Oh wow.. i just thought about doing the same thing a couple months ago.. well I still am except I am moving to San Francisco instead of NYC. I am a high school senior and am moving out of Florida ASAP when I graduate.. I don't want to go to college here and I am going to be paying for college myself. Ive actually lived in NYC though and can tell you about this plan of yours.
First of all.. you WILL need roommates. You can live in a good apartment with 3 other people in a nice neighborhood in brooklyn or queens for about 650-700 including utilities (your share) a month. You wont be able to live in Manhattan... MAYBE, and I mean MAYBE you could afford a roommate situation in Harlem or Washington Heights for the same price but they wont be as good of quality as in Queens or BK. But if you want to go to Brooklyn College you must live in BK because the commute from anywhere else would be too much. Plus, Washington heights is somewhat far away from midtown and downtown but it is close to City College, if you want to go there (cheap 4 year school).
Monthly MTA card is 76, its great.. works for subways and buses and has unlimited uses for the month. Food will be maybe in the 200 range if you are single and eat normally. Food in NYC is normally priced in the boroughs, but is outrageous in manhattan.. actually, everything is overpriced in manhattan. You will also need to budget for new clothes because the weather in NYC is in two extremes, very hot in the summer (like miami, and yes, I believe there is humidity), and very cold in the winter. I would budget 50 a month for clothes for at least the first year. You will also need to budget for savings to use on health related things.. like saving 50 bucks a month to use on your yearly dentist visit or your yearly eye exam. You also will need to budget in at least 100 for other expenses and money you spend on extra stuff. You need to be realistic.. you may say you wont spend any extra cash but you always will. Going to McDonalds, vending machines, buying a magazine, or anything like that is considered extra. Also budget in 80 bucks a year for a PO box.
I believe all-in-all you will need to be making at least 500 a month along with your rent in order to survive minimally, so about 1200 a month after taxes.
A couple tips:
Dont live in new jersey. Establish a residence in NYC and keep your rental receipts and pay stubs. If you live in NY for a year you can pay instate tuition at colleges there.
Support yourself and take minimum amounts of $$ from your mom. If you can prove you pay all your own expenses you qualify for instate tuition and possibly financial aid.
Stay away from some of the east neighborhoods in BK. East New York, Brownsville, Flatbush, and Bed-Stuy are cheap to live in but are ghettoes! Queens and Manhattan are safe, Bronx is so-so, but BK has some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the whole city.
Be careful in what ethnic enclave you live. Some neighborhoods are so ethnic that every sign except the street signs are in Chinese/Korean/Greek/Spanish. You might be familiar with this though, coming from Miami.
Dont blow your savings if you are trying to go to school.. you have enough saved up for tuition at a college in NYC. Work as little as you need to in order to pay the bills. No more than 25-30 hours a week. It would be foolish to try to live on your own (without roommates) just because you have so much saved up.
Try finding a job as server or busser and gain experience in the serving industry. It is VERY lucrative in manhattan. 2 years experience can land you a good job at a restaurant where you can make good tips.
BTW.. I've heard that Brooklyn College (gorgeous campus btw), while somewhat easy to get into, has a hard curriculum so make sure you can balance work and school efficiently.
If you want to talk more, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lived in NYC, contemplated moving there.
Look on craigslist.org for prices on rooms and apartments.
· 1 decade ago