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Housing, food, utilities, transportation: how much does life in New York cost


Lyudmila Balabay

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New York is one of the most expensive cities in the United States to live in. But the idea of ​​prices in the metropolis is greatly exaggerated, since many are guided by Manhattan, where the cost of living is truly exorbitant. In other areas of New York, such as Queens and Staten Island, the cost of living is significantly lower than in Manhattan, although it is still higher than the US average. Edition Investopedia calculated how much life in New York costs based on 2020 data.

The amount of money required to live in New York depends on many factors. The most important of them is which part of the huge metropolis you choose to live in.

The analysis below shows the average cost of rent, utilities, transportation and food in different parts of New York City. Keep in mind that these numbers are averages, and your personal spending on these items may be higher or lower depending on your personal circumstances.

Average rental price in New York

As of the end of 2020, the average rent in New York was $ 3 per month (this is not a specific type of apartment, but the amount that most tenants in the city pay).

The ranking by district is huge here. For example, the average rent in Soho is $ 5; in the Financial District - $ 301; on the Upper West Side - $ 4. On the other side of the list are Bedford Park and Williamsbridge, where rents are just over $ 142 a month.

Utility costs in New York

In New York, the climate provides four full seasons. Summers are very hot and humid, while winters are snowy.

Due to the changeable climate in the city, the amount of your utility bill also varies depending on the season. From late May to mid-September, high electricity bills are possible due to the constantly running air conditioner. And from November to the end of March there will be a large payment for heating.

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The median New York City utility bill for a 915 square foot (85 sq m) home is $ 146,26 per month (as of December 2020).

How much will food cost in New York

The cost of food in New York is slightly above the national average. Due to the vast supply, mass-produced goods (bread, cereals and canned food) are cheap in the city. However, prices for fresh organic produce (beef, poultry and milk) are very high in New York. As of December 2020, a gallon (almost 3,8 liters) of milk cost an average of $ 4,50, and a pound (450 g) of chicken fillet cost $ 6,16. A loaf of bread, in contrast, costs $ 3,40, which is inexpensive for the US.

Depending on your diet, you can spend anywhere from $ 400-500 per person per month on groceries in New York. But in order to fit into this amount, you need to buy certain goods in bulk, cook at home and not go to restaurants.

Travel costs in New York

Most New Yorkers live without cars. Firstly, the metro is developed in the metropolis, and secondly, there is a shortage of parking spaces, so parking costs a lot of money. Constant traffic jams are an additional argument in favor of the metro.

A single metro ride costs $ 2,75, or you can get an unlimited monthly pass for $ 127.

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If you choose to take a taxi, the average cost per mile (1,6 km) is $ 3.

Thus, on average for a month of living in New York, you need $ 3 (housing) + $ 074 (communal) + $ 146 (groceries) + $ 450 (subway pass) = $ 127.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage in New York was $ 63 per year (799 data, latest official figures available), or $ 2018 per month.

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