Jump to content

NYC Cost of living.


Guest zipperzone
This topic is 5506 days old and is no longer open for new replies.  Replies are automatically disabled after two years of inactivity.  Please create a new topic instead of posting here.  

Recommended Posts

Guest zipperzone

Just curious. Perhaps some of our members who live in NYC could answer this one for me.

 

How much annual income (or monthly for that matter) would one have to have (before taxes) in order to live a comfortable life in The Big Apple?

 

Not talking Park Ave, just a decent apt in a decent neighborhood and the average level of clothes, meals and entertainment.

 

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 41
  • Created
  • Last Reply

>Not talking Park Ave, just a decent apt in a decent

>neighborhood and the average level of clothes, meals and

>entertainment.

 

While I don't live in NYC I've travelled there enough and have enough friends there that it seems to me that rent is really the main expense in NYC. Well that and parking a car if you chose to have one.

 

There is of course tons of VERY expensive food, clothes and entertainment. But also lots of the same priced stuff as elsewhere. Sometimes cheaper, maybe because there is so much competition and liquidity in the markets. A meal for two CAN cost $200 yet I see modest delis and cheap food everywhere. The fact that one doesn't need a car and in fact can walk to almost anything is certainly a money saver. NYC Taxis seem the same or cheaper than most cities.

 

And while the sky is the limit for entertainment it seems like there is so much to do that is free from people watching to art shows to free concerts. One would certainly never need cable TV!

 

My NY friends who have lived elsewhere never complain about prices except rent. Though I know a few folks that have surprisingly affordable rents one or two subway stops from Manhattan into Brooklyn or Queens.

 

R

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rent for a decent sized place in one of the good neighborhoods runs around $3000 or so. More if you want luxury and a doorman, less if you're willing to live in a walk-up or less desirable hood. Of course if you luck into a rent stabilized place (what the rest of the country calls rent controlled), that is cut by maybe two thirds.

 

Assuming away a car also saves on gas, repair and insurance. An unlimited subway pass is I think $76 a month. A taxi is maybe $10 per ride.

 

Health insurance is quite high out here (at least compared to what I was used to in SF); I think that's a function of the state law requiring companies to insure everybody regardless of pre-existing conditions.

 

In addition to federal and state income taxes, there's also a NYC income tax.

 

You'd want enough left over to make living in NYC worth it (whether that means theater, nightlife, opera or what ever else floats your boat).

 

Rent aside, I really didn't find my expenses went up all that much compared to SF (not a cheap city in itself). To live well, you'll want to send your laundry out (few apartments have washers and dryers) and your groceries delivered (we assumed away the car), so that adds up a bit. There are great, affordable restaurants so eating out doesn't have to break the bank.

 

Forget your weekly runs to Target and Sam's Club; so expect to pay more for some of the basics.

 

All tolled, $100k sounds low to me.

 

Kevin Slater

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Those one to two stops make all the difference between walking out right into the streets of Manhattan and needing to go down to the subway and face the perils and inconveniences that is entailed there. Once you are on the train it is not so bad but the wait and the cost of the daily communte now becomes an issue.

If you figure you should pay about 1/4 of your income for housing, then for a basic one bedroon apartment in a nice neighborhood not

great and a nice building, elevator no doorman, is about about 2000 to 3000 per month 30000 per year for rent 120,000 for a nice life with nothing to show for your 30000 a year. House in the 'burbs and the inconvenience of a commute lies on the other end of the scale.

You can get a small one bedroom apartment for $400-500 K. There will be a maintenance fee with that so figure another $1000 a month but at least you own.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everything is different in NYC. If you can take care of housing somehow, you have it made. Transportation is virtually free -- $76 per month for a pass which gives you unlimited access to subway and buses. I take public transit during the day and early evening, but always taxis at night. Still MUCH cheaper than keeping a car. Food is also different. Cook at home, deli for lunch, etc., is quite cheap. Eating out is as much as you want to spend. There are restaurants for EVERY taste and budget. Clothes? There is a niche for every look. You can do rummage sales and someone will think you're chic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would pretty much agree with those who say that rent is what makes NYC (especially Manhattan) expensive. Of course, if you must maintain a car, that will cost you a lot more than many other cities. Property insurance and local taxes are also higher than in most places. Other than those expenses, NYC is no worse than most other large American cities. I know people who manage on a lot less than 100K/yr, but they live in the apartments which they bought or rented many years ago (I paid $18K for my last co-op apt. near Lincoln Center--how I wish I had never sold it!).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>if you must maintain a car, that will cost you a lot more than many

>other cities.

