13 Hacks for Living in NYC

So you just moved to New York City. You’ve already cut costs and stress by leasing through Bedly, avoiding the rental disaster of losing out on money by paying unnecessary broker fees, and you even saved additional cash by moving into a fully furnished unit. There’s no need to stop there, though, when it comes to saving on finances! You can still experience all the entertainment and fun of the city without breaking the bank.

It’s common knowledge that New York City requires a high income in order to, well, live. Especially if you want to live comfortably. According to Time.com, NYC has the second highest cost of living in the nation (just behind San Francisco). Fear not! If you want more from the city than a small apartment to hibernate in, then follow these city hacks for saving money.

Apps. This one can be a huge money and time saver. Check to see if any restaurant you frequent has an app. Oftentimes if they do, they’ll offer an initial discount on purchases or a discount or reward when you spend a certain amount of money. Make sure you ask around to see if your friends have a discount code to use, too! Some of my favorite apps are:

  • Via, or any rideshare service. With Via, you get $10 of ride credit when you use a friends code, and they get $10 too! It’s typically $5.95 for one person anywhere in Manhattan. That number goes up to $7.95 for two people, and sometimes changes depending on the borough you are in or traveling between. Either way, it’s almost always cheaper than any other car transport service. Just make sure you leave enough time to get to wherever you need to be, as Via usually makes stops to pick up other riders. It’s how they keep costs so cheap!
  • Lottery and Today Tix for Broadway shows. The Lottery app allows you to enter for discounted lottery drawings daily for shows, or you can purchase discounted tickets for various shows in the city using Today Tix.
  • Dig Inn and Sweetgreen are great when you’re on the go and trying to be health conscious. You can order ahead, and when you spend a certain amount of money, you get a free credit which usually equates to a meal!
  • Starbucks (for when you can’t make it to your local coffee shop). You can also order ahead using the app. A perfect option when you’re in a rush! You’ll receive a free drink or food item when you reach a certain amount of points and one on your birthday as well.
  • Hooch is great if happy hour drinks are your thing! You pay $9.99/month and receive a free drink every day.
  • Groupon is amazing for discounts on anything and everything. Whether you are purchasing material items (clothing, iPad, luggage set) or a service (haircut, massage, dance lessons), Groupon most likely has it.

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Follow your favorite businesses on social media. Instagram, in particular, seems to be the platform that many businesses are turning to in order to promote a sale or contest. My friend recently re-posted a photo from a newly opened egg sandwich shop in mid-town…and won a free egg-sandwich! It’s the little things.

Purchase tickets to shows and events ahead of time. Yes, there will probably be a service fee, but prices can drastically increase if you wait to purchase at the door.

Free fitness classes. No need to pay a cent to get your sweat on (but if you do, check out Groupon first!). There are countless free workout classes offered throughout the city. A quick google search will provide you with dozens, but some of my favorites include Peloton (boutique cycling studio. Three to five free classes offered daily Monday through Friday), classes at athletic wear stores (Athleta and Lululemon often host classes in-store or nearby), and Shape Up NYC (offers a wide range of free fitness classes all over the city).


Restaurant Week. You can sample some of New York City’s best cuisine but at a fraction of the price. There are even some Michelin-starred restaurants that make the list! Check out these restaurants for an incredible start to your dining journey.

“You’re only as happy as your commute.” Time is money, my friends, so make sure to rent in a neighborhood you want to be living in. Bedly has units in a variety of amazing neighborhoods, so you’re sure to find a nice balance between your commute and your sanity.

Live with roommates. At least at the beginning. I lived in a studio apartment with my best friend for a year while we became familiar with the city. People thought we were crazy, but we were young and almost never home. During our first year we saved money while figuring out our place among the chaos of NYC.


Use Craigslist to outfit your apartment. Just make sure you follow these guidelines.

Don’t pay for a haircut. Salonapprentice.com offers free haircuts if you volunteer as a hair model. Keep in mind that a stylist-in-training will be cutting your hair, and make sure to be clear before booking the appointment about what you’re open to in terms of cut and color.

Pre-game before your night out. Drinks in the city are outrageously expensive, so purchase one drink to sip on at the concert instead of downing several $15 Coors Lights, all because you got your buzz on beforehand. If you’re really looking for a steal, Trader Joe’s wine is only $2.99 at the wine shop in Union Square!


Fruit and Veggie stands. You can’t walk several blocks without coming across one, and they always offer cheap produce. Be sure to have cash handy!

Free museum visits. Almost all museums in NYC have a day or time frame when you can enter for free. For instance, on Tuesdays there is free admission to The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, Wednesdays are pay-what-you-wish at the Frick from 2-6pm, and Fridays are free at the Moma from 6-8pm! Beware of the crowds, though. There could be lines to get in, so arrive early. For a complete list of museums and their free admission policies, visit NYC Go.

Shop second hand. Head over to your local Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, or other thrift stores in NYC for clothing needs. Seeing as New York has some of the best fashion styles in the world, don’t be surprised when you find that second-hand blouse that eerily resembles the one worn in NY Fashion Week last season.


You saved a ton of money by leasing with Bedly. Don’t stop there! Keep your finances in order by following life hacks while navigating New York City. Sometimes you CAN have your cake and eat it too!

Photo credits in order of appearance: Adweek, A Sweat Life, One Class, The Odyssey, Looking Fly on a Dime


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