5 Tips To Make Living In New York City Financially Feasible

Millennials are on the move.

Gone are the days when millennials are refusing to leave the nest. In a recent study by StorageMart called “moving millennials”, more than one-fifth (21%) of under-35 year olds moved over a thousand miles in search of a new home or opportunity. Six out of ten millennials moved out of their home city, while about one-fourth (24%) moved out of their home state.

The most common reason why they’re moving? Chasing a dream. And what better place to dream than NYC?

The only problem is that recent trends have actually showed millennials are flocking to cities that are anywhere but New York, due to factors like rising rents and affordability, but don’t listen to the naysayers! Living in NYC in your 20s and 30s is nothing short of amazing and there are plenty of ways to cut costs on rent and find neighborhoods that are millennial and budget-friendly across all five boroughs.

While we’re on the subject of renting, there’s no shame in it. Studies show that millennials choose to rent for an average of six years before buying their first home. And in New York City, those numbers are much higher

In order to make it in New York City, you’re going to have to be smart about making a budget. Here are my top tips for recent college grads and 20-somethings looking to grow their nest egg in NYC instead of living paycheck to paycheck:                                                             

1. Track Your Spending

In a so-called “cashless economy” it is easy to lose sight of how much you are spending, when most transactions are done on credit cards and Apple Pay. Consider making a spreadsheet to track expenses or using a tool such as Mint to keep track of your spending. You might be surprised at how much you are spending on Taxis or Ubers in a month’s time. It is a great way to find areas to cut down on spending.

2. Make It Automatic

Take advantage of automatic savings that may be offered by your bank. Look into options such an auto transfer of X amount of dollars each month to savings or programs that round up each purchase to the nearest dollar and transfer that to your savings. Additionally, utilize your employer’s direct deposit option and add your savings account as one of the accounts to receive the pay. You can specify the dollar amount to be deposited to your savings from each paycheck. This aligns perfectly with the old saying, “Out of Sight, Out of Mind.

3. Use Work Bonuses

If you receive an annual bonus at work, consider putting that into your down payment savings account each year. While it is important to have fun and celebrate your success, the savings you accumulate will pay off more than that night out at the club.

4. Reduce Happy Hours

Everyone loves a good happy hour to help get through a tough week. If you are making it a habit two times a week it is costing you. Consider the average happy hour drink costing $7.00 before tax and tip. At twice a week, that’s $728 a year on happy hour…assuming you only get one drink at each of those happy hours!

5. Gym Membership

Your gym membership is a great opportunity to cut down on monthly expenses. With so many fitness apps such as ClassPass, YouTube Videos, and equipment, exercising at home has never been easier. If you are an avid gym user, this option is probably not for you, but if you use your gym occasionally, it is something worth considering. Your $250/month Equinox membership is costing you $3,000 a year…that is a lot of money! If you cannot give up your memberships, look into options such as corporate discounts or special incentives that your gym or workout venue of choice offers.

6. Get Your Caffeine Dose at Home

Sometimes a morning cup of coffee (or 3) feels like it is the only thing that will get you moving…trust us we know! However, your daily trip to Starbucks during the week for a grande nonfat latte at $4.78 is costing you $1,243. Save that money and drink your coffee at home and imagine how good coffee will taste in your new home! (while admiring how good those savings look in your bank account!)

There are a TON of reasons you should stay in, or move to, the city that never sleeps.

Internationally renowned chefs and unforgettable dining experiences.

The swankiest rooftop bars.

The recent boom in a new kind of architecture, impeccably designed buildings developed by “starchitects.”

Endless opportunities to view world-class art, dining, and culture, all without leaving Midtown.

All the free outdoor activities offered by the city’s parks and recreation centers in the summer (not to mention being a mere hour away from The Hamptons).

The breathtaking views that will make you feel #LikeaBoss on top of the world (while jazzing up your Instagram profile!)

I can go on and on. Whether you’ve just graduated college, are looking to make a bold change and chase a dream, or just want to experience what it’s like to live in one of the best cities in the world, it’s time to pack. And when you’re ready to make that move, check out my guide to the top things you must know before you move to NYC.


Victoria Shtainer Headshot.jpg

Victoria Shtainer // NYC

Victoria is a veteran residential specialist in New York City, Miami, and The Hamptons for Compass Realty and one of their leading brokers. Along with her seasoned knowledge of the real estate market and twelve years of real estate litigation, buyers can benefit from her neighborhood expertise. Her in-depth experience with new developments enables her to visualize both the space and possibilities in terms of aesthetics and value. Her keen vision has benefited homeowners and investors alike and she has developed, litigated, and sold both commercial and residential projects in New York. Her specialities lie in luxury real estate, Miami and Hamptons real estate, as well as being a licensed attorney in New York State. She enjoys the pursuit of perfection and finding that diamond in the rough, and is a Pinnacle and Diamond award winner for Douglas Elliman. She is fluent in Russian.

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