 

In Manhattan, you'll pay more rent for a parking space than you will in most major cities for an apartment.

 

About 15 years ago, I was sitting around a table with come colleagues who lived in major cities and we were comparing rent.

 

A guy who lived in mid-town Manhattan and was raising 5 kids said "I pay $900 in rent every month!"

 

We were all so dumbfounded we couldn't process what he'd just told us, and when he realized it he said "oh, I own my condo! That's for my parking space!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest zipperzone

>A guy who lived in mid-town Manhattan and was raising 5 kids

>said "I pay $900 in rent every month!"

>

>We were all so dumbfounded we couldn't process what he'd just

>told us, and when he realized it he said "oh, I own my condo!

>That's for my parking space!"

 

Holy crap! You can take a lot of cabs for $900.

 

Thanks for the imput, guys.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kept a car in Manhattan because it was the only reasonable way to get to where I worked on Long Island. And like thousands of other New Yorkers, I parked for free on the streets, but I think that is more difficult to do now than it used to be, when warehouses were warehouses and had not been converted into condos full of people with BMWs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to add to my previous estimate of $250K to lead a decent life style: Most of us who live fairly well here have owned our apt or have had a lease on a rental for a very long time. Coming in as a newcomer, you'll have to pay something exorbitant. The upside of this is that, if you hold on to it, you'll consider yourself to have a great deal in a couple of years. The market here seems to just go up.

Forget about a car. You don't need it and it's hideously expensive to maintain and park. On the rare occasion you need to go to the suburbs (most Manhattanites have no reason to go often), you can rent. Car rentals are pricey too, but you can rent 3 or 4 times a month for what it costs just to park in a garage.

I think most of the estimates on here are way too conservative. It depends somewhat on what you call living decently though. If you can deal with a very small apt without a doorman or elevator and plan to do your own cooking and not go out very often, then you can get by on less. But I assume that like most people who live here, you want to be in New York to enjoy what it has to offer that no place else in the country has -- theatre, opera, nightlife, etc. Once you make a circle of friends you'll find that they mostly go out together rather than gather at someone's apt. So the temptation spend money on entertainment is huge.

Besides all that, you'll need to put money away for the future, retirement, etc, whether you plan to stay here or not. So my estimate is for an ok, not glamourous, lifestyle, that's not scrimping by.

Good luck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While everyone seems to be concentrating on taxis and parking spaces, let me add a "born in NYC, still living in NYC" point of view.

 

Some say that 100K is the base wage to live in NYC and I agree that if your ambition is to live in Manhattan, 100K is a good starting point. If 100K is not in your wage range, then you have to start thinking about Plan B. Many are now searching for apartments in the boroughs of Manhattan and finding that living away from midtown isn't as bad as it seems. There are wonderful neighborhoods all over the city that offer somewhat more attractive and reasonable rents. Yes, you're going to pay a lot, but nothing in the Manhattan market ranges. If you have the time and the inclination, you can search and perhaps find that illusive bargain in a Manhattan location, but it will take a lot of time and effort.

 

I live on a fixed income and the era of the six figure income is long behind me. I am fortunate enough to have a rent stabilized apartment in a great Manhattan location, but the days of finding these places are long gone. Everything is market rent, so expect to see prices for studios start at $2500 a month in Manhattan.

 

I have learned that you can economize here in Manhattan. While we don't have the convenience of Target and Wal-Mart, Manhattan does have two K-Mart locations (Astor Place and 34th St.), and if you are inclined, there are Target's, Lowes, etc. available in the boroughs or in Jersey City just a short train ride away. Home Depot has two Manhattan locations.

 

Stores like TJMaxx, Loehmanns, Burlington Coat Factory and other discount retailers are a boon for those seeking brand names for less. There is no need to shop high-end retailers in NYC, unless you have the money to do so. Often, Macy's will off substantial discounts (up to 50%) off during holiday sales events (Presidents Day, Xmas, etc), so a wise shopper waits till the time is right before making a purchase. TJMaxx offers great bedding (sheets, pillows, mattress covers, towels) and substantially reduced prices and the highest quality brand names, so no need to even walk into Bed, Bath and Beyond on the first floor, take the escalator directly to the second floor. Let's not forget the NY street vendors! I buy the majority of my hardcover books from street vendors who sell all the latest fiction and non-fiction books for more than 50% off the cover price, and no tax!

