How to afford a NYC apartment

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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 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.")


Related posts:

15 lessons for first-time renters

I am a New Yorker and I want my $19,000 back

16 Things I Have Learned Since Moving to Manhattan

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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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