If you google “How to live in NYC on a budget”, you’ll be greeted with countless articles written by a bunch of recent college grads who think that settling for $6 happy hour beers is considered “slumming it”. They’ll give you groundbreaking tips like “try to eat at home”, and “take the subway”, as if we were unaware the New York has public transportation.
The whole living with roommates trick isn’t really a trick anymore. If you live in Manhattan by yourself, I assume you’re a Pharaoh. Everyone here has roommates, so that’s why you got to take it a bit further to stretch that dollar even more. Here are some things that I do:
I live with a middle aged man who sleeps in the living room
Is moving in with a man I met on Craigslist a horrible mistake that will eventually lead to my body being found in the Hudson River? Probably, but every man has a price. Mine just so happened to be $1200/month rent in Midtown with all utilities included.
Anyone is a doorman if you have a big imagination
Technically my apartment building does not have a doorman per se, but the homeless woman who sleeps outside the lobby is quite outgoing. She’s a living example of “you’re never truly dressed without a smile”, even if that smile is running a bit light on teeth.
I’m addicted to riding the subway. My Metro (Boomin) Card is my best friend. I’ve spent most of my time here so far underground, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m Master Splinter except I don’t have a tale (yet). King of the rats. Thickey Mouse.
I haven’t hailed a cab yet, and that’s probably a good thing. The last time a young charismatic man with brown hair hailed his arm straight out, we ended up being down about 6 million people. Don’t want history repeating itself.
Two words: One dollar slices. Can I survive solely off $1 slices forever? I’m not sure, but definitely. Every time I walk past a $1 pizza sign, I feel like I’m losing money if I don’t buy a slice. It’s basic opportunity cost, or something like that. I didn’t come here to play school.
The thing about $1 slices is that I now measure the price of everything buy how many slices of pizza it could get me. I bought a monthly subway pass for $120 yesterday, and all I could think about was how I could have purchased 120 slices of pizza instead. I actually think this is a real example of opportunity cost. Ignore the last paragraph. Not to brag but I did get a B- in Macroeconomics freshman year of college. Clearly it shows.
I’ve also been buying fruit off the street for suspiciously low prices. I bought two bananas for a dollar this morning. Is that normal? I sincerely don’t know since I’ve never purchased fruit in my life. Like you know how incredibly rich people don’t know the price of common goods since they themselves never buy them? That’s how I am with fruit.
Also the sales tax here is at a minimum, 175%. Didn’t we fight an entire war over that inconvenience? You know what’s worse than getting taxed on tea? Getting taxed on 5 Guys. People focus on the injustices of the Vietnam war, but until the sales tax here is lowered, Paul Revere died in vein. Ben Franklin got Chlamydia for nothing.