8.5 Million Americans Cope With the NYC Cost of Living

‘The Big Apple’, the ‘City that Never Sleeps’, ‘So Good They Named it Twice’ – any city that attracts so many nicknames clearly has something out of the ordinary about it, and New York City is perhaps the most iconic of them all. Frank Sinatra sang about it, and Woody Allen’s 1979 masterpiece Manhattan might be hailed as the film that invested the romcom, but more importantly it is surely the only movie where the beauty of the city manages to upstage the plot and the actors.

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Unique? Check. Iconic? Check. Expensive? You bet. The average price of a rental property is more than $3,000, and as for buying – don’t even think about it, fewer than 20 percent of New Yorkers are homeowners.

But look again – the population of New York City is around eight and a half million. That‘s more people than live in the next three largest cities of the USA put together. If living in the Big Apple is your dream, you have the comfort of knowing it is clearly doable. Sure, the cost of living is high, but one of the benefits of living in the 21st century is the possibility of opening lines of credit and managing your finances with greater flexibility.

There are plenty of rumors about the cost of living in New York. Let’s take a look at the facts behind the hype.

A place to live

The biggest contributor to NYC’s cost of living in is the housing market. According to one rental site, the average rental costs $3,100. The good news, however, is that is actually $100 lower than it was this time last year. Of course, that includes all the suburbs. If, like Woody Allen, only Manhattan will do, then prices are around 30 percent higher, In Central Harlem, on the other hand, the average is around the $2,000 mark and in The Bronx, $1,800.  

As we suggested earlier, buying is not an option for most New Yorkers. The average price if a home is $455,000, but again, bear in mind that this covers the entire New York Metro. Looking again at our two extremes, the average in Manhattan is $850,000 and The Bronx is $370,000.

Other costs

Housing might be the biggest cost, but it is not the only one according to Moneybanker. Transportation is the second largest – the average parking spot in Manhattan costs more than $500 per month. Beyond that, everything from a Big Mac to a tank of gas costs at least ten percent more in the Big Apple. Need a new pair of Nikes? Buy them in New York and they will cost $96, compared to the national average of $77. A pair of leather work shoes is an even bigger difference. The average cost across the USA is $85. In New York City? $143.

Eyes Wide Open

So it’s an expensive city. But you already knew that, right? The key to life in the modern age is to be honest with yourself and everything is possible. So if New York is the place for you, prepare your budget, make a plan, get the finances in place and go do it. After all, 8.5 million people can’t be wrong!

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