Apartments for Low Income

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Cheapest Apartments In New York

October 18, 2012

Laura asks…

Is it realistic to become an author in New York?

I am 14 years old and currently living in Michigan. My plans for after I graduate in 2014 (I’m a sophomore) I want to work really hard the next three years and get a few scholarships to a college in the city and major in English (I don’t know which one yet) Since it’s really hard to find a decent and cheap apartment in New York I figured I would either find a room mate or live on campus of the college that I choose. My best friend also wants to live in New York when she graduates,but she’s younger than I am. When she graduates we can get a different apartment together. She wants to sing and act (she has in all the nine years thar I’ve known her) I know making a living entirely off of being an author isn’t possible, so I would find a fall back job. I know it’s a long shot, and it’s so far away from now, but I can see myself doing this for the rest of my life. Since I live in a small city it would be a nice change of scenery. Is there any advice from New Yorkers?

Administrator answers:

I’m not from NY, but I am in college currently and I guess I have some advice for you. I’m glad you’re starting to plan this sort of thing out now, but there’s some stuff to warn you about:

1) Working really hard will not guarantee that you get scholarships. Especially if you are planning on going to a more “prestigious” type of school. It really depends on the general pool of students at that college; you’ll get scholarships for being the best of THEM, not the best of your high school class.

2) College is freakin’ expensive. Scholarships probably won’t cover all of your needs even if you’re a fantastic student. I have about 80% of my education costs covered by scholarships and grants, but there’s still that 20% I’m responsible for. And I’ve got a 3.93 average GPA, and I’m going to a small, relatively unknown, albeit private, school. So far, I’ve had to take out loans to cover what I owe; if you do the same, remember that interest on loans, if not paid off, compounds. You can end up paying much more than you needed in the first place. The exception to all of this is if you go to an in-state public school; these schools are usually pretty inexpensive and you can get some good scholarships (at least here in PA). However, you’re planning on leaving Michigan, and attending an out-of-state public school is about the same cost as a private school. (If you set up permanent residence in the state your school is in, you won’t have this problem, but you have to be living there for a period of time before you even apply to that school.)

3) Living in New York – actually, just living on your own – is freakin’ expensive. I go to school in Pittsburgh and even here, with a much lower cost of living than you’d find in NY, my roommate and I couldn’t afford even a small apartment this summer. And we both would have been working near full-time (think around 35 hrs/week at $7.50/hr). Don’t forget that there’s utilities as well as rent, and you’d need to buy things like groceries and toilet paper. While you’re in college, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get a job that pays much more than $8/hr. Living on campus may or may not be cheaper.

4) Singing and acting is a very unreliable job. Maybe a lot of people think your friend is talented, but it takes more than just talent to “make it,” so to speak. She’ll definitely need to be working a regular job and doing the singing/acting in her spare time. And don’t forget – you might not even be close friends by then. It’ll be around 7 years (at least) until you graduate from college.

5) Same as #4 but with the author bit. If you’re dead set on majoring in English, see if you can specialize in journalism or education, something where you can easily find a job. On the other hand, you don’t have to major in English to be a writer. I’m all for doing what you love, but if you want to live in a city, you need to be able to afford it.

6) Trust me when I say that just because you “can see [yourself] doing this for the rest of [your] life” doesn’t mean that it’s really something you’ll like for the rest of your life. Many of my friends as well as myself have changed our minds about our majors/future careers so many times! I think when I was 14, I wanted to be a journalist…. And trust me, I am so far from journalism right now it’s unreal. I’m also pretty sure I’d hate journalism. Anyways, just be prepared to change your mind and don’t feel guilty or ashamed about it.

Yikes, that was a lot! Sorry if I got off on any tangents. You don’t need to be worrying about this stuff too much just yet, but these are just some ideas to keep in mind as you start visiting and applying to schools.

Jenny asks…

When I’m 18, I plan to move to New York with my friend. How do I make a financial plan?

But being smart, we don’t just want to graduate and drive off.
We want to work every summer, weekend and when we’re not in school. For minimum wage, of course. So we save enough money (my friends mom has money so she’ll probably give us money and so will mine) and we could rent a cheap apartment in New York city. But we still need Electricity money, Cable money, Air condition. I want to make a financial plan so I can be prepared. But I really don’t know how to make one.
oh & no negative stuff because I didn’t ask for it.

Administrator answers:

Most people (incl. Me) use a spreadsheet program to tabulate for each month, the incoming money (wages, cheques from parents) and outgoing money (rent, bills). The difference should be zero or positive if you want to be happy. If it’s positive, put that bit (excess) in a bank account. Anyway, that’s what I understand by financial planning.

Richard asks…

Tips for someone moving out in new york city?

Im 16, gonna be 17 in like a month, im a senior in High school, and im goona move out of my parents house, or at least planning to, when im done with High school.

But the thing is, i dont even know how to start, i want to know these things now.
Where, and how can i find cheap apartments for someone whos besically broke in new york city? What should i do, and what should i know?

Administrator answers:

What a horrible horrible idea.

Linda asks…

Where can i get a cheap apartment in New York, NY?

Im looking for a 1 bedroom apartment that doesn’t cost a fortune (probably the $1,000 to 1,300 range). I will possibly have an internship opportunity available there, but its unpaid. I don’t need luxury, I just need a decent and safe place. I have also checked the minimum wage and it seems to be $7.25 and that the same amount im being paid here in Richmond KY, and doing the math would require me to work full time and only gets me to an income of $1,160. Please let there be a miracle or something. DX

Administrator answers:

Sorry, but there are no miracles in the real world. You can’t afford to pay rent in that range and even if you convince yourself that you can, no landlord would touch you. Minimum wage goes a lot further in Kentucky than NYC. You’ll need to get a roommate or put down the pipe. There’s no way around it.

George asks…

I need a room/apt to rent in New York City. Any clues?

Other than www.craigslist.org , how else could i find information about cheap/affordable New York City apartments/rooms? ranging $200-$400.

Administrator answers:

First off, unless you are talking about per week, you will not find any place in NYC for $200-400 a month.

That might get you a stinky futon you have to share in shifts with a bunch of unsavories in the a s s end of the Bronx.

Now if you want to up your monthly cost to $600-800 per month a roommate situation is doable in the boroughs, or even some parts of Manhattan.

Check sublet.com or roommates.com. Even check out the Village Voice.

Craigslist might end up being your best bet.

Craigslist has the most info, but you do have to cut through a lot of bullshit. Be prepared to put the time it.

It is not easy to find a good roommate situation in NYC, but its not impossible.

Your best situation is one where the leaseholder understands you are payig 50% of the rent (or 1/3 if there are more than one roommate) and will act acordingly with the apt. (i.e. No power trips)

Good luck…
It’s not easy.

Jut up your bottom line, and do some homework.

And don’t rule out craigslist. Just be wary

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