The life in New York is tough for me. For a visitor who earns money in China (with RMB) and spend USD in New York, it is not easy. Everything seems expensive – very expensive. To get a place to settle down and to have enough food is challenge. I experienced the tough life a new comer to that city. Although I have the option to enjoy luxious trip, but I want to experience the real life of New York so we decided to cut budget as much as possible to see how much we have to spend in that city.
Shanghai is More Expensive than New York
According to a survey by CNN, if the living cost in the city of New York is a starting point with an index of 100, Shanghai is 136. I have all kinds of evidence to show you it is not true. My guess for Shanghai index should be around 20 if New York is 100.
Food is Expensive
In New York, typical dishes are among 4 – 10 USD and we spend about 20 USD very meal in Chinese restaurant. Even in McDonald’s, I have to spend 10 – 14 USD per meal. What does it mean? It is 100 – 160 RMB. This is much more expensive than the most expensive everyday meal in Shanghai. In Shanghai, 50 RMB per person in a meal is rated as good meal already and 100 RMB per person means very expensive (and often good) meal.
In McDonald’s, a No 1 Meal Suite (a big Mac, fried potato and Pepsi) cost 5.99 USD in New York while in Shanghai, it costs only 19 RMB (a little bit more than 2 USD). Additional, the price in New York does not include tax while all price in China is final with everything included. Some times the tip I pay is more than a meal I pay in China.
I won’t complain about Shanghai Metro or Bus again. Bus or Subway in New York costs 2 USD, while in Shanghai, bus costs 1 – 2 RMB (0.12 – 0.24 USD) and typical Metro ride costs 3 – 4 RMB (0.36 – 0.48 USD).
We stayed in hotels in Washington, D.C and Boston, but not in New York. We stayed in friends and relative’s house in Flushing and New Rochelle. The cheapest hotel (reasonable) I found is Hayden Hotel which costs 99 USD plus tax. I searched Shanghai Hotel in Expedia and found the hotels in Shanghai seem more expensive. Maybe the reason is, the hotels in Shanghai are always full so they don’t offer discount.
I am not willing to buy gifts in New York, especially those clothes made in China. They are much more expensive than those in China. I bought 4 T-Shirt with “I Love New York” logo at 12 USD. They are the only gift we bought.
I am the Poor in New York
I am the poor in New York. I faced the challenges I never met in Shanghai – how to take buses to save money? Where is the cheapest restaurant? Where should we stay tomorrow?