New York City is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It's where the rich come to live and the poor slowly die between the subway tracks. It seems that everything is just more expensive here. Bread is four dollars a loaf, your landlord is ripping you off, and Time Warner Cable is the antichrist.
As a struggling Millennial trying to make it in "The Big City," you gotta be savvy. It's all about cutting corners, and every little bit helps. There are no rules to the game, and it's all on you to figure it out. People are out to screw the little guy and you must study up if you don't want to be ripped off by your local Tienda owner.
The longer you live here, the smarter you get. You learn the subway routes, the stores with no credit card limit, and the time to catch the lunch special. But, if you just got here and the city is sucking you dry, here are 15 ways to save money in NYC.
Unlimited Metro Card
It's the first and easiest rule: buy an unlimited metro card. It should be the first thing you do when you get to the city. You're an idiot if you don't.
Stop Taking Cabs
Cabs are for the wealthy; they are a luxury. You can't afford to be chauffeured all over the place, so get over the cab life, buck up, and learn how to transfer on the subway.
Trader Joe's Frozen Meals
You can get a frozen pasta dinner for $2.95 at Trader Joe's. This is probably the cheapest gourmet meal - or any meal - you can get in the city. Stock up on these bad boys and bring them to work for your lunch.
Get The Lunch Special
Fill up on sushi when its $9 for three rolls. Start living like the Europeans and eat your big meal in the middle of the day. There are always great lunch specials for those who have their sh*t together and can make it in time. Start planning your day around expensing your lunch and get those gourmet specials.
Always Look For Happy Hour Deals
There's always somewhere cheaper. Don't settle for drinks at one place when you know they are cheaper somewhere else. If you know you're getting ripped off, you're not going to enjoy your drink.
Buy A Bottle - Don't Pregame At The Bar
A bottle of whiskey costs $15; a mixed drink costs $7. You do the math.
Dollar Pizza Slices Are Always Worth It
Pizza is probably the cheapest meal you can get in the city. It's expensive to eat healthy. So forget the juice cleanse and stick to Ramen and good 'ol NYC pizza. There is no need for pricey organic produce if you can't even afford to pay your electric bill.
Date If You Are A Woman
One of the perks to being a woman is that you get free sh*t. Use that to your advantage in the city. Flirt with every delivery guy, Subway sandwich guy, and most definitely every bartender you come across.
Don't Date If You Are A Guy
How the hell are you gonna take a girl out when you can't even feed yourself? If you need sex that badly, buy a stripper. It's cheaper and more fun. Wait till you got the dough to take a lady out; it's not worth the embarrassment of when your credit card gets declined and she ends up paying.
Always Accept A Free Meal
Whether it's from your parents, your mom's friend who's in town, or your roommate's awkward older sister, always take the free meal. It's worth the small talk and there are always leftovers, so really, you get two free meals.
Exercise For Free
There is no excuse for paying for a gym membership when you have one of the greatest parks in the world at your disposal. If the weather is nice, always chose to run outside. When it gets cold, find a friend who has a gym at their place.
Stay Away From Stores
There's no such thing as "just looking around." You are just going to see something you love and won't be able to live without. When you go shopping, you find things you suddenly think you need. So just stop. Shopping is for people with money. You have the opposite of money.
Buy Drugs In Bulk
It's like Costco. You save money when you buy more. So if you are going to be smoking blunt after blunt, better get that extra cut that comes with buying in bulk.
Get Apple TV
Don't pay for cable. Time Warner is a rip off. All the shows you want to watch are on Netflix or bootlegged somewhere on the Internet, so why pay to watch commercials? "New Girl" isn't that good.
Always Carry Cash
Those little stores on the corner know how to suck you dry. When you just need a half gallon of milk, they will hit you with the $10 minimum and guilt you into buying groceries you don't need. Do yourself a favor and take out twenty bucks every week to save yourself in these situations.