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6 Tips for moving to New York on a budget

November 23, 2021

Considering the fact that New York is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, the prospect of moving there on a budget can be daunting. Though it’s certainly not an impossible feat. Moving to New York City can do wonderful things for your career, not only that, but it really can’t be beaten in terms of diversity, culture and nightlife. Moving there, even on the strictest of budgets, can be done, so long as you are honest with yourself about your financial status and, realistically, how you can afford to live. In this post, we’re detailing some of the best tips to keep in mind when it comes to moving to New York on a budget, from considering monthly rentals, to creating a budget that you’re confident you can stick to.


Month-to-month rentals are a great option for those moving to New York for the very first time, and who are still adjusting to their budget. Living in New York is unlike any other, and although you can make all of the necessary preparations, it can be hard to gauge your day-to-day spending until you’re thrown in at the deep end. Renting month-to-month means you don’t have to make the same level of commitment as a year lease, or even a six month lease. It also helps you to get a feel of the area to see if it’s right for you. Generally speaking, this option should always be available, but if in any doubt, double-check with the landlord.

2. Don’t even think about living alone

Living with other adults can be hard, there’s no doubt about it. However, cutting your rent in half or even in thirds will more than make up for the inconvenience. If you’re on a budget and moving to New York for what is perhaps the first time, trying to live alone can be challenging, and unless it’s financially feasible, it could really sour your experience of living in the city.

3. Get rid of most of your belongings

Space doesn’t come in abundance in New York City, so it’s probably a wise idea to get rid of all of the belongings you can live without. For example, you won’t need to bring your old sofa with you if you’re moving into a furnished apartment. As well as helping you to declutter your life and start afresh, selling your old items can help with the costs involved in moving to NY.

4. Ship the rest of your belongings

Once you’ve cleared out the majority of your belongings, ship the rest to your destination to make your big move to New York that little bit easier. Luggage shipping companies offer a welcomed alternative to transporting your personal belongings to your new home. You can wave goodbye to excess baggage fees on your flight, and you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank to hire an out-of-budget removals company. Booking with a luggage shipping company means that your belongings can be collected from your old address and delivered straight to your new home in New York City. It’ll be a weight off your mind – literally.

5. Budget your expenses

One thing you’ll have to adapt to pretty quickly when you move to New York is budgeting your expenses. It’s the best way to know exactly what you have coming in and out, and will help you to keep your spending in line. Take a note of everything, from your accommodation, to your utilities, to your internet, and any other regular monthly outgoings you might have. Ensure that you lock a certain amount of your paycheck to these fixed expenses so that you don’t accidentally fall behind with any of your payments. Once it’s all clearly laid out, then you’ll know exactly how much you’ll have left to have fun with, or to put away for a rainy day.

6. Practise being frugal

Once you’ve settled in to your new life in New York, actually living in New York on a budget means practising the art of being frugal, but that certainly doesn’t mean that you have to pass on all of the fun things the city has to offer. Enjoying yourself in a city such as New York certainly shouldn’t be contingent on the amount of money that you spend. Learn to cook and save money by preparing your own meals instead of eating out. You could even invite your friends over for dinner. It’s fun, sociable and you might just find a new passion in cooking. As well, look for cheaper alternatives when it comes to activities. The beauty of New York is that you can find an abundance of things to do for free, like exploring central park, exploring landmarks or visiting museums. Living in NYC on a budget certainly doesn’t have to be a financial struggle. So long as you’re smart with your spending, you can make it possible.

Written by Stuart Cooke, Blog Editor at UniBaggage.com a door to door luggage delivery service that helps expats send their belongings to their new destination safely and easily.

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