 

We here in the city do not need cars and it's a waste of time and money to have one. As previously stated, the public transportation system in NY is the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to move around town. Also, when necessary, a pair of feet can be very effective. Doesn't anyone walk anymore? If you need to visit someone in the burbs, try MetroNorth, the LIRR, or NJ Transit. Express buses run from almost all borough locations into midtown, day and night.

 

There are other ways to spend less and enjoy the city. Most of the theater tickets I purchase are with discounts (sometimes up to 50% or more) available from Playbill.com, or TheaterMania.com. By going directly to the box office I save all those annoying Ticket Master surcharges. Other discount websites offer cultural or sporting event discounts (Check out GoldStar.com). Find a friend or contact with access to TDF and you're able to get the cheapest theater offerings. While I haven't found any movie discounts, sometimes the NY Times or other newspapers offer free promotional tickets. There are free concerts in the parks during the summer and Shakespeare, too. The Metropolitan Museum of Art only “suggests” that visitors make a donation, so those on a severe budget can still enjoy the museum for a small donation.

 

Groceries can be a problem, but, again, buy and stock up on staples in K-Mart or some other large retailer. Laundry does not always have to be taken out to a launderette. Most buildings have machines available in a laundry room or basement location. Finally, you can eat out at a reasonable prices in Manhattan. It doesn't always cost $200 for a dinner for two. Every year, NYC has a Restaurant Week and the finest restaurants offer price-fixed meals for under $35. There are many local neighborhood restaurants offering lower cost alternatives, and don't forget the pre-theater specials at many HK restaurants. Finally there are Manhattan locations for the Olive Garden, the Outback, Red Lobster, and I just heard that I-Hop is coming to Times Square!

 

I hope this New Yooork point of view helps.

 

ED

Link to comment
Share on other sites

edjames.. I do totally agree with you! As a "Born and Raised" New Yorker, your take on things is exactly how the Few of us left that aren't "transplants" do feel.

 

Those who choose to Live the "Deep Pocket Life", some do sadly find out that their pockets weren't as deep as they thought!

 

After about a year of living in NYC (Manhattan) The First thing to go..The Car, which they realized they could live without.

 

Unfortunately the "Suit's" do get taken to the Cleaner's at the NYC Cleaner's! As far as Laundry goes...The Washer & Dryer's aren't Rocket Science! HaHa

 

Those that do live the "High Life", you like the Tourist's, we Original's do Thank! Without your Spending, it would cost us probably that much more to live in The Greatest City in The World!

;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will be interesting to see what happens with NYC real estate over the coming years. I bought a small coop studio apartment in 2000 for $225k and sold it two years ago for just under $500k. That apartment was only 480 square feet, and I thought I was cashing out at the peak of the market, but today it is worth even more. Real estate is crashing down in the rest of the country, but here things are up and up.

 

NYC is unfortunately becoming the playground of the rich and famous. There is virtually no alternative/bohemian/artist subculture life left here any more. The city is more bourgeois and boring, more oriented exclusively to business and banking every day. Every block, every corner, has a Starbucks and a bank and a drug store--or two or three of each. And all the avenues are being filled with high-end, high-rise apartments that are just plain hideous--not a drop of interesting architecture in the lot of them. And now the big stores--K-Mart and Homo Depot and Target are arriving. I really wish all this hideous crap had stayed out in the suburbs where it belongs. American capitalism is rapidly turning New York City into an ugly strip-mall with a bridge and tunnel system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest zipperzone

>>Holy crap! You can take a lot of cabs for $900.

>

>Yep, but not so easy with a wife & 5 kids in tow. ;)

 

That would NEVER be my problem :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>While everyone seems to be concentrating on taxis and parking

>spaces, let me add a "born in NYC, still living in NYC" point

>of view.

>

>Some say that 100K is the base wage to live in NYC and I agree

>that if your ambition is to live in Manhattan, 100K is a good

>starting point. If 100K is not in your wage range, then you

>have to start thinking about Plan B. Many are now searching

>for apartments in the boroughs of Manhattan and finding that

>living away from midtown isn't as bad as it seems. There are

>wonderful neighborhoods all over the city that offer somewhat

>more attractive and reasonable rents. Yes, you're going to

>pay a lot, but nothing in the Manhattan market ranges. If you

>have the time and the inclination, you can search and perhaps

>find that illusive bargain in a Manhattan location, but it

>will take a lot of time and effort.

>

>I live on a fixed income and the era of the six figure income

>is long behind me. I am fortunate enough to have a rent

>stabilized apartment in a great Manhattan location, but the

>days of finding these places are long gone. Everything is

>market rent, so expect to see prices for studios start at

>$2500 a month in Manhattan.

