The 10 Best NYC Life Hacks

Katherine Ripley Katherine Ripley

The 10 Best NYC Life Hacks


Sometimes you have to get creative in order to survive in this city. Lucky for you, we put together a list of ideas so you don’t have to think of them yourself:


1. Buy the unlimited Metrocard

[NYC Talking]
[NYC Talking]
Unless you work from home or can walk to your office, an unlimited Metrocard will save you money. $2.75 per subway ride every weekday adds up to about $120 a month (and that’s not counting weekend rides). A monthly unlimited card costs $116, so it will pay for itself with minimum use.


2. Use iTrans

itrans app

Ever stood in the subway station for ten minutes thinking, “Damn, I would have had plenty of time to grab that cup of coffee”? You don’t have to be in that situation anymore. iTrans is an app that will tell you exactly when the subway (or bus or ferry) is coming.


3. Know which direction you’re going

traffic flow
[Dorli Photography/Flickr]
Walking from underground to street level can be disorienting, especially in a place you’ve never been before. If you’re not quite sure which way to walk when you reach the street, remember: traffic flows west on odd-numbered streets and east on even-numbered streets.


4. Get your coffee from a cart

[Neil Conway]
[Neil Conway]
Starbucks will cost you $5, while a street cart might only cost you $1. That adds up if you’re a daily coffee drinker.


5. Grocery shop in a borough that isn’t Manhattan

grocery store

Groceries, cleaning supplies, and even services like haircuts will be cheaper in less expensive areas of Brooklyn, Queens, or the Bronx. You may look silly riding the subway with your groceries, but your bank account will thank you.


6. Buy clothes in New Jersey

welcome to new jersey

New York taxes clothes and New Jersey doesn’t. It costs $5.50 to ride the PATH to Jersey City or Hoboken and back, which is less than you would be spending in tax for a decent-sized purchase from a retail store in NYC.


7. Carry a water bottle

water bottle

If you don’t have anything to drink with you, you’ll end up buying a beverage every time you buy food to eat on the go. That money adds up. Tap water is free and it easily goes with you.


8. Use the Sit or Squat app


This free app by Charmin helps you find a bathroom, which can be a challenge in the city. Some of the bathrooms listed in the app might be a toss-up as to whether the proprietors will let you use them without paying. But if you’re in a pinch, this app is better than nothing.


9. Create storage space in your apartment

underbed storage

NYC apartments are small. Here are some ways to create more storage space:

  • Buy storage bins which fit under your bed
  • Put long tablecloths or table skirts on your coffee table and store things under there
  • Buy those ottomans which are actually chests
  • Angle your furniture in front of a corner and store things behind it


10. Use Fever


There are multiple event discovery apps in New York City, but Fever is by far the best. It’s a free app which selects the best quality events in the city and lets you buy tickets for them right on the app. You can always find things to do for $10 and under, or even for free.


Tags: Life hacks
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