Cost of living - New York City

7 Things to know and do before moving to New York City

Moving to New York City is an exciting adventure, but it comes with its own set of challenges and preparations. NYC cost of living can be expensive, so it is important to set a budget that includes rent, utilities, transportation, groceries, and entertainment to ensure you can manage your expenses.

NYC offers a wide range of career opportunities across various industries, if you’re moving without a job, start your job search early. Explore the city’s landmarks, eateries, parks, and cultural events after you’ve settled in. There are countless options for fun and learning in the Big Apple.

Are you planning to move soon? Read on to learn more about the 7 things to know before moving to New York City.

New York City (Sept 2023)

Moving to New York City: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to New York City

Finding a job 

According to the New York Department of Labor, in August 2023, private sector jobs in New York City increased by 114,200 compared to the previous year, reaching 4,086,100. The city’s unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in August, staying the same as in July but up by 0.7 percent from August 2022.

Some traditionally high-demand jobs in New York City include: software developer/engineer; financial analyst/consultant; and those working for private education and health services.

Online job postings such as Indeed, SimplyHired, and NYC Government Jobs, job fairs, and recruiting agencies are all resources that jobseekers can use to research opportunities for employment in NYC.

Getting there 

Traveling to NYC is the most convenient way to go to the city, whether you’re coming from afar or another country.

Flying: New York City has three main airports: John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).

Train: If prefer by land, many nearby cities like Newark, Stamford, and New Rochelle have trains to NYC.

Bus: You can also take buses from companies like Greyhound, Megabus, and BoltBus

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable long-distance moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to NYC is an exciting yet challenging adventure, and preparing in advance can make your transition smoother:

  • New York City has subways, buses, and taxis. Download useful apps like Google Maps or the official MTA app for easy navigation.
  • Study some local etiquette and understand NYC’s diverse culture and adapt to sidewalk etiquette, fast-paced living, and tipping norms to fit in.
  • Update your voter registration to your new NYC address to participate in local, state, and national elections. You can register online or by mail through the New York State Board of Elections.

2. Upon your arrival in New York City

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • NYC’s subway system is important and helpful for getting around. Buy a MetroCard to make traveling easier.
  • Familiarize yourself with major subway lines and routes to navigate the city efficiently.
  • Take a walk around your neighborhood to get familiar with local shops, restaurants, and services.

Exchanging your driver’s license

When you move to New York City with a valid driver’s license from another state or country, you might need to exchange it for a New York State driver’s license.

For the most current and accurate information on how to apply for a driver’s license in NYC, visit the official New York State DMV website. This will help you save time and make the process smoother.

Setting up a bank account 

Setting up a bank account isn’t mandatory when you decided to move to NYC, but it does have its benefits and advantages. It offers a secure and convenient way to manage your finances.

NYC has several banks and financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo, that provide various services to locals and businesses.

Getting health insurance

Obtaining health insurance in NYC is an easy process. It can easily be found and purchased online. Moreover, there’s Child Health Plus, a government-funded program that covers individuals under 19 who don’t qualify for Medicaid and lack affordable employer-based insurance.

For those who qualify but don’t have access to Medicaid or similar cost-reduction programs, there’s a low-cost option known as The Essential Plan.

NYC also has a network of hospitals, clinics, and healthcare facilities under the public healthcare system called, NYC Health and Hospitals. They provide healthcare services to all, regardless of financial status.

The healthcare costs in New York City are as follows:

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance (average cheapest)




Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in New York City

 Best places to live in NYC

Moving to NYC can be exciting and overwhelming. Finding the perfect neighborhood in NYC is essential for a satisfying living experience, whether moving locally or from afar.

This table simplifies the process of living in New York City. It highlights the top 7 neighborhoods for quality of life in 2023, whether you’re drawn to the city’s vibrancy or seeking employment opportunities. It may help you find the neighborhood you want to live in.




Vibrant atmosphere


Great for waterfront strolls

Forest Hills

Great for outdoor activities

Midtown East

Central location in Manhattan

East Village

Best for recreational parks

Park Slope

Vibrant cultural scene

Carroll Gardens

Many green spaces

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services in New York City like electricity, water, and internet is a straightforward process.

For electricity and gas services, you’ll need to contact Con Edison (Consolidated Edison) for most areas of NYC. They can help you set up and manage your utility services.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) manages water services. Setting-up the water service can be done online or by contacting them directly.

In New York, setting up the internet is a relatively easy process. Once you’ve trimmed down your list of possible ISPs, evaluate each one’s services while taking your internet usage, pricing, and speeds into consideration.

Should you rent or buy?

The decision to rent or buy a property in NYC depends on some factors, including personal choices and financial stability. Try these trusted websites, such as PropertyClub,, Houzeo, and Trulia, which are often used to find available apartment listings and properties in NYC, or engage with a real estate agent for assistance.

To help you compare, As of August 2023, the median cost of buying a property in New York is $834,392 and as of September 2023, the median rent for a 1-bedroom apartment is $3,650

4. Cost of living in New York City


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($85.63 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in New York City

According to, the weather in NYC has a mild and temperate climate with cold winters. Its coastal location, proximity to the Atlantic Ocean, and urban heat island have effects that result from the city’s structures and infrastructure. 

Summer starts in late June and lasts until September. Then December to February have cold temperatures, occasional snowfall, and a festive holiday season.

6. What to do as a local in New York City

NYC locals have a bustling lifestyle with plenty of entertainment options. They enjoy nightlife venues and shopping spots like Manhattan Mall and Fifth Avenue.

The city’s vibrant arts scene is a big draw. It’s home to Broadway and top-notch theater shows.

In the heart of NYC, there are ample green spaces for outdoor fun. Locals often relax in parks like Central Park, Prospect Park, or the High Line, enjoying the fresh air and outdoor activities. 

7. Fun facts about New York City

  • Fun Fact #1: Alfred Mosher Butts, a jobless architect residing in Jackson Heights, Queens, invented the famous word game Scrabble, which was once known as “Lexiko” before then.
  • Fun Fact #2: When you stand in one of the corners of the low ceramic arches outside the Oyster Bar & Restaurant in Grand Central Terminal’s Whispering Gallery and make a sound, it allows you to have a conversation with someone on the opposite side.
  • Fun Fact #3: The Brooklyn Bridge holds a hidden apartment from the early 20th century, once used by engineer Washington Roebling’s family.
  • Fun Fact #4: Central Park measures 843 acres (341 hectares) and it is larger than the territory of Monaco and even big cities like Vatican City and San Marino.


While New York City has many appealing features, some people may find it challenging to deal with factors such as high living costs, an overwhelming setting, and a fast-paced lifestyle. 

Moving to NYC is a significant step, but with careful planning and a positive attitude, you can make the most of this vibrant and dynamic city. 

There are a lot of things to do and ways to make the travel easier when you decide to move to NYC, you can check the best NYC movers for your convenience.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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