FAQ: Moving to New York City

Since making the big move from Savannah to New York City, I have gotten so many questions from readers, friends, and family about the overall process. I have decided to tackle some of them here, and I hope it serves as an informative blog post that can help people thinking about moving to New York City. If you have a question and it is not answered below, please feel free to email me and I will do my best to answer it!

How did you find an apartment/roommates?

I have three roommates, one of which I was roommates throughout college with, and the other two were found by her! She found a broker and did most of the hard work, but I did come to NYC with her to help during the looking process. We finally found a place that worked with everyone's budget, and although it was definitely on the more expensive end of the spectrum, we agreed to go for it because of the amenities that came with it (hello, free gym membership for a year).

How do you furnish an apartment while on a budget?
IKEA. I have the same bed as probably 50% of Manhattan, but it was cheap and doubles as storage. For the living room, we all split the cost of the couch, coffee table, barstools, and TV stand, which made things more affordable!

How do you save money when there are amazing restaurants everywhere?
I try to only eat out 1-2 times a week maximum!

Did you move to the city with a job?
No, I did not. Many people called me crazy for doing so, but plain and simple–– I had no connections up here, and I needed to move to have a chance at scoring a good job. It's so much easier once you're up here because many companies do not even consider you if you're not local. As soon as I was able to put my NYC apartment address on my resume, I got more and more calls back and inquiries about setting up meetings.

How long did it take you to get a job?
It took me a little over a month to get a job. A company that I was really interested in reached out to me in my first week of being here, and I had a phone interview the next day. After three more rounds of interviews in person, I was offered a job, which I accepted immediately. I start the first week of October, and I could not be more excited!

How did you get a job if you had no connections?
I told every single person I knew I was looking for a job. I applied to everything that remotely interested me, and I made sure to write damn good cover letters to show I was extremely interested. One of my friends actually told me about the company that I am going to be working for!

How do you budget in such a high cost of living area?
I definitely eat out less than I did when I lived in Winter Park or Savannah–– Trader Joe's is my new BFF, and I have basically given up drinking unless it's on the weekends. Drinks cost so much here that it isn't worth it, and it's also healthier to drink less so it's a win/win. I only allow myself to spend so much on entertainment/groceries per week. It's important to set boundaries–– I love the app Mint to do that. My parents have been kind enough to help me out for a little while I am getting started and settled up here, but when my job starts, I will hopefully be able to depend on them much less. I am super thankful for all of their help. I most definitely treat myself less and shop less and I learn to work with what I have!

What made you choose NYC over California or staying home?
A ton of my readers know that I was originally dead set on moving to California upon graduation. I love it out there–– the weather, the people, the mountains/ocean, but one thing made me choose New York and it was the logic that the best time to live in NYC is when you're young, but it's not the best place to raise a family or settle down. I figured I can always pick up and move to California down the road, but NYC is great for now! Home was never an option for me–– I love it, but I could never move back to Savannah.

Do you feel like the city is sensory overload at times?
Yes and no. It's loud. It's smelly. There are people EVERYWHERE. All of that being said, New York City has its excapes. The Upper East and West sides are quieter. Central Park is peaceful. My friend lives in Connecticut, so I can always take the train out if I need to get away on the weekends.

How much do you walk a day?
At least 5 miles a day. I try to walk when possible instead of taking the subway because I love the extra exercise it gives me! I have been so active since being here, and it makes me feel so energized.

What has been your biggest adjustment?
Honestly, living with three other people and the chaos that comes with it. I am an introvert, so it's hard having high energy levels around at all times. I love all of my roommates, but it's definitely an adjustment, and sharing kitchen space/the pantry is hard! It also makes the apartment impossible to keep clean.

Do you ever feel lonely? I want to move to the city but I have no friends there and I am super scared to take the leap!
I will be your friend! Honestly, it almost feels lonelier here because the city is so vast if that makes sense. People are everywhere, but they all have their own lives. I knew maybe 2 people before moving up here, and I barely even get to see them because their schedules are so chaotic. I don't regret my decision at all, but I am excited to start my job so I can meet more people! Another thing is making new friends post-grad is definitely harder. Everyone is working so no one can hang out during the day, and no one has classes or anything forcing them to be exposed to new people/crowds.

How long can you see yourself living in the city?
This is a question I cannot answer right now. I would definitely expect to be here at least a full two years, but you never know where life will take you!

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