No matter what your income level, you throw away a lot of money living in New York. Paying brokers to hunt down exorbitantly priced (yet minuscule) apartments, driving the precise route overground in a cab that a subway travels underground, eating out, eating out, eating out. New Yorkers are masters at burning through cash, but we are suddenly thinking a lot more about every dollar. This may bring on a little gloom, but fortunately, it isn’t that difficult to have the same life you had, oh, last November, only with fewer ATM withdrawals. On the following pages, you’ll find ideas for everything from buying a (relatively) affordable apartment to kicking the restaurant habit to getting a sharp-looking $14 haircut. One caveat: This is a micro- , not a macroeconomic exercise. If everyone quit shopping, or eating out, or buying books, the city’s economy would stop dead in its tracks, so don’t take all of our advice all at once. Consider these helpful, grandparentlike tips. Who knows, if you’re like us—given to a bit of guilt now and then—you might even find you enjoy the New Austerity.
Grand-Total Annual Savings: $488,180
(If you were to follow all of the following advice, including buying an average discounted apartment, sending your kid to public school, and trading your dog for a fish.)