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How to live cheap in Manhattan

You would love to live in Manhattan but you can’t afford it! Wait for a second! There are ways to live cheap in Manhattan. Here is how.




Living in the Big Apple certainly has a unique appeal to it that is hard to resist. Because of that there is a hefty price tag hung on living in Manhattan. Many feel that living in Manhattan justifies living in financial instability. All the benefits and fabulousness outway this very important con. However, the good news is that there are habits that you can implement in your everyday living that will help you save some of your hard-earned money. There are ways to live cheap in Manhattan.

Live cheap in Manhattan by changing some of your money spending habits

Spending your days in the Empire State of mind can be financially challenging. Especially during your first year in Manhattan. This is the time when you are just starting to learn the lay of the land and it is easy to get financially burned because unfamiliarity is all around you. Even if you aren’t a rookie of Manhattan living, it is easy to get carried away. So, let’s see can any of our tips help you find financial balance.

a light blue credit card being used while attempting to live cheap in Manhattan.

Have a budget in place

For the best money-saving results and spending tracking, you should have your budget in place at least one month in advance. The easiest way to make changes and track your financial obligations is by using a spreadsheet. Though, you can use whatever means of tracking you prefer. All your possible expenses must be noted. For instance, if you plan on relocating during the next month you should mark that cost on your monthly budgeting plan. Such a big expense can certainly seriously set you back. Of course, there are ways to move without breaking the bank, but it is still a large cost.

Track your spending

Having a budget in place is only a small part of what you are trying to accomplish. You can not live cheap in Manhattan while spending away. To avoid such a scenario, you must meticulously track where your money is going. The same spreadsheet or platform can be used, that you already use for your budgeting. Note receipts and see how the expenses accumulate. Very soon you will have a good idea are you on the right track. If you are going overboard on your spending, you will still have a clear picture of where your money is going. With such clarity it should be much easier to decide where do you need to make those necessary cutbacks.

Food purchases can be a bank account assassin

Stores like Dean & Deluca that are more on the expensive side shouldn’t be found on your grocery list. Instead you should direct your grocery shopping towards smaller local stores that have significantly lower prices. Purchasing groceries in bulk is also a great way to buy cheaper food. Yet, if you do not religiously cook that food might go to waste. Consequently, you will end up losing money. So, you wouldn’t really live cheap in Manhattan, but the opposite. The decision that you make should depend on your habits. The more you start saving, the more you will feel your stress levels being reduced.

purchased groceries unpacked on a surface with a receipt next to them.

Cook as often as you can when trying to live cheap in Manhattan

This is a bit of tricky advice to follow. There are so many great snack bars, restaurants, and coffee shops in Manhattan that it is very easy to slip up. This is where your self-restraint really comes into play. Buying a simple sandwich and a drink can easily cost $10 or even more. On the other hand, when cooking at home you can make a delicious meal for 5 bucks or less. This might sound like pocket change, but over time this will add up to a nice amount of money being saved. Certainly, you should indulge yourself once in a while by going to a restaurant or a bar. Having a social life is important. In the meantime, keep in mind that those frozen margarita tabs add up even during happy hour.

pasta, tomatoes, and basil laid out next to a kitchen towel and a wooden cooking spoon.

Living with a roommate

Surely one of the biggest expenses on your monthly budget plan will be your rent and utility bills. Splitting them in half sure sounds great! This is very doable especially in Manhattan where roommates are an everyday thing. You should be careful when choosing a person that you will share your space with. Very easily things can go sideways if you aren’t careful. Your best bet would be to share your living space with a friend you already know. Also, when attempting to live cheap in Manhattan, many have decided to relocate to Brooklyn. Rents are much lower, while still being only a subway ride away from Manhattan.

Embracing and practicing good habits

Living cheap in Manhattan might sound like a mission impossible. Yet, many residents of this world-famous island manage to pull it off. The once that succeed in such living all have two things in common. They are very disciplined, and they are accustomed to practicing money-saving habits to the point that they don’t even think about it anymore. It will sound challenging, but once you master it you will be doing it all without even feeling it. After all, if living in Manhattan is your number one priority, you might not have a different option but to start managing your finances.