New York City is not cheap by any means—your rent will tell you that right off the bat. Winter is one of the most expensive times of the year for a New Yorker, so I’ve come up with some incredibly helpful (and already experienced) tips on how to get through the season without hurting your wallet. You won’t sacrifice your comfort or your health, so don’t worry! And each opportunity will keep your English practice going and will keep you challenged!

woman in restaurant

Depending on how long you’ve been in New York City, you’re probably familiar with the brutal winters we can have here. While in the beginning of the season throughout the first couple of snowfalls, it can be beautiful and mesmerizing, it can also be exhausting and annoying by the time February comes. You start to crave warmer weather and ache for the time when you could leave your apartment without ten layers! Regardless, the winter is tough on all of us, and it can be especially hard on your wallet if you’re not careful. This is my third year in New York City, so I feel prepared and ready to face this season without any surprised. I’ve come up with some of my best advice on ways to save money and not be surprised with high bills.

  1. Grocery shop

Let’s face it. We tend to hibernate in the winter as much as we can. Sometimes I have to practically talk myself into leaving my apartment just to get essentials. I noticed that during the months of December until March, I ordered food delivery several times a week just so I wouldn’t have to leave my comfortable little living space! But then I realized $15 here and $20 there started to add up, and before I knew it, I was spending quite a large chunk of my income on food just because I was lazy! Let me tell you—I learned VERY quickly that a trip to the grocery store once or twice a week did quite a favor to my wallet—and my guilt also disappeared! Plus, the more you go outside, the more likely you are to mingle with others—this is a great time to practice “Wow, it’s a cold one today!” or “Certainly makes you miss those hot summer days!”

  1. Be mindful of your heat

This is more than likely the biggest contributor of your winter expenses. While it’s nice to feel warm and cozy in your apartment, be careful about what you set your thermostat to. Consider turning the knob down a few degrees before you leave for work each day. It sounds silly, but throw on those layers while you’re home—pull out those hideous house slippers that your parents got you but were too “cool” to wear. Pull out those throw blankets that are only ever used for decoration for bedtime. Invest in under-the-door snakes that will keep any kind of draft entering your apartment—and will also protect your heat from escaping. You’d be surprised how these little details will make a huge difference in your monthly bill! Dust off your English reading skills and look at your paper statement the energy company sends you—they actually send you tips on how you can lower your bill each month! Take their advice—they know what they’re talking about!

  1. Check out free activities

Another place my money was going to each winter was the bars. After work or on the weekends, my friends wanted to spend as little time outside as possible, so we didn’t know what else to do but hit up our local pub. Not only was this just sucking the money out of me, but I was also drinking a lot more—not good! So before you automatically just jump to a bar for the first idea, do research on what kind of free shows or museums you can hit—this way, you save money, still stay indoors, AND you won’t wake up the next morning regretting your decisions! While the bar is a great place to meet new people and practice your English, eventually you might find that you’re using the same phrases or even running into the same people. By changing up your routine, you can expand your vocabulary, meet new and totally different people than bar frequenters. Plus, you’re in New York City! There’s so much more to see and do then just the same old bar and pub!

Category : Stay in New York