Money Diaries - Adulting 101

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Around this time of year, millions of young adults are graduating college, looking for a job, and planning to make big moves! I happen to be one of these young adults.

Recently, I put on my big girl pants and moved to one of the greatest cities in the world! I’m talking about The Big Apple, The Capital Of The World, The Empire State; New York City. With 8.5 million people and counting, NYC is one of the most expensive and daunting places to live in. Sounds scary huh? Well, with a little planning, determination, and research I was able to make a smooth transition. Now it’s time to start ‘adulting’.

Here are some things I experienced and tips I learned while moving to NYC that might help you too!

The Job Search

Looking for a job fresh out of college can seem daunting. For me, it felt like finding a full-time job was my full-time job. After hours of perfecting my resume and job searching, I landed an entry-level position for a tech company! I was recruited by a job board website called WayUp. I HIGHLY recommend using it. I never had luck blindly applying for positions on LinkedIn and Indeed, but WayUp works!

Apartment Shopping

I was so scared to start apartment shopping in NYC. I heard all the rumors about how expensive apartments are, how tiny they were blah blah blah. But here is how I hacked the system:

  • Pick your neighborhood: UES, UWS, and other parts of Manhattan are very cheap so take that into account while browsing

  • Use websites like Street Easy and Real NY. Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist are a gamble because there are a lot of fake listings that can screw you over!

  • Look for places with NO BROKER FEES. Broker fees can be anywhere between $10,000-$15,000 on top of your rent.

  • Be prepared to pay a lot up front. A lot a lot.

  • Simplify your decor


Like I said before, NY is expensive. There’s no getting around it. I mean, I payed $17 for a drink the other night (cringe). However, you can plan ahead and get smart with your money. Make a list of all your new expenses before you make a big move. Be strict with yourself on what you can realistically spend on things. It’s hard but its a necessity.

Initial Feelings

The day I moved in, I was in awe of the city. It really is the capital of the world. Everyone was walking fast, cars were honking, and it felt like a million things were happening at once. It was awesome! Yes I was scared to make such a big move, but once I was there and I was surrounded by all the beautiful chaos I felt a weird sense of empowerment. Like hell yeah I’m finally here! I think I may still be in shock that I actually live here now but overall, it’s been amazing.


Helpful Apps

  • Class Pass: Easy and cheap way to stay fit and explore different gyms in the city.

  • Curb: Pay for your taxis via mobile phone.

  • Citizen: Gives you live crime updates so you know where to go and where not to go.

  • Sweat Coin: Get money for literally walking. Piece of cake!

  • Lemonade: Cheapest renters insurance out there. You’ll need it@

  • Task Rabbit: Great for finding people to help you move, build furniture, etc.

Local’s tips

  • Cook your food: In my opinion this is the best way to stay on budget.

  • Go to the grocery store at odd hours: Grocery store lines can take over an hour so go to Trader Joe’s during hours of the day that people are working (avoid Sunday’s at all cost).

  • Downsize: You may not have a lot of space in your apartment. Downsizing and becoming minimalistic can help you save space and declutter.

  • Google Maps is your new BFF: Use Google Maps for all your transportation needs. It will tell you exactly which subway to get on.

Again, I am so excited to be living here! As I continue to figure things out, I will have plenty more tips to share. In the meantime, follow my Instagram to watch my transformation from a midwest girl to a true New Yorker. Also, be sure to share your adulting tips below!