt for places like Trader Joe’s which is a lot more affordable, but our fridge is so tiny, that I tend to have to do a few smaller weekly shops on my way home from work. Then you also have the price of eating out, and of course the big thing to factor into that, is tipping. It’s a rule of thumb that you tip at least 18% of the price of your meal, a lot of the waiters over here don’t get a wage at all, so they really rely on tips as their income. It’s totally fair enough, but just very different from home. Imagine tipping a couple of euro every time you got a drink from the bar, everyone in Ireland would want to be a barman! Transport
The price of transport isn’t cheap here, although it isn’t too expensive either when you think about it. A weekly subway card costs $30 and a monthly is $116. However, when I mention transport as a hidden cost, I’m talking about the likes of Uber, Gett & taxis. You don’t know how your day is going to go. Sometimes the most almighty storm will drop and you’re left with no other option but to get a cab. Gett is probably my biggest problem, its a black car app similar to Uber, but cheaper! You can go anywhere in the city for $10 if it’s under 125th street. It’s so handy for after a night out when yellow cabs are hard to find, and the subway just isn’t safe. Trips Away
Living in a foreign city has definitely given me a little bit of a travel bug. Although it is sure to leave me broke! I feel like while I’m living on this side of the world in New York, I may as well try and see as much of it as possible! I’m going to LA in April for Coachella (no, I will not shut up about that yet!), and this weekend there’s a gang of us headed upstate for a skiing weekend! Follow along on Snapchat (niamhos21) and Instagram (niamh_osullivan). I also really want to visit Boston and Chicago (again), and Vegas is 1000% getting hit! These are just a few reasons why I might be skipping one or two cocktails this month, but everything couldn’t be more worth it! I much prefer spending my money on this experience, than anything else! New York is not for the faint hearted, but if it’s a potential option and something that you want to do, then absolutely jump right in! I was so scared at the start but I know this is 100% the best decision I’ve ever made!
Have a great weekend,