We've covered just how expensive it is to live in New York City; now it's time to talk about what you can do to make your rent more affordable. You don't need to be rich to live in New York City, sometimes you just need to be a little bit creative.
A surefire way to lower the cost of living in New York is to find a roommate (or a couple of them). Not only does a roommate bring down the cost of rent, they will also be someone with whom to share the cost of utilities, groceries, the broker's fee, etc.
With most additional bedrooms, you don't have to add another bathroom, kitchen, or living room. So more often than not, you will be able to find a two-bedroom that has a much lower cost per person than a one-bedroom. The only reason this might not be true is if the entire neighborhood is space-constrained. For example, the price jump from a 1 to 2-bedroom apartment is going to much steeper in the West Village than it will be in the Upper East or West Side.
Even if you can't find a two-bedroom, you can very often find a rather spacious one-bedroom and make it in to two, by installing a temporary wall in the living room. These apartments are sometimes listed as "convertible 2-bedrooms" or "flex 2's". Before you get too intimidated by the thought of putting up a well, understand that this is a very common process in New York and the building management company may even have a wall company they'll require you to use. Expect to pay $1-2k for the wall depending on the features (yes, temporary walls have features).
That's all well and good, but what if you don't have friends of family lined up to move-in with? You have some options. One common option for young professionals is to move-in with co-workers who are also new to the city. If you're new to a company, chances are you aren't the only one who's looking for housing. Similarly, you can try a local alumni e-mail list or asking friends for leads.
And then there's the internet. As you might guess, we love the internet, but we're going to recommend using common sense here. Plenty of people find great roommates on Craig's List. Plenty of people also find not so great roommates on Craig's List (your author included). There are also a handful of other sites out there that specialize in matching roommates. Just be careful and take common sense steps that you would with any new person you meet!
The best thing about a roommate is the options they provide. When you're looking for apartment, feel free to think outside the box. Getting creative in making a space work is all part of the New York City experience!