What is the Cost of Living in New York, USA?

The City that New Sleeps is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the world. Living in New York is like a dream come true, but it comes with a price. It also is the world’s largest financial center and a generally consider the world’s most expensive city to live in. To be more precise, it is considered one of the top 10 expensive cities to live in; it’s cost of living index 100.00.

The GDP Per Capita is $63,900 and the average monthly salary per month after tax is nearly $4600. Almost nothing in New York comes without a price and even a simple meal will dig a hole in your wallet. Although living your life in New York is exciting and like a dream come true, but for the most part, you will have to work hard to earn the lifestyle it provides.

Food in Restaurants

  • Meal for 1 People, General Restaurant – $20.00
  • Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course – $80.00
  • McMeal – $9.00
  • Domestic Beer – $7.00
  • Imported Beer – $8.00
  • Cappuccino – $4.00
  • Coke/Pepsi, 0.33 liter bottle – $2.00
  • Water, 0.33 liter bottle – $1.00


  • 1L Milk – $1.10
  • A loaf of Fresh White Bread – $4.00
  • 1kg white rice – $6.30
  • 12 Eggs – $3.30
  • Local Cheese 1kg – $15.30
  • Boneless Chicken Breasts 1kg – $13.00
  • Apples 1kg – $6.50
  • Banana 1kg – $2.10
  • Oranges 1kg – $5.70
  • Tomato 1kg – $5.80
  • Potato 1kg – $3.50
  • Onion 1kg – $3.00
  • 1 head Lettuce – $2.20
  • 1.5L Bottle Water – $2.40
  • Bottle of Wine – $15.00
  • Domestic Beer – $2.10
  • Imported Beer – $2.60


  • One-way Ticket – $2.70
  • Monthly Pass – $120.00
  • Taxi – $1.80 per kilometer
  • Taxi 1-hour Waiting – $30.00
  • 1L Gasoline – $0.80
  • Volkswagen Golf – $22,000.00
  • Toyota Corolla – $20,522.00


  • Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, etc. for 85m2 Apartment – $143.00 per month
  • 1 min mobile tariff – $0.09 per month
  • Internet for Unlimited Data – $61.00 per month


  • Fitness Club for 1 Adult – $87.00
  • Tennis Court Rent – $40.00 for one hour
  • Movie – $16.00


  • Kindergarten – $2335.00 for 1 month
  • International Primary School – $37,238.00 for 1 year


  • 1 Bedroom Apartment in City Centre – $3,147.00 per month
  • 1 Bedroom Apartment Outside of Centre – $1,977.00 per month
  • 3 Bedrooms Apartment in City Centre – $6,554.00 per month
  • 3 Bedrooms Apartment Outside of Centre – $3,364.00 per month
  • 85 m2 furnished accommodation in City Centre – $3,640.00 per month
  • 85 m2 furnished accommodation in Outside of Centre -$2,910.00 per month
  • 45 m2 furnished studio in City Centre – $2,980.00 per month
  • 45 m2 furnished studio in Outside of Centre – $1,970.00 per month
  • Price per m2 to Buy Apartment in CIty Centre – $15,270.00
  • Price per m2 to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre – $6,190.00
  • Cleaning – $23 per hour

Personal Care

  • Medicine such as Tylenol, Frenadol, Coldrex etc. for a week – $7.00
  • 12 doses of antibiotics – $14.00
  • Private Doctor for 15 minutes – $145.00
  • 50ml Deodorant – $4.00
  • 400ml Hair shampoo – $7.00
  • 4 rolls of toilet paper – $3.60
  • Toothpaste – $2.00
  • Haircut in expat area – $28.00

Purchasing a House

  • Average Monthly Net Salary – $4,539.00
  • Mortgage Interest Rate  – 4.20% per year

Housing Cost

Property Space is very expensive in New York; many would rather spend their rest of their lives living in a rented apartment that to buy an apartment.

