Empire State of Mind: is the cost of living in New York worth it?

By Melanie Keegan Published 12/04/2024

Living in New York City has long been debated. It’s too expensive and not worth the hassle of a long commute. But there’s amazing food from every corner of the world and events for every kind of interest. There’s also a ton of noise all the time and lots of people packed into one area. However, you can also find people from almost every country on earth and endless job opportunities. The reasons number many, but what is the truth? 

Is living in New York worth it?

The pros: Top reasons people rave about living in NYC

Let’s start with the good, shall we? From the excitement of living in the Big Apple to one-dollar slices, to events literally every night of the week, there’s plenty of reasons that make living in New York a unique and incomparable experience.

Central hub for art enthusiasts

Let’s start off with a huge plus for New York City. It is definitely one of the centers of the universe in terms of the arts, serving as a global hub and meeting point for the international community. Featuring renowned institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and countless galleries, a great reason to live in New York is definitely the art.

Entertainment extravaganza and endless things to do

The city offers a bottomless pit of entertainment options. Whether you want to catch a famous Broadway show or check out the live music venues, comedy clubs, to sports events, ensuring there’s always something happening. Here are a few places to check what’s going on in New York: New York City Tourism, Time Out, or explore the best ways to get to know NYC. Want events sent to your mailbox? Sign up for the flavorpill newsletter!

A diverse culinary scene that delights every taste bud

You cannot talk about New York without talking about the food. NYC boasts a diverse culinary scene, ranging from high-end dining to affordable pizza slices. Cuisines from every corner of the world are right outside your door, not to mention a ton of great places for a nice Sunday brunch

A web of networking opportunities that’d make Peter Parker jealous

Being one of the most popular destinations on earth, the city is an ideal place for networking, both professionally and personally, with a ton of opportunities to connect and build relationships. Whether you’re just starting your career, or are looking for a change of pace in a big city, New York offers almost every type of employment possible.

Top-notch institutions and healthcare

Home to prestigious universities like Columbia and NYU, New York City also has some of the best hospitals in the United States, including NYU Langone and NY-Presbyterian. While costs can be extremely high, the quality of care cannot be contested.

Aerial shot of New York with Brooklyn bridge

Public transportation is a convenient plus

New York is known for its metro and whether or not you think they’re clean enough, this extensive public transportation system allows you to get around town without owning a car, making life more convenient and the city more accessible. In a country that is dominated by cars, NYC stands out for its public transportation.

The beauty of of distinct seasons

NYC residents experience four distinct seasons, with really pleasant Spring and Fall seasons, and opportunities to enjoy parks, rivers, and beaches in different weather conditions. If you want to explore outside of New York a bit, there are a ton of great weekend trips to make. 

Not sure where to live? Check out our piece on which area in NYC might be best for you.

Cohabs is one of many solutions to the nightmare of finding a place to live in New York. It’s fully-furnished, hassle-free, and has a welcoming, vibrant, and international community. Get to know the wonderful people of Cohabs New York! Don’t belive us? Check out Business Insider’s piece on Cohabs.

The good, the bad, and the ugly…

Sky high cost of living

Let’s start off with one of the biggest negatives of New York. Life in the big city doesn’t come cheap. Living in NYC can be incredibly expensive, with exorbitant rents, high grocery costs, and other expenses, making it a challenging financial environment to say the least.  

Urban noise is a mega-turnoff

It’s no surprise that the City That Never Sleeps is loud and bustling, with constant noise from traffic, sirens, and crowded public spaces. If you’re new to this kind of atmosphere, it may require time to adapt to the fast-paced urban lifestyle. Not sure about the rules? Check out NYC’s noise ordinances here.

Workaholic culture: not for the faint of heart

New York has long been known for its hard working culture and the tendency to “grind”where many people put in long hours to sustain the high cost of living. This can lead to burnout, anxiety and depression, and an isolated feeling of loneliness even in this teeming city.

Finicky finances and the strain of saving

To fully enjoy what the city has to offer, especially in terms of dining and entertainment, may heavily impact your wallet, potentially creating a divide among people that earn drastically different salaries.

In the end, there are probably thousands of reasons why you should consider moving to New York and thousands of reasons you’d enjoy life in the big city and make the most of it. 

Still unsure about whether you want to make the leap and move to New York? Hear from some of our NY members, Shana and Giulia to learn a bit from people who have experience coliving and life in New York!

About the author Hey there! I'm Mel, perpetually hungry Content Manager at Cohabs.