Table of Contents
- How much does living in New York City really cost?
- For actors and creators: take your New York budget to Atlanta
- For outdoors enthusiasts: take your New York budget to Salt Lake City
- For shopaholics: take your New York budget to Minneapolis
- For foodies: take your New York budget to New Orleans
- For public transportation fans: take your New York budget to Seattle
- If you want to get away from it all: take your New York budget to rural Maine
- How to save money on car insurance—no matter where you live
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New York City may be a place of constant change, where tastemakers and innovators introduce hot new trends and experimental ventures every day. But one thing never goes out of style in the Big Apple: complaining about housing costs. And it’s no wonder, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan soaring over $4,000 per month!
If you’ve ever wondered what kind of home you could afford—and just how much money you could save—if you moved to a different city, wonder no more.
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How much does living in New York City really cost?
Before we can look at how far an NYC budget stretches in other cities, let’s get a rough estimate of what the average New Yorker pays in rent, utilities, insurance, and other major expenses.
It’s no secret that New York has some of the highest rents around—and they’re going up. In fact, in March 2022 the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan hit an all-time high of $3,700 a month! If that sounds staggeringly high, keep in mind that it’s still lower than the average rent for a 1-bedroom in New York City, which is a whopping $4,761/month!
What about transportation costs? For
car owners in Manhattan, parking costs average $562/month, while car insurance premiums average $446/month. Add about $250 for fuel (the average fluctuates along with gas prices), and you’re looking at a $1,258 transportation budget each month. But of course, most New Yorkers take the train instead. A monthly unlimited Metrocard is $127, but let’s be real—nobody just takes the train. Throw in $120 for a few Uber rides per month, and your transportation total is a manageable $247.
Other major cost-of-living expenses include:
- Groceries: $487 per month
- Utilities (including internet): $212 per month
- Gym membership: $108 per month
- Renters insurance: $12 per month
- Average cost of a night out: $82
Add it all together, and your total monthly budget in New York City comes to $5,094, for a grand annual total of $61,128—assuming you don’t own a car. That’s comfortably below the city’s average individual income of $74,000, but below the median income of $57,000. If you do own a car, on the other hand, your yearly expenses will skate in just barely under the average income line at $73,260!
In other words, living in New York City is a constant battle of the budget.
On the one hand, you’re living in one of the most exciting places in the world, with all the great food, entertainment, and crazy happenings you could dream of at your fingertips. On the other hand, your apartment might feel more like a really big walk-in closet, and you might need to check your bank account before you order takeout.
Ready to kiss money anxiety goodbye and take your New York budget to a city where it can really shine? We’ve got six cities lined up for you with vibrant food scenes, low cost-of-living indexes, and magazine-ready homes you won’t believe you can afford.
For actors and creators: take your New York budget to Atlanta
Median home listing price 2022: $412,000
Median household income: $66,657
Cost of living vs. NYC: 59% lower
If you’re worried that leaving New York (and not moving to L.A.) will spell the end of your acting career, take a look at
Atlanta, the third major hub of the American film industry. The City of Trees also has a thriving music scene, with the New York Times calling it “hip-hop’s center of gravity.” Whether your dreams are on the big screen or the live stage, Atlanta could be your chance to make it big.
What does a Manhattan budget look like in Atlanta? It looks like a 2,313-square-foot townhouse with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, and a stunning eat-in kitchen. Hardwood floors, a breakfast nook, and a striking living room fireplace make this Atlanta home ideal for large families, entertainers, and creative souls—and at a list price of $560,000, it could be yours for just $3,116 a month.
How much you could save by moving to Atlanta: $7,008/year
For outdoors enthusiasts: take your New York budget to Salt Lake City
Median home listing price 2022: $549,000
Median household income: $63,156
Cost of living vs. NYC: 60% lower
New York City is a beautiful city—but its brand of beauty comes more in the form of stunning skyscrapers and urban landscapes. Sure, you’ve got Central Park, and there are plenty of hiking trails within a short distance of the city, but if you’re yearning to wake up and look out at the mountains, head to
Salt Lake City.
What will your New York budget get you in SLC? Not just one space, but three:
this 3,270-square-foot propertyin the walkable heart of the city includes a primary residence, a guest house, and a studio space perfect for any kind of creator. From the unique honeycomb staircase to the multipurpose loft space in the guest house, this house is packed with the kind of character you’d expect in an East Village apartment or a Williamsburg condo—but you’ll pay just $3,647 per month. Oh, and did we mention the backyard hot tub?
