Having Fun in NYC on a Budget: 5 Ways to Save Money Today

It’s no surprise to most New Yorkers that Manhattan was named the most expensive location to live in North America in a June 2010 study by EAS International. While there are plenty of cases that you just have to suck it up and pay the price, there are also some nifty ways to leave some extra cash in your pockets when it comes to non-necessities in your life.

Cable Television:

  • That $30+ you donate to Time Warner every month isn’t really worth it, even if it means you get 20 different HBO channels. Instead, you can purchase a device such as Roku or AppleTV, which will let you stream Internet provided content like Netflix or Amazon Video to give you your TV fix on a budget.

Dining:

  • Being surrounded by great chefs and restaurants serving different cuisines is really great, well until you see the bill. Start browsing OpenTable, a website for making reservations that also provides great deals, such as $25 for $50 worth of food at some of the fanciest places in the city. Also, take advantage of the extension of NYC’s restaurant week, where price-fix menus are available at a number of five-star locales.

Tickets:

  • New York has some of the greatest attractions in the world, and while watching off-Broadway and minor league sports can be fun, nothing beats the real thing. For Broadway shows, TKTS is your friend, offering nearly half price off day tickets the day of the show. When it comes to sports, nothing beats StubHub for both availability and pricing. No help for the $8 beer though.

Parking:

  • Thinking you’re going to get cheap parking in the city is like expecting to get a Rolex on Canal Street. Hey it might happen, but 99.99% of the time, you’re stuck with a dud. It’s always best to try to take public transportation, but in cases where parking is necessary, turn to one of the many popular parking sites. My favorite is Best Parking, a site that not only shows you every garage’s price, but which ones are doing specials that day.

Museum Visits:

  • This may seem counterproductive, but often the membership (such as the one offered by the American Museum of Natural History) work out in your favor in the long term; A year membership for two people costs $90, while two tickets on a given day would be $40. Most museums have a number of new exhibits per year, so those half dozen trips will always be interesting, and nice on the pocket as well. Some attractions are packaged as well, such as the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo and the New York Aquarium in one price.
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