Living in New York: How Much Does it Cost to Live in the Business Capital of the World

1:33 pm  |  18.06.2021

When you hear that New York is the business capital of the world, you don’t always know what’s behind those words. In terms of population, this mega-city can compete with any small European country – 8.86 million people live and work here every day. New York’s annual budget in 2019 was $84.86 billion.

Rental of Property

New York City housing needs to be taken care of beforehand. The immortal aggregators Booking and Airbnb, which we are used to traveling through Europe and Asia, do not work so well here. Anything you can find will be incredibly expensive. For example, a studio apartment in Brooklyn will be offered for $2,000 to $2,500 a month. And if you want a bedroom apartment, it’s worth $2,500.

Lease – a lease of a dwelling. It usually takes 6 or 13 months to provide income and credit ratings based on your Social Security Number in the USA (SSN).

SSN (social security number) is the social insurance number to which the entire economic life of a person in the United States is tied: payroll, tax deductions, fines, and health insurance, pension contributions, and credit history.

1 Bedroom – Apartment with 1 separate bedroom and living room. 2 Bedrooms, respectively – 2 bedrooms and so on.

In practice, it is cheaper to find an apartment. It costs $1,500-1,700 for 1 bedroom and $2,000-2,500 for 2 bedrooms. The apartment will be located in one of the boroughs of Brooklyn or nearby New Jersey. Both are perfectly acceptable, and you can travel from 40 minutes to 1.5 hours by metro to Manhattan – not long by local standards.

If you want to live in Manhattan, a private apartment will cost between $2,500 and 2,800 a month. It will be small and not in the best condition.

It is possible to get out of the situation by giving up the apartment in favor of the room or the place in it. Then the budget will immediately decrease 2-3 times. You can rent a room in Brooklyn and New Jersey for $500-1,000, in Manhattan for $900-$1,500. Room space will be even cheaper, starting with $350 in the suburbs and $450 in the heart of New York City.

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Finding a place in New York is easier if you:

– rent it for 12 months or more.

– you can confirm income.

– you already have an SSN.

In any case, an additional deposit of at least one month will be required. It is a guarantee that you will not run away after a month, leaving the keys under the mat and creating a loss for the master while he searches for a replacement. The deposit is returned in full at the time of the eviction unless you tampered with it and set it on fire.

The budget for buying your property in New York City’s suburbs starts from $500,000 to $650,000 for a good option. Houses in bad condition, which require major repairs, will be much cheaper, but repairs here are very expensive because of the high cost of human resources.

Public Transport

New York is a city for pedestrians. Here you can run a red light without even being signaled. Keeping a car here is expensive – repairs, parking tickets, fuel. So a lot of the immigrants who bought the car out of habit sell it very quickly.

The fastest and most popular mode of transportation is the Metro, which has its web in all corners of New York City from Long Island, where you can see whales in the summer, to the Bronx, where you can easily get into trouble at night. One trip costs $2.75, the number of stations is unlimited. It is advantageous to immediately buy a travel MetroCard, which will cost $127 for 30 days. They can be paid for on buses, but it is not very convenient to drive them.

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Taxis are good for nights, early mornings or commuting. In a taxi in Manhattan by day, you’ll be driving forever.

There are still a lot of traditional yellow taxis, but Uber and Lift, quite a dumping, occupy an increasing share of the market. Uber rates are about 2.5 times higher than Minsk rates.

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Lifehack: In New York City, Uber has a Pool option. This is the kind of travel format where your taxi becomes a router and collects passengers along the way. Such a trip would be $5-7 cheaper than the standard one.


New York City supermarkets have a consumer paradise that is hard to imagine. Each network will have many unique products or brands that can only be found there.

New York City multiculturalism enriches the choice so much that at first you feel very confused and by habit only buy chicken, pasta, and hard cheese. The quality of the products is decent and does not correspond to the stories about «plastic meat». The notation «NO GMO» and «ORGANIC» increases the value of the goods immaterially, while dietary food and vegan products cost 1.5 – 2 times more.

You can buy food for a week for one person for $50, $60. The consumer basket will include cheese, milk, greens, fruits, vegetables, cereals, meat. This will be sufficient to provide two meals a week – breakfast and dinner, and a full lunch on the weekend.

Lunch outside the house can be arranged within walking distance of any office. In New York City, both in the suburbs and in Manhattan, there are countless cafes and restaurants that have every cuisine, from Japanese to Russian. The popular cuisine is Chinese and Latino-American. Lunch in a Chinese or Mexican restaurant can be found for $9-10. It’ll be first, second, and drink. You can find a pizza on the corner for a dollar, and hot dogs for two or three dollars. You can’t starve to death with even the lowest budget.

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If you want a good burger or a steak, it costs from $25 to $35 or more.


They say that New York is the ideal place for immigrants, where you, even if you don’t know the language and being an illegal immigrant, can find a job on your first day for $15 an hour. But if you do come here to do business, it costs $50-80 an hour. If you are a highly qualified professional, you can expect a high salary.

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Interestingly, IT players in New York City don’t have the highest-paying jobs and earn $80-120 an hour. The average accountant who reports to the IRS makes $250 an hour here, and the same is not the most expensive lawyer – $450 an hour.

Multiplying in your head the hourly rate by the average monthly output, remember that we quote numbers without a tax deduction that can eventually reduce income by 30% or more.

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