Have Fun in NYC While Spending Less

When you have to work two part-time jobs plus master your side hustle, all just to make rent, going out and having fun in the city that never sleeps can seem impossible. So, why even live there?

It can be hard to leave your apartment when everything seems to cost money, but it’s all about knowing how to find the most affordable ways to go out in New York, and Bedly supports you, too! With affordable housing and short-term leasing options, no credit check, only first month’s rent and one-month security deposit required, as well as a friendly customer service staff ready and willing to help at all times, they want to make living in NYC as accessible and enjoyable as possible. You’ll be hard pressed to find a landlord who gives an ounce of sympathy about your social life.

Even though New York is expensive, there are incredible options for saving money while having fun!

Trader Joe’s Wine + Beer. If you don’t already shop at Trader Joe’s, I can tell you-you’re spending too much money on groceries. With six locations in NYC, even if you’re a subway ride away, it’s worth it.

There’s only one location, though, that has the Trader Joe’s Wine Shop: Union Square. Trader Joe’s brand of wine called Charles Shaw, better known as “Two Buck Chuck”, sells at a whopping $2.99/bottle. They even sell boxed wine now for $12.99, less than half the price of the typical $26.99 boxes you’ll find at any other wine store. Not a wine-o? No problem! TJ’s also carries beer and liquor at cheaper prices, too! There’s really no excuse not to go unless you have problems with large crowds and waiting in line. But then, why do you live in NYC?


Comedy Show at Upright Citizens Brigade. See where stars like Amy Poehler, Abbi Jacobson, Ilana Glazer, Kate McKinnon, Donald Glover, Ellie Kemper, Zach Woods, Nick Kroll, Aubrey Plaza, and more got there NYC start. With shows typically around $5, it’s a great way to spend your night and see what new hilarious talent is rising to the top of the comedy scene!

Movie Pass

New York has some pretty amazing movie theaters. I about fainted the first time I walked into AMC Lincoln Center to find multiple floors, escalators taking you to the top, and the largest theater I’d ever sat in watching the bad guys in Batman plot to take over Manhattan and destroy the subway lines and bridges. Not the best first movie to see right after moving to the big city, but I was too enamored by the theater to care.   

If you’re a movie buff or just looking for a fun way to get out of your apartment and not spend half your paycheck in one night, then I highly recommend Movie Pass. For $9.95/month you can see three movies, buy any additional tickets at a discounted price, and receive special invites to premiers and screenings, a potentially huge perk while living in NYC.


$1 pizza. Need I say more?

Purchase an Unlimited Metro Card. If you find yourself taking the subway more often than not, the Unlimited Metro Card will be the best bang for your buck in terms of transportation. A monthly unlimited costs $121 (at least 44 rides per month, or 22 round trips to break even) and a 7-day unlimited costs $32 ( at least 11 rides per week to break even). It can honestly save you a lot of cash and any New Yorker will tell you to go for it.


Use your student ID. Save money on food, museum entrances, and more! Salon and beauty spots often offer a student discount on packages, and so do more retailers than you would think. Apple and Microsoft offer discounts on particular items, the Yankees and Mets offer student tickets to games, the Metropolitan Opera and Lincoln Center have student prices for shows, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal even offer a student discount on subscriptions. So flash that  student ID for some major cash savings!

Food trucks. There are lines outside of them for a reason. No, they aren’t gross. Yes, they are delicious.


NY Public Library or Strand Bookstore. Books are expensive, so why spend money on them? The NY Public Library (main branch on 42nd Street behind Bryant Park) is not only an iconic landmark. It’s also a great place to spend an afternoon, particularly a rainy and chilly one. The reading room has a 52-foot high ceiling, chandeliers and massive windows, brass lamps, and is filled with large wooden tables and comfy chairs, perfect for pouring over research material, indulging in your favorite book, or writing your heart out on your laptop.

If you find yourself in Union Square, peruse the $1 books at Strand Bookstore. A class NYC bookstore, you’ll see New Yorkers with their canvas bags labeled “Strand” all throughout the city. Known for having “18 miles of new, used, and rare books”, it’s the perfect place to find a cheap gift, a new journal, or preorder the new release from your favorite series. You can even sell old books there, too! If you’re looking to buy, check out Strand and support the NYC local fave.


Happy hour food and drinks. If you’re like the rest of NYC, you probably enjoy meeting up with friends after a long day of work and hitting up your local bar between the hours of 4-7 for cheap drinks and food. Most bars offer some serious discounts on well drinks, draft beers, and house wines, making the money spent worth it. There are often times a happy hour food menu, too, so you can fit your dinner in with a few $5 apps and be good to go for the night!

Thrift store shopping. New York City has some of the best thrift store shopping in the states. With people of all backgrounds and cultures wandering the street, it’s impossible to not end up with funky, stylish finds wherever you go. Buffalo Exchange is a great resource for hipster fashion, but I guarantee you can find something incredible from the local donation store in your hood. Cue “I wear your grandma’s clothes, I look incredible”.


Ride the ferry to Staten Island. See the Statue of Liberty completely for free and without the swarm of tourists! You don’t even need to get off at Staten Island (although if you’ve never been, why not make a day of it?). It’s a pretty cool way to see New York from the water and get a glimpse of Lady Liberty up close.

Whether you have a birthday to celebrate, friends visiting, or are wanting to get your workout on, don’t let the big city prices scare you off. You’ve saved money already by leasing with Bedly, so take advantage of NYC and it’s affordable options for fun!

Photo credits in order of appearance: Thrillist, Cnet, Spoiled NYC, NY Post, NY Public Library, Racked


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