How cheaper is rent in other places

  • London – 30.00% cheaper
  • Los Angeles – 33.00% cheaper
  • Toronto – 60.00% cheaper
  • Sydney – 33.00% cheaper
  • Paris – 57.00% cheaper
  • Dubai – 26.00% cheaper

In order to keep your rent price cheaper the best way would be to share an apartment or house. Unless you are a well to do man, the chances of living alone in The Big Apple is can be very expensive. So, if you have to look for your roommate, you should visit websites such as New York Apartment, Spareroom etc. Moreover, the New York City is made up of 5 boroughs i.e. Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. The cost of living also varies in different boroughs.

Here’s the average value of the home

  • Manhattan – $848,000
  • Brooklyn – $557000
  • Queens – $439000
  • Staten Island – $432000
  • The Bronx – $369000

New York is a great place for food connoisseurs. From fine dining to award-winning streets vendors, you will find a range of food in various price points.

How cheap is to eat in a similar restaurant in other places

  • London – 10.00% cheaper
  • Los Angeles – 18.00% cheaper
  • Toronto – 33.00% cheaper
  • Sydney – 25.00% cheaper
  • Paris – 17.00% cheaper
  • Dubai – 35.00% cheaper

How cheap are groceries in other places

  • London – 40.00% cheaper
  • Los Angeles – 24.00% cheaper
  • Toronto – 36.00% cheaper
  • Sydney – 19.00% cheaper
  • Paris – 23.00% cheaper
  • Dubai – 42.00% cheaper

In New York, you will find a large number of privately owned grocery stores and other supermarket chains. People tend to shop in the local stores every day instead of getting a week’s shopping at a time. Some popular supermarkets are Whole Foods Market, Union Market, Best Yet Market and other luxury places such as Dean & Deluca and Citarella Gourmet Market. If you are looking for cheap food, look for the long queue in street vendors and restaurants.

Alcohol Prices in New York

In New York, there are more bars than any other cities in the world.

Alcohol Prices

  • 0.5L domestic beer at a restaurant:  $5.00 to $7.00
  • Imported beer at a restaurant: $6.00 to $9.00
  • 0.5L domestic beer at a supermarket: $1.00 to $3.00
  • Imported beer at a supermarket: $1.25 to $4.00
  • Bottle of wine at a supermarket: $7.00 to $15.00

If you want to drink for less, you should look into local papers and sites for specials on weekends and holidays. Most bars and restaurants give specials after work. You could get a burger, a beer, and prosecco for over $10 and get a glass of wine after work at $7.

Transportation in New York

Most New Yorkers use subway and buses to travel; it has the largest subway system in the world and runs 24 hours a day.

  • Metro – $2.70 per person
  • One day ticket – $5.50 per person
  • Metrocard – more than 10% extra for every $6.00 spent
  • Unlimited Metrocard – $30 for 7 days travel

For cheaper transportation, you should buy a bike, which is healthy and cost-effective for short distances.

Cost of Internet

The internet prices are expensive compared to other countries. You will have to pay over $30 – $35 per month for unlimited downloads.

Clothing Cost

In New York, January is the coldest month with temperature going below 2°C and the hottest month going to 25°C in July. Monsoon is during May with nearly 4.5 inches of rain.

  • Pair of Jeans – $36 – $81
  • Summer Dress – $26 – $66
  • Trainer Shoes – $62 – $105
  • Business Shoes – $80 – $210
  • Deodorant – $4.00
  • Shampoo – $6.00
  • Gym membership – $27 – $133 per month
  • Movie ticket – $15 – $18

Owning or Driving a Car in New York

Fewer people buy cars and most would prefer public transportation. For the most part, driving in NY is a nightmare. If you are moving to NY from the US, you can keep the license but you will have to update your address. With a foreign license, you can drive up to 12 months. To save money driving in NY, you can look for car sharing or go for carpooling.

Moving to New York Alone

Moving to New York all alone is a daunting task and be alone is another thing altogether. If you are alone, New York can be a depressing place; for which you have learned to make new friends. Use Meetups to find a range of activities near the place. Attend local events as there is always some kind of events and some are free.

