Moving to New York City Alone – A Guide For Millennials

Moving to New York City alone as a young person is an amazing thing to do if you wish to experience as much as you can in just one city. After all, it is the most populous and the most densely populated city in the US. Every adventurous millennial who wants to feel and live the vibe of this incredible place shouldn’t miss a chance to relocate, even alone.

So, here’s our guide on what everyone should know about moving to New York and starting a solo life. It’ll give you just enough heads up so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises along the way.

Is It Possible to Live Alone in NYC?

New York City is truly a place of opportunities, and living here alone is definitely possible, but with a few heads up info. Regardless of whether this is a last-minute moving or you have planned it for a long time, you can still move out of state on a budget and start living your dream. If money’s no issue for you, then residing in The Big Apple is no biggie, but if it is, some preparations have to be made. Let’s see what you need to know and expect once you become a resident.

Pursue your ambitions and move to the metropolis of your dreams

General Facts You Should Know Before Moving to New York City Alone

Moving to a city alone asks you to know a lot before you start living in a different location because there’s not much time for Googling once you are already there. If you don’t want to be surprised by some negative stuff and you want to feel like a true New Yorker from the moment you are here, read on and stay realistic.

Don’t Let the Sun Fool You – It Can Get Very Cold Here

Knowing the climate of your future location will greatly affect the content of your suitcase, and you’ll know precisely should you be moving in winter or maybe it’s better to be moving in the summer. The Big Apple has a humid continental type of climate with warm and humid summers, but cold and wet winters. You’ve seen it in the movies and TV series, so you probably know that the winters are snowy and you will need a warm coat or a jacket. Rain is also common – there are 47 inches of rain per year, but there are also 224 sunny days on average.

A Car Is Not Very Useful Around Here

As we said, it is the most populous city in the nation – the metro area is shared by 18,8 million people, so you can just imagine what the traffic jams look like. That is why NY has found a solution that perfectly works – you do not have to own a car, you can just call one and get a ride. We’re talking about taxis, of course. Uber, Lyft, Via, and other apps are good options as well. NY subway is world-famous, and it would take approximately one day to navigate the entire system. It has 472 stops that operate 24/7, which makes it the largest rapid transit system in the world by a number of stations, and also one of the oldest. It’s also a great way to get around between the five New York boroughs. There are also three airports serving the metro area – JFK, LaGuardia Airport, and Newark International Airport. It’s also very useful to have the city map with you at all times.

The Cost of Living in New York Is a Downside for Many

The fact that Numbeo, the website that compares the cost of living in numerous places, rated the cost of living in New York as the 7th out of 511 cities in the world tells a lot. The food, rent, and many other things are overpriced, but it is a very popular location, and many people want to reside there. It’s still manageable for living, and there are ways to cut some costs. You can treat yourself and have dinner at one of the best restaurants in New York, but if you get food from the chain restaurants, and not buy the unnecessary things, it is possible to live here on a budget. There are always alternatives to the high prices here in NY. Here’s what costs here look like compared to metropolises as San Francisco, CA, and Boston, MA.

 New YorkSan FranciscoBoston
Average salary after taxes$5.850$8,000$5,100
Single person monthly costs (without the rent)$1,300$1,200$1,145
Average rent for a one-bedroom in the city center$3,300$3,500$2,750
Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside of the center$2,000$2,800$2,000

You’re Going to Need a Job ASAP

Trust us, you do not want to find yourself broke here. Any kind of work will do you good. Coming here alone asks for leaving your ego behind and start working in delivery or a cafe if that’s going to bring you money. If you came with big dreams for developing your career, having some savings is way more important in the beginning (unless you’re relocating for a job, in which case we can only wish you all the luck in the world). Coming unemployed can cause stress because of the uncertainty, so it still would be best to try and get a job before you move. Anyhow, living in NYC gives you a big advantage compared to those who live somewhere outside and apply for the same position as you.

This Is an Epicenter of Entertainment

There’s no need to elaborate this since everybody knows that being here is never boring. It’s one of the world’s cultural capitals with many art movements that are going on and thriving here. It’s the home of the Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, more than 500 art galleries, theaters in Broadway, and many internationally known museums. Festivals, nightclubs, cafes, and other forms of entertainment are always inviting. It’s good to have a calendar of events and be up to date, just so you don’t miss something. Even though this community is amazing for adult’s entertainment, there are still many things to do in New York with kids like visiting the Empire State Building or Children’s Museum of Manhattan.

