Why I Choose To Live in The Land of the Overpriced (a.k.a NYC)

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For the holidays, I had two whole weeks off (plus a snow day). Normally, with so much free time on my hands, I would try to plan a trip somewhere warm and sunny. Well, now that I’m a little more frugal with my money, I decided to do a stay-cation and explore New York City a bit. I’ve lived here all my life but I’ve never done some of the more “touristy” things this city is known for.

My two weeks wandering around the city, getting together with friends and enjoying the good food really reminded me of how much I enjoy living here. Obviously, for someone who wants to save, living in a city with such a high cost of living seems stupid.  I see a lot of talk in the PF blogosphere about why it’s a good idea to move somewhere cheaper. But for me, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Here’s why:

1. I want to be close to my friends and family.

This is probably the single most important reason why I live in NYC – my friends and family. All of my family and most of my friends reside in the NY area. I’m at my parents house at least once a week and I’m in touch with my friends constantly. They’re a huge support system for me and I just couldn’t imagine living far way from away from them. Maybe I still have a some more growing up to do and maybe one day I’ll want to try living somewhere completely different just for the experience. But now and at least the foreseeable future, I’d like to call home wherever my loved ones are. It’s something you really can’t put a price on.

2. There’s a lot more career opportunities.

I work in eCommerce and even though I can’t really say I want to do it forever, I do know that at least for now, being in NYC really helps my career. I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today if I wasn’t living in NYC. The cost of living in NYC is a lot but I’m also making more than I would anywhere else. Another option for me would be San Francisco but that would be 3,000 away from my reason #1 and it’s pretty darn expensive there too.

3. There’s a little bit of something for everyone…all the time.

I like to explore and I’ve never been to a place that’s quite like NYC. There’s a little bit of everything for every one. There’s so much diverse culture, art and entertainment that I’m not sure if I would ever really be able to fully explore everything this city has to offer. There’s always a million and one things going on and while that can drive some people nuts, I thrive off that.

4. It’s very convenient. 

I love the convenience of being able to take the subway everywhere I ago, grab a bit to eat 24/7, or watch a movie at 1 am. Yes, a bit unnecessary but I love it.

It’s kind of hard to write down every single thing I love about NYC but I think that’s my top four. I get what I pay for in some case and in other cases, I don’t. It does get really expensive, particularly rent, and I’m always amazed by how much something can cost, like a plain ol’ cup of coffee. At the same time, I think NYC can be affordable if you just do your research. For instance, some of the neighborhoods in the outer boroughs can be much cheaper (rent, groceries, everything) and still be right on a subway line…which can get you into the city in 20 mins. The great thing about NYC is that there are so many options, which can certainly get overwhelming but still, options are nice to have. I really do think it’s possible to live in NYC and not go broke. You just have to be smart about it.

If you don’t live in NYC, would you ever consider it? If you do, what do you love about the city?


  1. says

    I would love to one day visit NYC but I could never live there. Not because it’s so expensive (which would be hard) just because I was born and raised in the country. City living just isn’t for me.

  2. says

    I don’t think it’s stupid that you live in an expensive city – you have some great reasons for doing so. I think it would be silly to move to a place like NYC “just because,” but being close to family and friends and living in a place that is good for your career right now are solid reasons. Personally, I agree with Alexa.. I’m not sure I could live in New York, simply because I grew up so very differently: Southern and country 😀

  3. says

    I can completely understand wanting to be close to friends and family. I’m a little sad that my family seems to be planning on moving in all different directions, with my parents moving down south, one of my aunts wanting to go to Colorado, and the others either going upstate or to Florida. I live out on LI and I don’t think I could live in the city, mostly because it’s so busy! I don’t really like the crowds. I go to visit every once in a while, but it doesn’t have much allure for me. If you enjoy it and make it work, that’s all that matters.

    • Connie @ Savvy With Saving says

      The crowds definitely get overwhelming sometimes. I try to stay away from areas like Times Square.

  4. says

    I’m here for similar reasons: friends and family. Sometimes I do wonder how much better off I’d be financially if I lived in a lower cost area though. I work in government and for the same position upstate in a much lower cost area, I would be paid $3000 less a year. But a house would be MUCH cheaper! When I was complaining with my sister about wanting to move out of NYC, she said the same as your #4…she loves that it is the city that never sleeps and that she can have any type of food at anytime. True…I love that too…but sometimes I’m not sure that it is worth being in the land of overpriced!

    • Connie @ Savvy With Saving says

      Definitely agree about the housing – it’s so expensive. I could literally buy a house with all cash somewhere else but I choose to live in NYC. Sigh…

  5. says

    Preach! New York City is amazing!

    And it can be done well while being frugal also. So many places to explore in the city and such a vibrant culture. In my 20s, it was like I didn’t have to leave the social aspects of college behind while still growing as a person.

    I love it here.

  6. says

    NYC is great for if you visit as a tourist or if you have a lot of money to spend. Otherwise, I found it wasn’t the city for me (I balked at the prices).

    I lived in Manhattan about 2 blocks from Central Park, paying $5000 a month in rent (v. close to work), and I chose that location to be sure rather than being somewhere uptown or in Chinatown, but even so.. it was not amazing.

    After a month or so, the city bored me in that if I did not have money to spend, it was not really that fun. I have the same (perhaps better) experience living in Toronto than I do in NYC, particularly with the way the U.S. healthcare system does not work, an immigration/entrenched slavery mentality prevalent in most corporations and so on and so on.

    I wrote about my experiences here: Why I moved back to Canada from the U.S.

    I also lived in Dallas and Miami, so I had that perspective as well.

    Overall, NYC is a great city to visit as a tourist for a few weeks to shop and enjoy yourself but to actually live there? No thank you.

  7. says

    NYC used to be my dream city to live in when I was younger, but right now I don’t think I want to live there. First of all, I have to be close to my mom and I don’t want to move her to be close with me wherever I go. Secondly, I have severe fear of birds and there are too many pigeons there. It’ll be a nightmare for me every day. Thirdly, I feel suffocated in the city with all the cars and people around. As much as I used to want to be a city girl, I’m a suburb girl now. But I still like visiting there with so many things to do, watch, and eat.


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