Moving to New York with Family

For modern families, New York has a lot of attractions such as art galleries, swimming, museums, ice-skating, sailing, swimming, and Central Park. You could look into New York Family for advice on way meet other parents. The family-friendly area are Forest Hills, Queens, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, Riverdale, Brox; these spaces have more green spaces for the children to play. However, in the Upper East and West Sides, the family lifestyle is better but it costs a lot. For activities for children, you could look into Mommy Poppins, My Little Nomads etc.

Cost of Taxes in New York

Well, when it comes to taxes, it has a higher rate and other additional taxes than other cities and counties.

01. Property Taxes

New York state has higher property taxes, but NYC has ever higher property tax rates than the average. Reports suggest that New Yorkers pay the maximum tax in the country which is over 13 percent of their income. Moreover, with the property value being higher, the NYC homeowners pay a lot of money on property taxes alone, compared to other countries.

02. Income Taxes

The New Yorkers give two income taxes. Along with paying taxes to the New York state, they also pay nearly 4 percent in the city income taxes. However, the rate varies depending on your income. So, people moving into NYC should be learned about the city’s personal income tax.

03. Sales Tax

The combined sales tax of the state and local in New York is 8.875 percent, whereas the average sales tax everywhere else is 8.45 percent. However, in the New York state, it is 8.47 percent. On top of that, some items such as cigarettes are taxed higher, which accounts for nearly $5.8 in tax on a pack of cigarettes. In average the nationwide cigarette tax is $1.61.

What You Will Like About New York

  • The view of the city

    No matter where you live in New York, you will always be amazed by its towering beauty in the morning. The Manhattan skyline, Empire State Building, the East River and everything in between is a sight to behold.

  • Your Home

    Even if the price is premium for accommodation, you can’t beat the quality and convenience you get for the premium. Many have the same backyard, and people create their own communities when they get together to celebrate life.

  • The cultural confluence

    You will love its cultural confluence and you will get multiple chances to meet people of different culture. There’s a lot to learn and share in the city. There are 120 different nationalities living in NY and you will people speaking in multiple languages on the streets.

  • Meeting driven people

    Thriving in NY is a tough job and almost everyone who lives there is successful and passionate about their work. You will meet driven people from multiple fields such as composers, teachers, actors, producers, cops etc.

  • Option for everything

    It’s as if the whole world resides in New York; there’s nothing that you can’t get in NY. Everything you can buy anywhere else, you can buy in NY.

  • Gourmet Food

    For food connoisseurs, New York is the perfect place. From Continental to Japanese and Indian to Thai, you will find all sorts of food and rest assured, they are some of the best-tasting dishes. Even for a street vendor to thrive in New York, he has to very good at his cuisine.

  • Being Anonymous

    For introverts, New York is one the best places to settle. People here are polite and helpful but you will always feel a personal space of your own; even walking down the busy streets you will sense the level of privacy you have in NY.

  • The city rush

    For passionate men and women, they will find it pleasurable to be part of that rush that goes on 24/7 in Manhattan. This is a place that keeps you on the edge of the blade and forces you to be productive and responsible.

  • Seasons

    You will love the way city changes with seasons. During spring, you will love the green trees in parks, where people flock to sit on the grass and breath fresh air. The Autumn brings a cooler breeze with lazier summer days giving an energetic feeling.

  • Central Park

    At the heart of New York is Central Park, where people gather to meet, jog, play or just stroll and have a good time.

  • Events

    The city celebrates multiple events and occasions and get a number of summer festivals for music and film. During summer film festivals you will get to watch foreign films in parks along with some food.

  • Sidewalk cafe

    You will love to spend time in the sidewalk cafes and restaurant in the warm weather.

  • Various Communities

    There are a lot of communities and you can be a part of the community and learn a lot of their culture.

