Expensive Living In NYC: What Exactly Are We Paying For?

Good luck trying to find an affordable place to live in New York City.

It was recently reported that it costs $1,800 dollars for a studio and just under $2,500 a month—on average—for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

Americans spend on average $835 per month on shelter.  Housing is the biggest expense that people are doling out the dollars for.

When I see that number and compare it to my monthly rent all I can think about is the other things I could use the extra cash for: like subway passes.  Let’s not even get into the amount of space that most Americans get for their money as opposed to us New Yorkers.

What’s worse?  The vacancy rate is extremely low.  Meaning that there just isn’t a whole lot out there.  So not only is it expensive to rent it’s a pest to find a place at all.

A friend of mine said that living in New York City is in and of itself a luxury item.  Considering how much I’m shelling out in rent I would say it’s at least a Mercedes Benz.

But what happens if you can’t afford to move?  Or if you have to choose between paying the rent or paying for groceries?  With the U.S. Census Bureau reporting that one in seven people lived in poverty in 2009 it really makes you think about how much we’re spending to live in the “Big Apple.”

So is my friend right?  Is it a luxury to live in New York City?  Why do you think people pay so much to live here?   And is it worth it?

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One Response to Expensive Living In NYC: What Exactly Are We Paying For?

  1. Candice says:

    I’ve lived in NYC my whole life. When I was a kid my dad was paying $900 for our 2 bedroom apt with a terrace. At 27, that would barely get me a studio in a semi-shady neighborhood or a room in an apt.

    I have a lot of friends in their late 30’s/early 40’s who are still living with roommates and don’t want to be.

    Unfortunately because no one can buy everyone is renting in a city that was already pretty expensive. It’s getting to the point where I’m considering leaving my city because I can’t afford to live here anymore.

    It really is a landlord’s market and most landlords are pretty terrible people.

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