>

>I have learned that you can economize here in Manhattan.

>While we don't have the convenience of Target and Wal-Mart,

>Manhattan does have two K-Mart locations (Astor Place and 34th

>St.), and if you are inclined, there are Target's, Lowes, etc.

>available in the boroughs or in Jersey City just a short train

>ride away. Home Depot has two Manhattan locations.

>

>Stores like TJMaxx, Loehmanns, Burlington Coat Factory and

>other discount retailers are a boon for those seeking brand

>names for less. There is no need to shop high-end retailers

>in NYC, unless you have the money to do so. Often, Macy's

>will off substantial discounts (up to 50%) off during holiday

>sales events (Presidents Day, Xmas, etc), so a wise shopper

>waits till the time is right before making a purchase. TJMaxx

>offers great bedding (sheets, pillows, mattress covers,

>towels) and substantially reduced prices and the highest

>quality brand names, so no need to even walk into Bed, Bath

>and Beyond on the first floor, take the escalator directly to

>the second floor. Let's not forget the NY street vendors! I

>buy the majority of my hardcover books from street vendors who

>sell all the latest fiction and non-fiction books for more

>than 50% off the cover price, and no tax!

>

>We here in the city do not need cars and it's a waste of time

>and money to have one. As previously stated, the public

>transportation system in NY is the fastest, easiest and

>cheapest way to move around town. Also, when necessary, a

>pair of feet can be very effective. Doesn't anyone walk

>anymore? If you need to visit someone in the burbs, try

>MetroNorth, the LIRR, or NJ Transit. Express buses run from

>almost all borough locations into midtown, day and night.

>

>There are other ways to spend less and enjoy the city. Most

>of the theater tickets I purchase are with discounts

>(sometimes up to 50% or more) available from Playbill.com, or

>TheaterMania.com. By going directly to the box office I save

>all those annoying Ticket Master surcharges. Other discount

>websites offer cultural or sporting event discounts (Check out

>GoldStar.com). Find a friend or contact with access to TDF

>and you're able to get the cheapest theater offerings. While I

>haven't found any movie discounts, sometimes the NY Times or

>other newspapers offer free promotional tickets. There are

>free concerts in the parks during the summer and Shakespeare,

>too. The Metropolitan Museum of Art only “suggests” that

>visitors make a donation, so those on a severe budget can

>still enjoy the museum for a small donation.

>

>Groceries can be a problem, but, again, buy and stock up on

>staples in K-Mart or some other large retailer. Laundry does

>not always have to be taken out to a launderette. Most

>buildings have machines available in a laundry room or

>basement location. Finally, you can eat out at a reasonable

>prices in Manhattan. It doesn't always cost $200 for a dinner

>for two. Every year, NYC has a Restaurant Week and the

>finest restaurants offer price-fixed meals for under $35.

>There are many local neighborhood restaurants offering lower

>cost alternatives, and don't forget the pre-theater specials

>at many HK restaurants. Finally there are Manhattan

>locations for the Olive Garden, the Outback, Red Lobster, and

>I just heard that I-Hop is coming to Times Square!

>

>I hope this New Yooork point of view helps.

>

>ED

 

 

Ed,

 

Thank you very much for your summary of the way to live in NYC. And while NYC would be a great place to live because of all the opportunities you list for things to do, all the negatives take NYC right off my list. There are just too many sacrifices I'd have to make for a lower quality of life than I have currently. This also takes Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Seattle,and Chicago off my list too.

 

I guess I'll sign this "Content in the Suburbs"

 

Gman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Tom that the NYC isn't what it was and the arrival of the big box stores is surely a bad thing. But I think he overstates things. There still are lots of independent and unique stores and even fun, funky and interesting art though I guess much has moved to the other boroughs. But the last time I went between Brooklyn and Manhattan it took like 5 minutes by subway or a 10 minute bicycle ride or 20 minute walk over the Williamsburg bridge. Okay sometimes the J train does seem really unbearably slow. (Whats up with that?)

 

I thought one of the reasons to live in a real city or town was that one can live cheaply and NOT need to go to those awful big box stores.

 

Raul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

New York City has alway's been about change. Some Good Some Bad, but Time does march on!

 

Raul as far as the "J" Train goes, 15 year's ago you wouldn't have ridden it, to get to now Fashionable Billyburg, unless there was a "Cop" in the same car! So some things have improved in My City! LOL ;-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...