What Is The Cost of Living In New York

What Is The Cost of Living In New York
New York City is generally considered the most expensive place to live in America. Get informed about moving, living & working in New York. We discussed each areas of living, including housing, food, transportation and more, and also shared tips to reduce your cost of living.

How do people live comfortably in costly cities while not making up to six figures? With more than 8 million people reside in New York City, I guess that a certain percentage try to figure it out. Are they all living outside their means, piling up credit card debt and living the expensive life for the chance to be seen as a New Yorker? The truth remains that living in New York City is costly.

Before the paycheck of an average New York resident get to the bank, they are paying out some of the most expensive taxes in the United States, with costly taxes on the local and state level.

If you are looking to move to New York, the costs listed here will help make a good decision on the costs that are associated with moving and living in NYC.  

Housing Costs in New York City

The expensive cost of living in New York City begins with its costly housing market. A report from Apartment List in March 2019 shows that the average rent for a 2-bedroom apartment is $2,499 in NYC. Studio and 1-bedroom apartments are charged at $1,889 and $2,098 per month, respectively. Demand for accommodation is also very high and it’s gone once advertised.

Monthly rental prices in NYC

  • One-bedroom apartment in City Centre over $2000
  • One-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre over $1400
  • Three-bedroom apartment in City Centre over $4000
  • Three-bedroom apartment outside the City Centre over $2,176

Prices of Home Purchase in New York City

  • The price per square meter (10.7 sq-feet) to purchase in City Centre is $8,488.05.

The price per square meter (10.7 sq-feet) to purchase outside City is $3,229.17.

Housing Cost Comparison in NYC

Below is how rents in NY compare with cities all around the world.

How to Save on Housing Costs

Share a home:

Unless you have enough money, you probably will have to share an apartment with a minimum of one roommate. Sharing a room is a cheaper alternative.

Check these sites to find your ideal roommate: NY Habitat, Brick Underground, Metro Roommates, New York Apartment, and June Homes. Our guide on how to find a roommate through Street Easy is also helpful.

Different locations, different prices:

NYC is a city that contains five boroughs, including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The cost of living in an individual borough and inside each borough is significantly different.

The most expensive of them all is Manhattan while the cheapest housing is found in The Bronx. It is important to take a careful look into each area before you pay for anything.

Cost of Food in New York

Groceries, as reported by Numbeo.com data from May 2019 in New York City often cost around $471.34 per month, per individual. For the United States in general, the average is about $150 lesser, at $324.20.

NYC is surely popular for its great restaurant scene, and people who decide to eat out often will see their food budget increase. Many reasons add to the expensive cost of food and produce in NYC.

Maybe the most consideration is that food selling companies are forced to pay huge costs for commercial leases and employees’ wages than in other parts of the nation. Food delivery can also be much difficult in Manhattan because it is a crowded island. 

  1. Cheap Restaurant: $12 to $25
  2. Takeout Coffee: $3.00 to $5.00
  3. Bottle of Coke: $1.25 to $3
  4. 1L (1/4 Gallon) of milk: $0.79 to $1.52
  5. Loaf of Bread: $2.20 to $5.50
  6. 12 Eggs: $2.40 to $4.89
  7. 1kg Chicken: $6.59 to $17.64
  8. 1kg Beef: $6.61 to $24.25
  9. 1kg Apples: $2.43 to $8.82
  10. 1kg White Rice: $3.31 to $8.80

Below is the comparison of food and restaurant prices with other major cities across the globe

Extra Tips for Cheaper Restaurants, Food, and Groceries

Know your supermarkets:

There are many standalone grocery stores and normal supermarket chains in New York. Residents tend to storm the local store on their way home from work rather than waiting till the weekend to carry huge shopping on the subway.

Some of the common markets include Trader Hoe’s, Best Yet Market, Whole Foods Market, Union market (ideal for instant home catering), and Fairway Market (nice selection of food at reasonable prices). For many of you, who have enough budgets; check Dean & Delucca as well as Citarella gourmet Market.

Find Cheap Eats:

There are numerous places to find cheap eats in New York. It is usually great to locate queues at street vendors or outside restaurants. You can also find them at Buzz Feed, Grub Street, Trip Adviser, Huffington Post, and Refinery 29.

Cost of Utilities in New York

Whether you are a renter or buyer, you will have to pay for the cost of utilities. The median basic utility package for a 915 sq-ft from 2019 May data from Numbeo.com in New York is $145.55. That includes water, heating, garbage, electricity, and is around $7 lower than the country’s average for one month of basic utilities ($152.02).

The per-month cost of internet in New York is almost the same as the rest of the nation. In New York, expect to pay $62.77 against $62.50 which is the country’s average

Cost of Clothing, Gym, Personal Items, and Leisure

There are four different seasons in New York. The coldest month is January and it has an average temperature of 36 degrees F (2 degrees Celsius) and chances of snow.

The hottest month is June with an average temperature of 77 degrees F (25 degrees Celsius) and where it is still hot overnight. May is the wettest month and there are about 4.5 inches.

Below are some prices of clothing, together with some other great prizes. 

  • Toilet Paper (4 rolls): $3.68
  • Gym membership: $25-$130 per month
  • Movie (cinema) ticket: $13-$16
  • Pair of Jeans$35 to $80
  • Summer Dress: $25 to $65
  • Running Shoes (Trainers): $60 to $100
  • Business Shoes: $75 – $200
  • Short Doctor’s visit (15 mins): $184
  • Deodorant: $3.83
  • Shampoo: $5.56

Taxes in New York

Regardless of your location in the State, you will be charged federal and state tax. To know more about each tax in the States, visit USA taxes, Tax.NY.gov, and Immihelp. The cost of sales tax in New York is 8.875% and is charged on most goods and services.