What You will Hate about New York

  • Waiting in Line

    If you want to go anywhere in New York that’s popular, chances are you have to get in line. People here love only the best and they get only to the place where the best is served to them. Moreover, where there are deals and offers, there will usually be a long queue and the product may even be sold-out before you get your chance.

  • The City Changes

    The city is never the same, especially the cityscape. If you leave New York for a few months and return, chances are some building have changed; either a building is gone and there’s a new building someplace else. There’s some of the construction going on all the time and something is being broken down as well. You did your breakfast at your favorite spot and the next day the business is closed. Many small businesses find it hard to survive in Manhattan, which is why they move to neighboring cities.

  • Everything is Expensive

    Anywhere you point your finger at, it comes with a high price. Get dinner for two people in an Italian restaurant and you should be expecting to pay more than $100.

  • Cabs

    Getting a cab in New York is a skill that you must develop over time. Usually, everybody is looking for a cab and you will often find someone taking your cab before you even try to hail it. It gets frustrating when it’s cold or it’s raining. This goes on for everyone and everyone is trying to get the first bite. So, if you don’t like being one of them, it’s better you get a bike or a scooter.

  • The city is always moving

    You will know what I mean when you go to Times Square. At Christmas time, it becomes a struggle to get through the crowd. And when tourist gathers, they will fill up the already filled space just to suffocate you as they witness the grandeur of Time Square in awe.

  • Nobody cares about nobody

    To be honest, in New York nobody really cares about anyone else other than their own friends and families. Everybody wants to get there first, be it on the train, metro, ticket counters and everything in between. Everyone is competitive and nobody’s got time. Few have any respect for equities and common sense. If someone dies in an apartment, no one will probably know! If you are living alone, it will much healthier to go to events and churches, just to stay sane.

  • Livery cabs will bother you

    People living in New York know it well how the livery cabs will bother your and when you deny to cooperate with them, expect to hear some foul words from the driver. Moreover, they are expensive and are not as professional as normal taxis.

Living in New York like real New Yorkers

  • When you are searching for an apartment and found one, you should immediately get it and don’t think. If you have found the apartment which is in your budget and location, don’t get greedy and try to look for other apartments, because in New York, you will lose it within an hour. If you have found your place, consider yourself lucky and get it right now.
  • When you want to go out for a drink, you should pick and stick to one bar. Become friends with the bartender, go there frequently and make yourself known to them. The city does get a lot of bars open every day, but you are not there to experience its ambiance but to have a good time. It’s especially important if you are planning to live alone.
  • Always carry cash even in this cash-less generation. Most food trucks, bodega, restaurant etc. don’t take cards. Many will express their frustration with their card being rejected on the machine. So, it’s always better to carry cash for convenience and save time for yourself and others.
  • Find and mark places to eat, drugstores, gas stations, grocery stores etc. near your home and work. These spots will help you get essentials faster in difficult situations.
  • Make friends with real New Yorkers who can show you a lot about its hidden gems, history, and culture. They will also help you get things at a cheaper price.
  • Visit the less crowded parks such as Fort Greene, Fort Tryon, Riverside Park, etc. These spots will help you do your exercise in peace.
  • Make sure to tip for your beverage in a New York coffee shop. Most workers depend on it and if you do it regularly, you will notice that your beverage tastes better after a few visits.

What You Have to Do to Become a Local?

  • Jaywalk like a local; this is something we don’t recommend, but you will get there as you live in New York. People are always running late in New York and you will know why it’s true.
  • Try a variety of cuisines to get the best out of New York’s culinary diversity. Even if you don’t like something, you should at least try!
  • Get used to being sworn in! Yes, you will be sworn by a lot of people; some you know and some will be strangers. People here’s don’t have time and it’s the survival of the fittest here, so if you are new to New York, you may find some of them are rude; so get used to it.
  • Walk faster. If you don’t know how fast, just follow the pedestrians and try to keep up with their pace. Everything you know in New York is important, even having your coffee.
  • Learn the streets, as people and cab driver in New York talk in streets when it comes to addressing. To give them your building number and expect to get there.

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