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Is Philadelphia Cheaper Than NYC?

If you’re headed that direction, Philadelphia is a great place to live. It has a rich history with no shortage of things to do, or places to eat, even on a rainy day. It’s home to the Benjamin Franklin Museum, the Liberty Bell, the American Museum of Natural history, and so much more. Philadelphia is a strong supporter of local businesses, artists and musicians, so you know there will be no shortage of events to attend, and intriguing shops to explore. 

New York boasts all of these things as well – museums, shops, history, concerts and more. One of the biggest differences you’ll notice is the pace. New York is hustling and bustling 24/7, while Philadelphia sports a more laid-back vibe. While both are big cities, you’ll definitely experience more of a sense of community in Philly.
Something else that both Philadelphia and New York can boast about… winter. Don’t miss our “Pro Tips to Make Moving in Winter Easier!”

Cost of Living

If you’re on a budget, Philadelphia might be your city of choice. Overall, the cost of living in New York is approximately 85% higher than in Philadelphia, housing being the biggest expense. 

In 2021, the median cost of a home in New York is $680,000, while in Philadelphia it’s only $153,000. Wow, right?!

New York is far above the national average in all categories – food, transportation, utilities, health and, of course, housing. Based on a national average of 100, New York tops the scales at 294.3 for housing. Philly, in this case, is the optimal choice with their national housing average of 66.3. 

Apartment Rental Costs

Ok, so maybe you can’t afford a home in New York, but what about renting? That has to be cheaper, right? Nope. Sorry.

An average one-bedroom apartment in New York will empty your wallet by exactly $2,985 (an 11% increase from the previous year). A comparable apartment in Philadelphia will only empty your wallet by $1,375 (an 8% decrease from the previous year). 

Thinking you’ll need to save a little money? Try these tips to make your move more economical.  

What kind of Salary Will I Need?

A good rule of thumb, regardless of where you choose to live… your monthly income should be three times that of your rent or mortgage in order to live comfortably. In New York, this could mean upwards of $10k or more if you’re living in a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. Some rental companies require prospective tenants to make 40 times more than their monthly rent. 

Of course, the “three times” rule only takes into account basic needs. So, if you’re still paying off student loans, or enjoy eating out you’ll need to take that into account. 


In Pennsylvania, following the “three times” rule, you’ll need to make a monthly salary of just over $5k, considering a 1-bedroom apartment. 

Now that you know what kind of salary you’ll need, you’ll want to check out these 5 tips for surviving in Philadelphia to help you acclimate. Hint: avoid I76!

Conclusion

I think it’s safe to say that Philadelphia wins out big time in the “cheaper” category compared to New York, and many other cities for that matter. 

Given its rich history, close proximity to New York, and accessible public transportation, Philadelphia is definitely a winner. Is it right for you? Only you can decide. But, when you do… be sure to give Isaac’s Moving & Storage a call. We’ll move you to, out of or within the city.

***** (5-star) “We just moved from a very large home in suburban Philadelphia to a smaller one. Issacs moved us and stored our things for 3 days. They were fabulous. Very polite. All six of them. Explained everything to you. Nothing broken or damaged. I would use them again.” – Jackie S., Paoli, PA

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