Everybody knows that NYC is one of the most expensive cities in the world. Finding an affordable apartment is a dream come true for many New Yorkers and those who would like to become New Yorkers. Finding the perfect first apartment in NYC is quite a challenge. Even an apartment with rent control might seem like too much to ask for. That is why people of NYC need to be practical and look for other ways to save money on their rent. One of such ways is pairing up. So, the question is – How much does having a roommate save in NYC?

The average costs of living in NYC

The average costs we will discuss here include the rent, transportation, food, utilities, and entertainment. Of course, those are not all costs that a person has during a month, but these are relevant to our subject and they will help us see how much does having a roommate save in NYC.

Five young people sitting in their living room, chilling

How much does having a roommate save in NYC? – the more roommates you have, the more you save!

Rent in NYC

The housing market in NYC is rather hectic. At the moment, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment is somewhere around $2,500. Of course, the prices are rising as you read this article. If you are looking to rent an apartment in the most popular part of NYC – Manhattan, prepare to pay a significantly larger amount of money. Studios or one-bedroom apartments cost around  $2,000 a month. The rent is number one among the reasons why people are moving out of NYC.

How much does having a roommate save in NYC in terms of rent

The rent money is where you can save a lot if you decide to share your living space with a roommate. The best option is to find a roommate or even two and browse two or three-bedroom apartments. That is how you can save some $1000 per month if you have one roommate and even $1300 if you share a bigger place with two people. Of course, the figures will not be the same for every apartment. They will vary significantly from one neighborhood to another, but you see the point. By sharing a living space with others in NYC you will not only save on your rent but on some other things as well.

Our friends from Divine Moving and Storage NYC say that the number of adult New Yorkers looking for a person to share their apartment with is constantly on the rise.

The utilities

The utilities include:

  • heating – often included in rent money;
  • electricity – this is where you can save a certain amount of money if you use it rationally;
  • water – again, not so expensive, but the consumption should be rational;
  • garbage – the service of taking away your garbage is also paid on a monthly basis;
  • the internet – we cannot live without it but luckily we can share it;
  • cable, Netflix and similar – depends on the package you opt for;
  • phone – depends on your habits;

The listed utilities are something that you would have to pay whether you rent or buy a place in NYC. But, since we are here to discuss living with a roommate, buying is probably out of the equation. The average utility package for the services listed above costs a bit under $150. That is slightly less than the national average.

What about the utilities when you live with a roommate?

As we have already mentioned, heating will probably be a part of your rent. The chances are that the electricity will be included too. Now, the Internet and cable (Netflix or whatever), those are the bills you can split and save some money. That would be some $50 left in your budget.


Having a car in NYC is not a good idea for so many reasons and that is why most New Yorkers use the public transportation system. The monthly pass costs $127 and you can get pretty much everywhere you need to by using NYC transport. Naturally, cabs are more expensive and you shouldn’t rely on their services very often if you are trying to survive NYC as a newcomer.

A subway station, the train leaving

A lot of New Yorkers use public transport

Don’t even think about having your own car in NYC. It turns out that this is the most expensive city in the world for car owners in terms of parking on which you can spend as much as $600. Yes, you’ve read it right, it has three figures. Add the cost of maintenance, gas, and insurance, and you will see that owning a car in NYC is irrational. However, if for some reason you need to use a car, be prepared for the costs. Having a roommate will not help you here unless you carpool and share all the expenses.


The average amount of money a person needs for groceries in NYC is just below $500, which is again rather expensive. As a matter of fact, the national average is below $350. However, NYC is famous for its restaurant scene and many New Yorkers eat out all the time. That is what’s raising the average cost of eating in NYC. People who are more conscious about their budget say that you can survive in the city spending some $300 on groceries and preparing your own meals. Of course, the occasional take-outs are included in that price.

How much does having a roommate save in NYC in terms of food?

if you prefer eating out over making your own meals or ordering in, you will not see the benefits of having a roommate. On the other hand, if you share the grocery bills and eat together, you will be able to save a considerable amount of money. The exact amount of money you will have after sharing will depend on your eating habits and the food choices you make every day.


You are the one who determines how much money you will spend on entertainment per month. In NYC, you can get entertained without spending a single dollar or you can spend a fortune on one night out with your friends. But, the same goes for all the biggest cities in the world, right? It is all up to you. How much does having a roommate save in NYC in terms of entertainment? Well, not too much – unless you are a couple.

ow much does having a roommate save in NYC? - young people spending time together as roommates

Entertainment in NYC doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg

Are there other ways to save money in NYC?

Since the cost of living in NYC is unbearable for many people, a lot of them are doing whatever they can to make ends meet. You would be surprised to see how much money you can save by having drinks during happy hours, by using coupons, or by downsizing and moving far less stuff with you to your new NYC apartment. That is right, storing your belongings during relocation can be rather helpful.


So, let’s answer the question – how much does having a roommate save in NYC? The average amount would be around $13,000 a year. Once again, that is only a rough amount and the precise one will depend on your habits and a neighborhood you choose to live in.