How much you could save by moving to Salt Lake City: $756/year
For shopaholics: take your New York budget to Minneapolis
Median home listing price 2022: $325,000
Median household income: $65,889
Cost of living vs. NYC: 58% lower
If you want to live in a place where shopping is a lifestyle, not just a chore, consider moving your New York budget to Minneapolis, home of the record-breaking
Mall of America. Of course, shopping isn’t the only reason to move to the Twin Cities: excellent infrastructure, a thriving job market, and one of the country’s best craft beer scenes are other major draws.
In Minneapolis, your New York budget looks like
a four-bedroom Craftsmanperched atop a hill, complete with original woodwork, a finished basement, and an in-home sauna. From the bright, airy fireside living room to the massive back deck, this Midwest retreat will run you approximately $3,182 per month.
How much you could save by moving to Minneapolis: $6,216/year
For foodies: take your New York budget to New Orleans
Median home listing price 2022: $374,900
Median household income: $45,615
Cost of living vs. NYC: 58% lower
One thing that keeps a lot of people from moving out of New York City? The food. After all, with 68 Michelin-starred restaurants and one of the most diverse populations of any city on earth, New York has a food scene like no other—or so you might imagine. While New York might have the market cornered on pizza and avant-garde fine dining, you’ll find an equally delicious gastronomical home in
New Orleans, where French cuisine meets Caribbean traditions to create iconic Creole cooking.
New Orleans is also home to eye-catching architecture and beautiful homes—like
this Creole cottage-style condoin the legendary French Quarter. Built in 1922 and listed at just $499,000, the home features high ceilings, an all-white eat-in kitchen, and enough exposed brick to make any New Yorker feel at home. Best of all, you’ll be close to the bustling heart of the Crescent City, and your monthly payment will be around $3,140 per month.
How much you could save by moving to New Orleans: $6,720/year
For public transportation fans: take your New York budget to Seattle
Median home listing price 2022: $829,000
Median household income: $102,500
Cost of living vs. NYC: 37% lower
There’s no doubt about it—
Seattleis the most expensive city on this list. But it’s got something that none of our other picks, and very few cities besides New York, have: a robust public transportation system. Seattle’s also highly walkable and one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. That means extra savings for any New Yorker who doesn’t want to buy a car.
A Manhattan rental budget could snag you a home like
this two-bedroom, two-bathroom Bitter Lake condo, which comes in at $479,000 for 1,450 square feet. It’s got lake views, a private deck, cathedral ceilings, and the cool, effortless modernity of a SoHo apartment with a mellow West Coast twist. Don’t forget the wood-burning fireplace and private loft! Realtor.com estimates the monthly payment at just $2,986.
How much you could save by moving to Seattle: $8,568
If you want to get away from it all: take your New York budget to rural Maine
Median home listing price 2022: $348,997
Median household income: $57,918
Cost of living vs. NYC: 81% lower
The six cities above are great options for New Yorkers looking to change things up and save on housing costs—but maybe you’re looking for a bigger change. If you want to quit city life altogether and buy a home out in the big open spaces, you can’t do better than peaceful, gorgeous
Take this 4,022-square-foot house in tiny Sherman, Maine as an example. Located on a 10.5-acre lot in rural Aroostook County, this picturesque home is a one-of-a-kind New England retreat. Do you want a house with a private trout pond, a jacuzzi, two bars, a snowmobile shop, and a pool hall? Do you want your home to feel like an open-concept hunting lodge on steroids? Do you want to be able to stand on your private deck and see nothing but trees all around? Your dreams could come true in Maine.
And the monthly payment? Just$3,066 per month.
How much you could save by moving to rural Maine: $7,608/year
How to save money on car insurance—no matter where you live
One more budgetary advantage of leaving New York City? New York State has
some of the highest car insurance rates in the country, thanks to high minimum requirements and a strict no-fault rule. When you move to a different state, you might be surprised at how much your premium drops!
Experts also recommend shopping for a new insurance policy whenever you move, since your rates are based partly on your ZIP code—and if you’re buying a house in a new city, you’ll need home insurance, too. If all that insurance shopping sounds overwhelming, don’t worry!
Jerrycan get it done in just 45 seconds and help you lock in the lowest rates from a pool of over 55 top providers.
How much could you add to your post-New York savings by shopping for insurance with Jerry? On average, users save over $800 a year on car insurance alone!