Ballin’ on a Budget in NYC

Okay, so you have decided that you are moving to NYC. Congratulations! It’s a fun city with countless things to do and you’re going to absolutely love it. Unfortunately, living in the city can be pretty expensive, especially if you’re starting your career post-graduation. Most entry-level positions don’t pay very well, so you most likely won’t be able to afford to go out every single night. This is why budgeting is so so important – not only creating your budget – but STICKING WITH IT!

When creating your budget, you must take into account all of your expenses (food, transportation, student loans, utility bills, entertainment, as well as personal expenses) in order to survive. Now everyone’s budget will be different. Some people like going out to eat, some people like shopping, some people prefer taking a taxi everywhere. We’re going to break down the process of living in NYC step by step. We’re here to give you a general idea of how much things are going to cost, as well as tips and tricks on some really easy ways to save money!

Step 1. Breaking down your budget

  • It’s important to break down your budget into different sections – rent, food, personal expenses, etc.
  • Use an excel spreadsheet to stay organized!
  • *Pro tip* as for rent- if you already have an apartment in the city, include rent in your budget. If not – create a general budget of everything else. After creating a budget for how much you’ll be spending on everything else, then you can decide what you can afford to spend on rent!

Step 2. Set a spending limit

  • Create a spending limit for each section of your budget
  • Examples:
    • Food – $100/week
    • Coffee – $20/week
    • Personal Expenses – $75/week
    • Utilities/Bills – $100/week
    • Entertainment – $100/week
    • Rent- $900
  • This will determine your total budget and help you stay on track – anything left over you can either save or use as you choose!

Step 3. Managing your budget

There are so many ways to manage your budget and it all depends on what you choose to spend it on

  • First, take into account the necessities (anything you can’t avoid paying for) such as bills, utilities, rent, metro card, etc.
  • THEN, you can decide how much you want to spend on everything else – food, coffee, shopping, going out, etc.
  • Track how much you spend each week to make sure you’re not overspending!

Step 4. Find ways to save!

  • There are so many different ways to save money living in the city! Here are just a few websites/apps that show you some awesome ways to save big $$
  • Here you can find a link to some really helpful tips from Chase Bank’s blog called TheSkimm.
  • Check out this Buzzfeed Article for smart tips on living in NYC on a budget
  • Mint blog has tons of different articles on budgeting and you can also download their app!

Here’s an article by Forbes that has 7 tips for budgeting – there are also links to other budgeting articles!

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