How to Find an Apartment in NYC: A Guide for Students – Expenses

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If you’ve been living in a dorm or your parents’ house up until this point, you’re going to experience a new form of expenses: utility bills. It is very rare in New York City to have an apartment with utilities included (though hot water and heat must be provided by your landlord). The rates for electric bills alone are staggering, and if you engage in the behaviors you likely did pre-electric bill paying, you’re going to find yourself dealing with almost triple digit sums at the end of the month. In addition, there are no dining halls in apartments, so you’re going to have to have a food budget. And since you’ll probably be cooking, you’ll also be paying a fee for the gas that powers your stove and oven.

With this in mind, it may be helpful to make a list of all the estimated expenses, so you have a better understanding of what financial life will be like once you’re in your own apartment. And if things seem a little too extravagant, brainstorm with your parents and roommate on how to keep costs down. Remember to unplug your laptops, chargers, etc. in order to keep your electric bills reasonable. And if you know you won’t be using your stove at all, call Con Edison and tell them to turn off your gas, otherwise you’ll still be paying $10-20 a month for a service you’re not even using.

You’ll also have to decide whether to get Internet and/or cable television. Some people find cable a luxury that’s not realistic or affordable. So opting for a cell phone and Internet in lieu of a landline and cable can be a good option. Also, to help avoid food budget problems, consider going to farmer’s markets instead of the grocery store. The Union Square Greenmarket has in-season produce, which keeps costs down, and the prices are sometimes negotiable. And when going to the grocery store, bring coupons and stick to a list to avoid impulse shopping and overspending. Make delivery a treat when you’re in the middle of finals week and need a break without wasting time. And if you save going out to eat for special occasions, you’ll enjoy saving money and the occasional indulgence.

By Alex Agahigian

Speaking of saving on going out, here are some great student savings from Stuyvesant Organic with this Campus Clipper coupon:


For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful ebooks, we give them a platform to teach others. Follow each new blog post to read a chapter of our various books and to learn how the Campus Clipper can help you follow your dreams!

Stay tuned for more tips from Alex on apartment hunting, check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during last year’s Welcome Week.

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