There were four American cities that were taken into consideration for the most expensive in the world (Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles), but they all fell short of New York City. Every American (and many people around the world) have a dream of moving to The Big Apple, but those dreams can get dashed pretty quickly once you see the pricing.
So what is it that makes New York so expensive? You might think that it’s mainly just property prices (and it is a big part), but there are other factors in play. The cost of goods and services in New York are high, and they can be difficult to pay for as taxes neutralize a lot of the wages that workers are making.
For example, in New York City a can of coffee will cost you about $6.15, a dozen eggs will cost $2.90 and if you want to get fancy, a T-bone steak costs $12.80. Now that you have groceries…for the day…you have to worry about the roof over your head. Buying a new home in New York costs an average of $1.36 million, so now you know why so many people that work in the city live as far away as New Jersey.
Some people don’t have the option to buy a house in New York because of the ridiculous prices, but the rent prices aren’t much better, with an average apartment costing $3,783 per month. For comparison, one of the cheapest large cities in the United States is Phoenix, Arizona, which has an average monthly rent of just $1,055, while a one bedroom is $881. In New York City, you can expect to pay four figures for a studio apartment in some of the worst neighborhoods in the city.
A study that was found to determine that New York City was the most expensive also found that the average New Yorker needs to work 24 hours at their job to afford a new iPhone. In no other city in the entire United States can you expect to pay more for an apartment, house, groceries and even going out to eat (even McDonald’s prices are inflated compared to the rest of the country).
Gas prices in 2015 were at their lowest rate in seven years, but that didn’t stop New York City from having gas priced out at an average of $3.19 per gallon. At least getting online isn’t a lot harder than it is in the average city, as the average monthly internet bill is $54.45. Utilities for a standard apartment aren’t ridiculous either, at $134 per month.
No matter how much money you have in any other city, it has much less buying power in New York City. A $77 pair of shoes at your average market costs $96 in New York City, and an insurance policy on your car is more than $4,000 per year. Speaking of cars, if you even drive one in New York City, it’s going to cost you more than $500 per year just to park it somewhere.
If you are one of those people that would prefer to avoid the absolutely dreadful traffic (which also makes you spend more on expensive gas), then public transportation will still cost money. A yearly pass for the subway will cost you more than $1,000. Then again, that’s peanuts compared to insurance and automobile costs.
All in all, the average cost of living in New York City is $63,934 per year, which is 25 to 40 percent higher than a lot of the major cities in the United States. Even a huge tourist city like Las Vegas, Nevada has an average cost of living at $49,583, and that will get you a long way. If you have always dreamed of living in New York City, you might want to already have established yourself as a six figure employee, or else you might be finding yourself living more of a nightmare.