New Yorkers Are Known to Be Very Cool

The Big Apple is so diverse that approximately 800 languages are spoken. That means that coming here is like visiting the biggest mix of nationalities and races in only one place, and you can meet so many different personalities. Strangers are friendly, accepting, and helpful. You’ll easily meet new neighbors and befriend folks – it takes just one picnic in Central Park and you might meet a group of friends.

Learn all you can before you arrive

It’s Useful to Know the Choice of Available Apartments

Choose the part of the city that suits you best and have your budget in mind – some parts like Chinatown or Brooklyn are cheaper than Manhattan. It would be best to search for a flat or a room via Craigslist or Spareroom so you can avoid giving fees to brokers and communicate directly with the landlord. The best way to find a spot to reside in if you’re coming solo is to share an apartment with a roommate. That way, you’ll be able to afford a more spacious apartment while paying only your share of bills and rent. Also, make sure you see the flat in person before booking it. Airbnb is an option as well if you can’t find what you like.

NYC Apartment Rents Make Almost a Half of an Average Salary

No lie – rents are expensive. Even though the average monthly salary after tax is $5,500, half of that will go to the rent. According to Numbeo, a one-bedroom apartment in the center is $3,300, while choosing to rent a flat outside of the center is cheaper – $2,000 per month.

How Much Money Should I Have Saved Before Moving to NYC?

This is an important question, but the answer can only be approximate. Your lifestyle mostly directs how much money you need on a daily basis, so if you choose to live humbly, remember that you’ll have to pay a deposit for the apartment, you need to have enough money for a couple of rents and for a couple of months worth of food. Start saving as soon as you can, but don’t leave your hometown broke. Before you land your first job, you should have around $7,000 to live comfortably.

Remember, it's easy to get hired here, but it's also easy to get fired

How Can I Move to New York Alone?

Many have done that, so you won’t be alone in this decision. People in their twenties and thirties decide to move because they want to broaden their horizons, meet amazing people, work on their careers, or simply have fun. Whatever might be your reasons, take a look at the following list of things you need to pay attention to:

Is It Safe to Live Here Alone?

This question must have crossed your mind, especially if you’re a girl. You probably knew all the streets back home, but in a place this big and crowded, you can never predict what will happen. Even though the crime has been somewhat increasing for the past three years, the crime rates are low or moderate. The level of safety when walking alone during the day is high, and moderate when the night falls.

Even with a moderate crime level, don't take night walks in unfamiliar streets

Moving to NYC Alone: What Stories Should You Believe?

Many TV shows like How I Met Your Mother, Sex and the City, or Friends have shown to the rest of the world what living in The Big Apple is like when you’re young, but was that really the truth? Let’s see what myths we can debunk and what your expectations should be.

  • Myth: You’ll get a huge beautiful apartment for the expensive rent you’re paying. Here’s the truth: Based on the experience of millennials who came to The Big Apple and rent their places, it’s rarely true. The cost of the rent and the size of the place are rarely equal. Most people that rent apartments set up the price high because of the location and spaciousness, but the rent here is high, no matter what.
  • Another urban myth is that dating is super easy here, whether via dating apps or in-person. That happens to be the truth – single people here are very open, and it’s not difficult to start a conversation and get somebody’s attention, and eventually a phone number.
  • There’s another myth that’s transport-related: The easiest method of commuting is by train. That’s proven not to be true. Biking, walking, and skateboarding are faster than using a train.
  • People usually say that this place never sleeps, and it’s 100% true. Any time of any day you can find some fun events going on and join them. The parties really last all night long, and the atmosphere is so uplifting.
Don't believe everything you hear

Hiring Professional Movers Will Help a Lot

Another thing that will ease this transition is getting pro services for your relocation. You won’t have to worry about things getting damaged or about being scammed from a non-licensed company. Deciding to get moving services from a reliable company that also offers packing and auto transport will save you a lot of time and money. In case you can’t find an available flat right away, you can use a high profile storage unit for free for up to a month. It won’t be the cheapest way to move out of state, but it will surely save you from a lot of stress.

Take at least one worry off of your shoulders by hiring professionals

Let’s Finalize: Is Moving to NYC a Good Idea?

Living in NYC is made for young people, eager to explore, learn, work on their careers, and enjoy life. Millions are coping with the high cost of living, which means that it’s not that expensive, while it is pricier than most of the cities in the nation. Those prices are there for a reason – none of the cities in the world can offer what NYC has. Becoming an NYC resident and living the dream is an outstanding experience, and you will rarely hear someone complain about living here. Let’s be clear – relocating to The Big Apple is definitely a good idea for someone who loves the “concrete jungle,” hectic lifestyle, noise, fast life pace, and nonstop fun. If you’ve found yourself in this sentence, find the easiest way to pack for a move and go enjoy it.

Written By: Christina Henry