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How to afford a NYC apartment

By Teri Karush Rogers | August 15, 2011 - 7:56AM 

Sure, you could get a better paying job or take in a roommate in order to afford your pricey NYC digs. Or you could adopt some of the clever and not-so-painful-really austerity measures we recently ran across in an UrbanBaby.com discussion, such as:

  • Drink office coffee.
  • Buy a car without financing,  garage it in Harlem ("save tons that way") or park it on the street, then run it to the ground.
  • Don't buy anything from China ("If it's made in China, I put it down and walk away. I've been doing this for a year, and I have almost entirely eliminated frivolous spending. I've saved 35k more than I did the year before, and our income is still the same. Give it a try.")
  • Google for coupon codes before buying something online. ("It works about half the time.)
  • Live in a smaller space. ("That lower rent has been the best thing to ever happen to us.")
  • Rent out your apartment each summer for the month of August and go on vacation. ("We charge about 7k per month- all expenses included- as our apt. is a small 3 bedroom it can sleep 6.")
  • Don't get pregnant. Alternatively, don't have an extra child just so that your existing one won't be lonely.
  • Public school.
  • Leave 20 minutes earlier and walk everywhere.
  • Bring water from home instead of buying it.
  • Drink only tap water and coffee made at home. Almost never buy bottled water, soda, teas, coffee, etc
  • No takeout, almost no restaurants, eat at at home or bring lunch to work and on long outings. Buy vegetables through a CSA and eat (or freeze) every single thing you get. Don't buy prepared foods (eg Fairway deli stuff).
  • Use a window fan and/or ceiling fans instead of an a/c.
  • Shop in the off season ("I buy designer winter coats in March, summer clothes in August, and frequent thrift and consignment shops. ")
  • Schedule date night during the week instead of the weekend ("Much much cheaper to pay my nanny for a few hours of overtime than bus in another sitter.") 
  • Stop comparing your lifestyle to other people's. ("Makes me live within my means.")
  • Color your own hair.
  • Shop Fresh Direct to cut down on impulse buying.
  • Sign up for Amazon Mom and Amazon Prime. ("now addicted to the free Amazon Prime and getting things such as toiletries, diapers and grocery items at a big discount & shipped free. Love the subscribe & save.")

(UrbanBaby.com)

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