In general, the price you find on an item doesn’t carry sales tax. If you are a homeowner, you will be taxed on your property depending on our neighborhood and the size of your property. Find out more on property tax at NYC.gov.

Entertainment Cost in New York

If you still have some money after you’ve paid for your housing, food, and transportation, then you may want to look into enjoying yourself. Well, it will cost you. For movie lovers, the average price for entering into a movie in Midtown is $15.25 as reported by Value Penguin.

New York is popularly known for its sports teams, also. If you decide to catch New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets game, expect to spend an average of $87 and $190, respectively. Baseball lovers can watch Mets and Yankees games.

There is a report by Statista regarding the 2018 season that the average ticket at Mets was at $27.60 and Yankee at $47.62. New Yorkers sure have many options for cheap entertainment.

Normally, on the weekend nights, the subway spots all over the city turn to stages for different kinds of musical performances. Whether you are up for hip hop, jazz, or the blues, there is surely something for you to enjoy.

New York Alcohol Costs

There are more bars in New York than any other city in the universe. Bars are one of the locations of New York where people attend parties, have a drink with friends, or have a calm drink on their own, all are welcome.

  • To get a Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a supermarket, prepare $1.00 to $3.00
  • Get a Bottle of imported beer at a supermarket at $1.25 to $4.00
  • To have a Pint (0.5L) domestic beer at a restaurant/pub, prepare  $5.00 to $7.00
  • Have a Bottle of imported beer at a restaurant/pub for $6.00 to $9.00
  • Get a Mid-range bottle of wine at a supermarket at $7.00 to $15.00

How to drink for a cheaper price in New York

  • Watch out for local papers and websites to get specials on the weekends and public holidays.
  • Most bars and restaurants have post-work specials. Visit Alameda from 5 pm to 7 pm where you can purchase a burger and beer on boquerones and prosecco at about $12. You can get a shot of beer for $7 between 4 and 7 daily at Allswell. If you prefer wine, check Amelie between 5om and 7 pm and get a glass of wine for $6. Get more ideas from Time Out and Four Square.

New York Transportation Fares

The majority of New York residents make use of the subway and buses to commute around the city. The New York subway system is the world’s largest when you take measurements using the number of stations. It operates 24 hours every day. Buses are normally used for small hops, like transporting from shop to shop.

Below are some example costs of the ticket.

  • Adult Single Metro: $2.75
  • Monthly season ticket, unlimited: $116.50
  • One day ticket:$5.50

How to save money on public transport

  • If you live near your workplace, try walking.
  • Purchase a Metrocard and get 11% extra on each $5.50 spent
  • Purchase an Unlimited Metrocard: $31 for one week travel
  • Purchase a bike. Based on where you reside and work, cycling everywhere in the city may be an option.

Costs of Moving and Shipping to New York City

Here are some examples of 2019 costs of shipping containers to New York City from other huge world cities. Just don’t forget they are just a reflection of the shipping part of the cost and not the entire moving cost.

  • Canada(Vancouver): over $1,505
  • Dubai: over $2,493
  • Singapore: over $2,563
  • UK(London): over $1,155
  • Australia(Sydney): over $2,735
  • Ireland(Dublin): over $1,293
  • New Zealand(Auckland): over $3,207
  • Hong Kong: over $1,598

Read How Much Does It Cost To Move In New York

Other Tips for Moving to New York

The costs as well as price, as well as pricing, should provide you a clear idea of the cost to live in New York but the extra tips here will ensure your move goes smoothly.

Moving to New York Alone

Moving to any location can leave you with a lonely feeling, but moving to another city, especially a large one as New York can be so much overwhelming. Below are a few tips about settling down in New York when you move alone.

  • Meetup: There are many meet-up groups in New York covering varieties of activities from quiz nights to the arrangement of flowers.
  • Attend local events: There is often something happening in New York and most of the activities are free. Check out these websites to receive inspiration on things to do when you are free: Travel US, Trip Adviser, and Time Out.

Moving with a Family to New York

There are many things in New York to draw families. Among them are shows, museums, ice skating, sailing, swimming, art galleries, plays, and Central Park.

  • New parents (or expecting parents): Look into New York Family for courses, advice, and how to meet other parents or expecting parents.
  • Live in a family-friendly neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights (Brooklyn), Forest Hills (Queens), parts of Staten Island as well as Riverdale (Bronx) are famous with families as there is enough green space for children to play in. If your budget allows it, families will enjoy living in the Upper East and West Sides because they are located in Central Park.
  • Look for things to do with your children: There is everything for children in New York. Check My Little Nomads, NYC Go, Time Out, and Mommy Poppins.

Moving for Work in New York

Moving to New York for work is certainly one of the highly famous reasons people decide to move. Although it is possible to relocate without a job, it is sensible to make sure there are jobs in your profession before you embark on the move. Wall Street and some financial institutions call New York home.

There are employment opportunities here but the competition is so strict. The hospitality and service professions also employ many numbers of people in the state. A lot of people say that there is a lot going on in New York, there is always a job for you.

Things to consider when moving for work:

  • Salary: Salaries are high in New York. The costs we provided above should provide you an insight into how much you will want to earn to ensure the move is worth it. You also can look into salary ranges on websites like Payscale and Glassdoor.
  • How to get employed: If you decide to have job opportunities lined up before your move to New York, but are confused about where to start, the sites here are your best bet to start: Craigslist, Monster, Snag a Job, Career Builder, and Indeed. You may also want to look up recruiters on Google particularly in your field, as they can usually be of help and get you some first interviews too.


We hope the tips and costs discussed above are helpful for your New York move. If you want to start to price the cost of your New York move, you can begin by making a moving quote comparison from our top state-to-state movers.