New York City is the dream city for many. It is the city woven into a web of multiple cultures, races, creeds, lifestyles, languages, and beliefs. Truly cosmopolitan in character, one will be dazzled by the glitters of the city but also find a homelike environment in its multicultural society. Such quality is rarely found and is highly cherished in the student community. No wonder numerous students from all over the world pack their bags to travel all the way to the city. But, howsoever dreamy the city may be, living here can jerk you out of your wonderland.
Undoubtedly, New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Even those who have been living here for years would agree that survival in the city requires more than just money. You are expected to be smart with your lifestyle as well. The burden is crueler on the shoulders of the students most of whom are already getting pressed down under heavy debt. So, what can be done?
There are a few things that can help alleviate some burdens. If you are a student or will be a student in New York City, this article could be a life-saver.
- You NEED a roommate
Housing prices go through the roof in the city. Even for a single bedroom apartment, you will end up spending way more than you imagined. In the city, you will find most students sharing accommodation. Splitting bills can help you spend away your time in the city with less difficulty. There are also dorms and hostels which you might want to take up.
- The location needs to be chosen wisely
Bewitched by downtown Manhattan? Great, everyone is. But, a wise man would avoid living in the area because it is killing expensive. In fact, students prefer to live in neighborhood spots that are cheaper, less crowded, and more accessible. Manhattan being the center of the city is very well-connected with most parts of the city so you really do not have to worry about anything. Washington Heights, Weehawken in New Jersey, and Astoria in Queens are quite sustainable spots for students.
- Mass Transit Options are Cheaper
Cabs are ridiculously expensive to hire and must only be resorted to if there’s no other option. The city has a well-developed mass transit system which is budget-friendly and accessible from most places. Whether it is the metro or the bus service, you can save more if you switch to them. There is another option and that is to get yourself enrolled in a bike-share program. Just find out whether your area of residence is a Citibike accessible area and you can avail the benefits under the said program.
- Cook Food
New York City has all kinds of food options and you can explore all kinds of cheap street options. However, eating outside most of the time could greatly affect your health, and you should know that healthcare does not come cheap in the United States. It is advised that you cook at home which will help you save more. You might think getting a cheap sandwich from a local shop on the way to college would not hurt your budget, but given time, you will realize these small expenses will bulk up and become quite significant. For drinks, try going to bars when happy hours are ongoing which allow you to get your cocktails at half a price.
- Saving on recreational activities
Student life is also about fun but the fun is not always cheap. In New York City, you can get to engage in recreational activities at low or no cost provided you choose the right options. For example, many of the city’s museums are entirely free though there may be some with voluntary contribution tag on them. Free roller skating classes are available during summers. You can jog around Central Park without having to spend on fitness classes. Many attractions are free of cost such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the World Trade Center Memorial, State Island Ferry for Statute of Liberty, etc. Once you have stayed long enough in the city, you will know the way around.