Relatively Frugal

Relatively Frugal


I have been living in Manhattan for officially a month now and have been out of the frugal loop lately. Every time I catch up on fellow frugal blogs and articles, I just don’t find anything I can relate to.

Urban Living

I no longer have a car so I don’t need gas saving tips. I have no storage space, so I can’t buy in bulk. I have access to a plethora of free events, so I don’t need ideas on cheap dates. I rent an apartment, so I don’t need homeowner’s tips. I live with roommates, so I don’t need information on co-habitation budgets. I have to carry my groceries home, so I can’t stock up on sale items. I don’t do my own laundry, so I don’t need homemade detergent. Groceries are exorbitantly expensive and eating out can be really really cheap.

Staying Frugal

However, even though I may not be doing all of these essential money-saving tips that don’t apply to my lifestyle, I am still saving money.

I am tracking my spending and keeping an eye on my monthly budget. I balance between free, cheap & expensive-but-worth it activities. And most importantly, I buy less.

I buy less because:

  1. I don’t have space
  2. Things are heavy
  3. There are so many activities to do that I never go shopping because I’m “bored”.

Saving money might seem difficult living in an expensive city, but it really is balanced out by being forced to live a more minimalist lifestyle.


How well does your life relate to essential frugal advice?


8 Replies to “Relatively Frugal”

  1. I’ve lived in NYC for about a decade now so most of that stuff never related to my lifestyle. I think the general principles of spending less than you earn, seeking out free or low cost events, etc have applied. I also run into wanting to buy in bulk (especially for the heavy stuff like canned cat food, which I’d rather deal with once per month and not every single week) but not being able to without renting a car.

    I think one thing that’s been helpful in NYC is that we have a wealth of resale and thrift stores so the majority of my clothing ends up being resale vs new.

    1. That is a good point Jesse. It seems that cities and college towns are more likely to have quality thrift stores than most other places. However, there is a time factor when it comes to finding used clothes that you like and fit well. Are there any specific places you have had good luck at?

  2. I’m totally in the same boat! I bike or walk everywhere, so I don’t buy in bulk and only pick up what I can carry. This, I think, forces me to spend less money – my trick is to shop holding items in my hands. As soon as I start to juggle and drop stuff, I know I’ve got too much stuff.

    I also don’t have any storage space, and rent. I skim through posts about gas or cutting expenses on houses, but I always find good tips about homemade shampoo or sauces, and whatnot.

  3. I think the number 1 lesson in frugality i learned in NYC was planning, planning, planning. I get crap from the BF about being obsessive, but I’ve found that if i just leave the house w/o a plan of where I’m going, what I’m spending, etc. I always end up spending a lot more $$. There are TONS of free events, but they’re hard to come across on the fly because of the more expensive options.

    Also, I have a handful of favorite spots where I know I can get things at a reasonable/cheap price (I mentioned Trader Joes and there’s also Jacks in Herald sq for toiletries, etc) but they’re out of the way. Not TOO out of the way, but enough that I need to plan a day after work every day that i go. I’ve made Mondays my day to do that – I shoot up the west side, stop at Jacks and then the 72nd street traders.

    Anyway, the point of that ramble is that there ARE deals in NYC, you just have to plan around it.

    ALSO, I LOVE Groupon for discounted things like Yoga, the Gym, etc. I don’t use it for anything but activities and fitness opps. Saves me tons of $$!

  4. I don’t get it. How can you have your own apartment(ie not live with parents) and dont do laundry??Are your clothes all disposable??

    1. I don’t do my own laundry. I drop it off at a laundromat that offers wash & fold service. For the time it saves, the expense evens out. This also means I don’t have to purchase laundry supplies.

  5. After years of lugging my heavy groceries I pulled a back muscle. And got one of those granny pull carts. Best. Decision. Ever. I recommend it for city grocery shopping.

Comments are closed.