Living in New York will require an annual salary of between 40,000 and 100,000 after taxes. Of course, these numbers vary depending on your living expenses, children (if any), and other monthly bills related to entertainment, health insurance, or transportation. In New York City itself, check out the more affordable neighborhoods, such as Riverdale and Spuyten Duyvil in the Bronx, Kew Gardens and Sunnyside in Queens and Bay Ridge in Brooklyn. I'm based on my monthly grocery bill, which is a combination of grocery delivery and purchases at Trader Joe's for organic fruits and vegetables.
Now, you don't have to live in Manhattan or Brooklyn to live in New York, but it's still an expensive and delicious place to live. If you want to live in New York City, the important thing is that you find ways to live within your means and don't neglect your other financial goals. To live in New York City, you may have to eat less out, reduce your shopping expenses, and walk or ride a bike more than you're used to. Judging by the fact that more than 8 million people live in New York City, I suppose a good number can figure that out.
You can do this if you have (or have) roommates, if you live in the outlying districts (or even in New Jersey), or both. Rather than signing a lease and committing to staying a year in a new location, a short-term sublease will give you the flexibility to familiarize yourself with several affordable neighborhoods before you settle down. Some of the best neighborhoods for affordable housing in New York are Washington Heights, Inwood and Harlem (my neighborhood) in Manhattan; Astoria and Long Island City in Queens; Bushwick in Brooklyn; and Union City and West New York in New Jersey. You don't have to pay $3,000 for a decent place to live, nor do you have to submit to living in a windowless basement shoe box to pay your rent.
Sure, I would love it if it were cheaper to live in New York City, but in the same way, there are more than enough resources available in the Big Apple to reduce expenses and even eliminate entire categories of expenses, goodbye to car payments. It can be very tempting to sacrifice these long-term goals in order to meet the daily expenses of life. In fact, the latest Cost of Living Index (COLI) shows that life costs people living in Manhattan nearly twice as much as the average American.