How to Move to New York Sane and Not Broke

Moving to NYC
Written by Samantha Rivers

With all the things the city has to offer, thinking about the logistics of moving there and planning out how you’ll do just that should not be forgotten.

Want to Move to New York? New York City is a city filled with culture, bright lights, unmatchable energy, the finest cuisine, and endless possibilities. But moving to the Big Apple is a whole different ballpark.

With all the things the city has to offer, thinking about the logistics of moving there and planning out how you’ll do just that should not be forgotten. Follow these tips on how you can move to New York in the sanest and most financially secure manner possible.

Securing a Job

Before you make the big move, securing a job is 100% necessary. If you haven’t already done so, this should be the first step. This city is full of career opportunities — you can make the job hunt your oyster so long as you put in the effort. Polish up your resume and start shopping it around.

Research the companies you want to work for and collect direct contacts and information to personally email them your resume and tailor your cover letter to include specifics to give it a special personalized touch.

You can also contact recruiters or headhunters to help you lock down gigs — it’s a win-win since they’ll get a commission on selling you in and you’ll get a job without as much hassle. Aside from directly searching for jobs, also tap into your immediate network and connections to see who you know in the city that could possibly get you in the door for an interview. Personal connections work and they work very well in a city with an extremely competitive job market.

Lastly, the entrepreneurial world can be exciting and rewarding.  While you look for a job, be creative and possibly start your own business.

Finding a Pad

Once you’ve solidified offers with great potential or secured a gig, start looking for the new digs. There are thousands of apartments for rent in NYC but actually signing a lease for one is easier said than done. Decide which borough you want to live within — there’s Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island. Before you aimlessly choose one, try to scope out the city prior to your move to explore each one.

One major factor you’ll want to consider is the daily commute to work. Another aspect is the neighborhood vibe you’re looking for — for example, you may want to be by all the nightlife, but do you want to constantly be surrounded by tourists 24/7?

When you’ve figured out your requirements, contact a broker to help you in what can be an overwhelming search or use apartment listing tools like For Rent. These resources will filter out the noise and hone down the hunt. Be sure to keep an open mind throughout the process — New York is a different animal when it comes to living situations, and size does not always equate to price in this densely populated city.

Moving Logistics

Moving can be a huge pain if you don’t properly plan out the logistics. Consider the amount of stuff you have for the size of your new apartment (which will likely be smaller than where you’ve been living if you’re coming from a suburban setting). You may want to hire movers–it’ll alleviate the stress of trying to figure out how to get a couch up a five-story walk-up.

To add, should your place have an elevator, make sure you reserve it for moving day if that’s an option to avoid any last-minute hiccups that could interrupt an otherwise smooth move.


Be aware of your budget. It’s an obvious statement but ingrain it again in your head that New York City is not a cheap one to live in. You may be thinking about just the restaurants and entertainment, but even groceries and coin laundry come at a higher cost here if you don’t strategically shop in the right areas. Try to save money preemptively to help adjust in your first few months and give you some cushion for unexpected expenses. And ditch your car if you have one.

You really don’t need one in this city and with the insurance and parking costs plus traffic it’ll pose more of a headache than anything. The Subway is efficient and inexpensive. If you are doing the daily commute to the office, invest in the unlimited monthly rides option on your MTA card (the pass for the Subway). Also, utilize ride-share options like Uber and Lyft when needed — due to the stiff competition for car service in the city, these apps are consistently offering weekly deals to subscribers like 50% off weekday rides.

You can make your transition to the big city easy breezy by keeping these tips in mind. Plan out the move accordingly and you’ll adjust in no time and be able to take advantage of all the great things New York has to offer.

Identity Magazine is all about guiding women to discover their powers of Self-AcceptanceAppreciation, and Personal Achievement. 

We ask that every contributor and expert answer the Identity questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the current article they have writtenIn that way, and as a team, we hope to encourage and motivate each other, thus inspiring you to Get All A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? Additionally, what are you still working on accepting? Now, we’re not talking about resignation, rather stepping into, embraced, and owned.

I have learned to accept where I am in my life (career specifically), and to take each day one step at a time, focusing on the present and enjoying every moment, rather than worrying about what is yet to come and out of my control.

2. Appreciation is everything. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? On the other hand OR in contrastare there elements of who you are that you’re still working on appreciating?

I’ve learned to appreciate all of my quirks.

3. Share with us one of your most rewarding achievements in life? Tell us not only what makes YOU most proud but also share the goals and dreams that you still have.

One of my most rewarding achievements in life was making my goal/dream of turning my love for writing into a ‘job’.  What makes me most proud is the fact that I LOVE what I do as a job, which I know can be a bit of an uncommon thing!

4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?

I am a grammar freak and won’t hesitate to correct my friends, I use a straw with every beverage that I drink, and I have a weakness for any potato products.. (and wine).

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

I Love My Sense of Humor!

About the author

Samantha Rivers

Samantha Rivers is a freelance writer who lives in Chicago (Go Cubs!) and loves writing anything in the lifestyle, technology, travel, and career realm both online and print. When she's not running the Upward Onward blog, she enjoys reading, finding delicious new restaurants, being active outside, and indulging in a glass of wine or two.