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Living on a Budget as an LIM College Student in NYC – Part I

posted by LIM College

The words "NYC" and "budget" just don't go well together. But budgeting is part of growing up, and it's important to realize that college students stress about budgeting wherever they go to school.

Knowing where to shop and where not to shop when living in Manhattan is vital. Your own exploration and research can only show you so much, so I'm here to share my secrets.

It's really important to know how much you have to spend a month. If that seems overwhelming, cut it down to per week. Then remember, not only do you have to buy a $112 Metrocard per month to get around NYC, but you also have to buy the necessities (like detergent, dishwasher liquid, toilet paper, paper towels, etc.)

My biggest tip here would be to buy in bulk. Buy the biggest, to last you the longest.  It may seem expensive at first, but if it lasts you're actually saving money. Two websites I personally love are FreshDirect and Mainly because they offer next-day delivery, and in comparison to other supermarkets around Manhattan, have great prices.

A Fresh Direct delivery

A Fresh Direct delivery - and a few items I picked up on sale from looking at weekly circulars. This will last me a while!

You would be surprised to know that even Amazon sells everything at a reasonable price. If you have Amazon Prime (for which there’s a yearly fee) they ship within two days for free! It costs around $70, so it's not cheap, but keep in mind that they sell everything. From printer ink-laptops-project supplies-textbooks and even designer clothes! I find it really useful, and in the long run, I have saved money from Amazon's great prices and lack of shipping fees.

Don't be afraid to look for coupons. Or use them. Some of the wealthiest people in the world use coupons, and it's probably because they know how to save their money. Two websites that I love are groupon and living social. You get deals around Manhattan at very discounted prices. We all need a little pampering once in a while, so having a mani and pedi for just $13? yes, please! (Not that I'm endorsing spoiling yourself!) But in comparison to places that charge $60 and up for the two treatments, you have yourself a bargain.

The other thing to do is just go out and buy a good bottle of nail polish. I love the quick-dry ones, because I don't have to sit and wait for ages while they dry! I'm so bad at painting my own nails, but having a manicure and pedicure each and every week is an astonishing $2880 per YEAR. I would rather buy a new bottle of nail polish every few months. Essie (which they use in nail salons) usually costs around $8 and the bottle lasts for more than a week (unlike a manicure that chips) You can even invite friends over and trade colors.

Topics: New York City, student life