AdviceNew York

4 Things You Can Totally Live Without in NY

Updated: Aug 10, 2011 15:38
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When you lose your job, or you simply have to make some serious cuts in your current lifestyle to be able to continue to live or save up for something, it can be tough to think about what you’ll need to axe out of your life (like the lady in that photo!). Having recently seen the other end of a financial crisis, I have some authority to assure you that you can totally live without the following:

1) Gym
This was one of the biggest drains on me financially. You can really fuck yourself up with this monthly amount automatically being taken out of your checking account. A totally reasonable alternative is to download or even buy a few workout series you can do at home, while mixing in some yoga or other sorts of classes you can pay per class.

Though I thought I’d never be able to do it coming from running in ideal Southern Californian temperatures, I started running outside in almost all seasons just last year– which is entirely free. Sometimes snow can be intimidating– but as long as it’s not terribly windy or below 20 degrees, I can assure you that you will not die. The smug sense of superiority is an added bonus.

2) TV
I think I’ve only technically had a functional TV with cable in one of my apartments, and it was my roommate’s. Honestly, with netflix, netflix instant, Hulu, and the wealth of the world wide webernet, TV seems like a ridiculous thing to spend money on.

3) Crazy Amounts of Traveling
Maybe you’ll save money on rent if you live in Toledo, Ohio, but you know what? You’ll always be traveling because, you know, it’s about 5 billion times more boring in nearly every single other city besides New York. Even if you don’t think NY has everything, you can 9 times out of 10 (I took a pretty scientific poll just now) find what you’re looking for just a short trip away that very likely wont cost tons of money. Which brings me to…

4) Expensive Transportation
OK, so it’s no picnic paying for your monthly Metropass, but, isn’t gas like $20 per gallon right now? If you’re a freelancer and don’t need to go to an office everyday, you can feasibly stay in your neighborhood and never even have to take the subway or a cab, which means you’ll just have to take good care of your shoes. Also, since things like Fresh Direct and, you can just have your items to come to you– though there’s tax and shipping fees to consider, you’ll be paying probably less if you have a regular non-monthly pass than if you had to bounce from one specialized store to another from Brooklyn to Manhattan, etc etc.

Photo courtesy of

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Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G - Caliburg Contributor

Anna G. is a Southern California native living in the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn since 2005. Anna is constantly trying to unite her love of CA sunshine and the excitement of the New York urban jungle, all the while trying to keep her unwieldy credit card debt under control, and look fabulous at brunch, no matter how un-showered and hungover.


  1. May 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    GYM:  If you hate to run (as I do – BORING!), you can work out easily, without a gym.  I call it a “prison workout”; others call it muscle confusion – a mixture of calisthenics and core exercises – push ups, crunches, squats, etc.  Lost 40 pounds doing it, and there’s never any excuses (like “it’s raining”).

    TV: Dude, you’re killing me.   Taking food out of my kids mouths.  

    Travel: totally agree – every summer I “stay-cation” in NYC.  See the world with a Metrocard.

    Transportation – A-Greed.  Walking and the subway makes a much cheaper getaround than a car and gas.  I think I’ve saved both kids’ college tuition by not driving for 20 years.

    You’re doing g_d’s work, son.

  2. Guestee
    June 1, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Use coupons when things are on sale. shop the grocery circular to plan your meals for a week. Portion out and then freeze ingredients that you would normally waste (the last third of that onion, an extra portion of rice) 

  3. Guestee
    June 1, 2011 at 6:58 am

    Riiiiight. So you can live without; eating out all the time