- The cost of living in Manhattan is more than double the US average.
- The NYC cost of living is so high partly due to its exorbitant housing market — the average rent for a Manhattan apartment is $3,667.
- The real estate market in New York City has gotten so expensive that many buyers are forgoing apartments in the sky for basements underground, according to a recent New York Times article
Underground apartments are becoming so popular that a pilot program is in the works for the creation of legal basement and cellar apartments in East New York, Brooklyn.
The cost of living in New York City is at least 68.8% higher than the national average. If you live in the city center, however, it’s even worse. The cost of living in Manhattan is more than double the national average.
After housing, the number one expense for most Americans is transportation. For car owners, that’s the cost of buying, maintaining, insuring, fueling and storing their vehicle, and for public transit users, that’s the cost of a transit pass (and maybe a good pair of shoes).
For car owners in New York, the number one cost may be parking. According to Colliers International, the average parking rate in downtown Manhattan is $533 per month. That’s more than twice the rate in other expensive cities like Los Angeles and Honolulu. While parking is less expensive in other parts of the city, like Brooklyn and Queens, you can still expect to spend at least a few hundred dollars per month to keep your car in a lot or garage. (Street parking is available in many areas, but requires frequently moving your car to avoid costly tickets.)
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.
Eating out in New York City is even less affordable. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant in New York costs $15, and a meal for two at a moderately expensive restaurant costs $75. Those prices are 50% and 67% higher the national averages, respectively. Your best bet may be to eat at one of the city’s many food trucks, although even those can be expensive. Of course, if you’re spending a lot on food, you can help yourself out by using a good rewards credit card that provides cash back or extra points for restaurant and grocery store purchases.