Lifestyle, NYC Life

How Much Does It Cost To Live in New York City?

So you want to live in New York? This post answers a lot of questions that I get on daily basis. New York is a great city to live in but at the same time, is notorious for being extremely expensive. The cost of living in New York City is at least 68.8% higher than the national average. Scary, right?


Everyone needs somewhere to live so there is no way of getting around paying rent in New York City.  Our home is our sanctuary and the one place we can chill out and get some privacy which is especially important in NYC so you really want the best you can get.

If you follow me on Snapchat (StephanieOQ), you’ll know I recently moved apartment. I live in Chelsea, which I absolutely adore. Getting the perfect apartment in Manhattan is impossible, so you have to settle for a handle of imperfections and tell yourself that’s what makes your home have ‘character’.

For a room in Manhattan, sharing with at least one other person, you’re looking at approx $1,100 a month, if you are VERY lucky and can live in a small space, without a door, without air-conditioning, or something else randomly strange.

Typically, you’ll pay between $1,200 a month and upwards for anything half decent. The average cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in some major cities compared:


According to the Council for Community and Economic Research, groceries in New York cost between 28% and 39% more than the national average, depending on where you live. So, if you spend $200 per month on groceries living somewhere else in the country, you’ll spend something more like $260 when you move to New York.


I don’t drink so I guess I am not the best person to explain the cost of alcohol but after some research, I found a cocktail in Tao, a nightclub in the city, costs $18.  Staying at the HYATT Hotel, perhaps? A beer will cost you $12 and a cocktail, $26. I guess no rounds then?

Phone charges

The cheapest plan with AT&T is $40, in comparison to the cheapest plan with Three Mobile which is €20 and contains 2 extra G of data.

If you come here on a J-1 visa, you usually get a package with a discounted rate. In my case, I need 4G all the time so I pay a substantial amount per month.

Subway card

The percentage of people in New York City that actually own a car is extremely low. According to the census in 2009, only 8.7% of New Yorkers actually own a car.

So, the subway system is the main mode of transport for most of the 9 million people in the city, so what are the costs of getting you from A to B?

  •  $2.75/ride
  • $116.50/month
  • $31/ 7 days

To be honest, I feel that the cost of the subway is definitely worth it. The monthly card means its unlimited usage. Petrol, insurance, and upkeep of a car equate to being costly and more hassle.

Day-to-day expenses

  • Coffee:  $4.13 (At FIKA, a popular coffee shop)
  • Cinema ticket: $17
  • Lunch: $9.18 (A wrap at FIKA, a popular coffee shop)
  • Almond milk: $7

I’m sitting in a cafe as I write this. I just paid $16 for a coffee and a glass of milk (including tip). Shocking that this is the city I live in.

So there we have it. New York IS crazy expensive but the considerable jump in a professional wage received in comparison to that in Ireland makes it achievable. I have heard even bartenders and waitresses get colossal money in tips. Either way, if you’re in New York, you have to be working to the bone to survive and if you earn a lot of money, life can be very good.

Feel free to message me with any questions on Snapchat (StephanieOQ), Instagram, Twitter or via and THANKS FOR READING!

5 thoughts on “How Much Does It Cost To Live in New York City?

  1. Really enjoyed your post. Wow the cost of living is very high in NYC. I have been several times on holidays and found it to be one of the more expensive places to eat , drink have coffee etc. However if you go into New Jersey for something to eat the costs drop considerably. Love your posts keep them coming.

    1. Thank you so much Michelle! Yes it is, but I guess these places always come with a high price. Must give NJ a try sometime for a little day-trip. Thank you so much for reading! Stephanie XO

  2. Such a great post steph ??, your new blog is great and a credit to you. Love watching your snaps and seeing how far you’ve come and grown since school and it’s amazing, congrats on all you success and upward movements.

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