Things No One Tells You About Moving To NYC
Updated: Aug 13, 2020
New York City, a metropolitan grid filled with friends, enemies, and a lot of shit no one warned you about. Yes, it’s the city of dreams, but it’s also the city of crappy landlords, confusing subway maps, and financial drain. Once you get a handle on things you can really start to build your dream life, but until then, the key to surviving NYC is two things:
Number One: Be as prepared as you can possibly be.
Number Two: Toughen up.
So to fast track number one for you, and hopefully, in turn, start working on number two, here are some things no one tells you about moving to New York City.
You will probably get sick in your first week or two
The city has done a fantastic job in the past decade keeping the streets safe and clean, but let's face it, you’re moving to an area with over one million buildings, the pollution is crazy. Moving to any area can be a bit of a shock to your body but moving to a city where all of the sudden you have to walk two miles a day, you're exposed to a million new germs, and let's not even get into Corona, you're bound to get a little cold after your first week. No stress! Just listen to your body and take the time to acclimate, do a little self-care, and let it blow over before you dive into everything the city has to offer.
Unless you plan on moving in with a friend or are taking over a sublet, prepare to drop AT LEAST ten grand.
Something that was a shock to move when I was preparing to move from my dorm, was how much it actually costs to get your own apartment, so let me break it down for you.
If you plan on getting your own apartment you have to go through the entire leasing process. That means you will have to go through credit checks (they normally require at least a score of 650) you will need a guarantor unless you're making 40 times the rent yourself. With a guarantor, they will need to be making 80 times rent. So say you find a super cheap apartment uptown for $1500, you need to know someone that will sign a lease for you that makes (at least) $120,000 a year.
Once you get past that you need to take care of the actual buying of the apartment. To rent an apartment you need one month's rent, security deposit, and a lot of the time, a broker's fee, which could be anywhere between 10-15% of an entire year's rent, so always search for a no-fee apartment.
If you save enough money for the purchasing process, you then need three months to give you clearance to find a job and start getting paid, Credit checks also look at your bank account and it's expected to have at least 3 months rent in there, so let's keep this idea of a $1500 apartment uptown going, you might need $4500, after buying the space. You then need money for moving costs, groceries, bills, subway cards, all the extra stuff that comes with moving anywhere, so to put it plainly- plan to save a lot.
NYC is safer than you think
With a crime rate below the national average, and having a recent history of being one of the safest cities in the world, you're going to be just fine. There are a few obvious rules: Don't go to Central Park at night alone (especially the brambles,) be careful where you put your drink down in clubs, and always stick to well-populated streets. Truthfully, if you use your common sense you have nothing to worry about.
Fast food sucks
Basically what it boils down to, is that all fast foods are giant corporations. If your high up boss is sitting in a penthouse somewhere and has literally never visited your workplace and never will, your incentive to do a good job lowers. Fast-food workers don't owe you anything. They don't get paid enough, they deal with rude tourists all day that don't know where the actual good food is, and the last thing they want to hear is how your McChicken is a little dry. If you want my advice? Skip Mcdonalds and chains like Applebees all together. Put your money into bodegas if you want something cheap, or take the extra time to research a locally owned restaurant to eat at.
Anywhere between 50 to a couple hundred dollars gets taken out of every check
The good thing about NYC is that they are one of the few states that modulate their minimum wage to the price of living. Right now anyone will make at least $15.00 for any job other than waitressing or under the table, and though it’s barely enough it needs to be higher to actually be considered a liveable wage. That being said with the hard-earned money you make, the more you work the more gets taken. For me, on average I lose around $300.00 in taxes every paycheck so almost $700.00 a month.
Every person you meet is bursting with their own intense unique energy
No one moves to NYC to live the life they had. We all came here to push harder, work longer, and take what we want. So in turn, nearly every person you meet is extremely passionate about their niche. You'll meet businesswomen, entrepreneurs, fashion junkies, actors, musicians, anyone with talent and drive is meant to move here, and that makes finding your people so much more fun. If you feel like a watered-down version of yourself, stuck in your hometown, being held back from your full potential, New York could be the place for you.
Free activities don't stop at Central Park
If you want free things to do, check out Eventbrite. They have the best free activities, anything from fashion shows to farmer's markets, coffee tastings, to flower fairs, and its all free. Sure, you can google a list catered to tourists about what to do in NYC and end up at the Brooklyn Bridge, but if you really want some unique experiences head over to their site, and meet some new people!
If you don't toughen up the city will spit you out.
All the missed subway rides, running out of money all the time, wearing heels for seven hours with no breaks, and ending up on the wrong side of the city all either make or break your life in NYC. unless you come here with a trust fund or a parent's credit card, you're in for a rough first few years, but the quicker you realize the city doesn't owe you anything no matter how much you think you belong, the better it will be. I promise it will all be worth it, you just gotta work hard to make it work.
So there you have it. And I’d like to say that this list is not an end all be all. There are endless loopholes, short cuts, and ways to make it work. You can do it if you put in enough work it's not going to just happen. The good news is no matter how bad your day was, or how long it's taking to get here, you always have someone in the corner, cheering you on. Me. So make yourself a plan, prepare for the inevitable, and get your ass over here. There's only one you and only one NYC. We need you here!
Forever in your corner,