Frugal Life · Travel

20 Completely Free Things to do in New York City

Did you see my post about our recent whirlwind of a trip to New York City?  We had so much fun in the big apple!  I fell in love with all of the beautiful buildings and delicious food.  We tried to keep costs low and were still able to find plenty of fun activities to do.  During all of my research and planning I just couldn’t believe how many completely FREE things there are to do in NYC.  I’m sharing a few of those ideas with you today!

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20 Free Things to Do While in NYC

Explore a City Park

1.  Wander Around Central Park

You could literally spend DAYS in Central Park.  There is SO much to see and do!  We loved wandering around watching the performers and enjoying the beauty.  Be sure to visit The Mall, Belvedere Castle and Bethesda Fountain.

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2.  Walk the High Line

The High Line is a beautiful elevated park.  It was made from an old railroad no longer in use.  The High Line provides a miles of walking paths and gardens.

3.  Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park has over 9 acres of beauty located in Greenwich Village.  It is well known for the landmark Washington Square Arch.  This park provides many different things to see and do.

4.  Bryant Park

Bryant Park is located right in midtown, making a visit quick and easy.  We visited Bryant Park in late October and they had their Christmas Shops and ice skating rink set up.  It was so fun to walk around looking through the cute little shops.

5.  Battery Park

Located near the entrance to the free Staten Island Ferry you will find Battery Park.  It is another large city park with paths and many statues and memorials.  A visit to Battery Park will also give you a good view of the Statue of Liberty!

Famous NYC Landmarks

6.  Take the Staten Island Ferry to Statue of Liberty

You may not be able to go visit the Statue of Liberty for free, but you can get a free boat ride that will take you right past Lady Liberty.  The Staten Island Ferry is a completely free round trip ride with fantastic views!

7.  Visit Grand Central Station

It only takes a few minutes to pop in and visit Grand Central Station, but it is WORTH it!  The architecture of the building is absolutely breathtaking!  I loved ever minute we spent inside.

 

8.  Walk Across Brooklyn Bridge

We had so much fun walking across the Brooklyn Bridge.  The architecture is absolutely beautiful and it only takes about 30 minutes!  The best views are when you walk from Brooklyn into Manhattan.

 

9.  9/11 Memorial Plaza

To gain entrance into the 9/11 museum you will need to pay, but walking around the grounds and seeing the site of the beautiful memorial is completely free!  There is a special reverence on the grounds that will touched me.

10.  Times Square

There really is nothing quite like Times Square.  A true melting pot of lights, colors, people and sounds.  Times Square is completely free to visit and a great place for people watching!  It’s fun to visit at least once, but I wouldn’t recommend staying for more than 5-10 minutes.

11.  Rockefeller Plaza

Home of the famous Rockefeller Skating Rink is Rockefeller Plaza.  It’s a fun section of the city to walk around and explore for a few minutes.  We visited when the ice skating rink was set up and we loved watching the skaters for a few minutes and window shopping past the buildings.

 

12.  Flat Iron Building

The iconic Flat Iron Building is a perfect spot for an Instagram photo!  It is such a unique building and I can’t wait to visit it someday.

10.  New York Library

I’ll be honest with you, I didn’t really believe a library was a worthwhile stop on our trip, but I was SO wrong!  This building is absolutely beautiful!  We spent about 20-30 minutes to quickly walk around and view the different rooms (be sure to stop at the Rose Reading Room!).  This was one of my favorite buildings we saw.

 

11.  Charging Bull

If you are in the Wall Street area, you must stop by and see the famous Charging Bull.  It’s another picture perfect spot!

Free Museums

12.  Bronx Museum of the Arts

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is the home to many unique art exhibits.  It is large and open and rarely ever crowded.  The best part is it is completely free!

13.  Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology

If you have any interest in clothing and fashion, you would probably enjoy the free Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  It’s exhibits showcase the history and workings of the exciting fashion world.

Visit an Old Church

14.  Trinity Church

A visit to Trinity Church on Wall Street gives you not only a visit to a beautiful old church, but it’s also has an old cemetery on the grounds.  You will be able to find a few historical figures buried there, including Alexander Hamilton and his wife.

15.  Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The Cathedral of St.John the Divine is the largest cathedral in the world.  With plenty of detail and beautiful stain glass windows, it is worth stopping at!

16.  St. Patricks Cathedral

St. Patricks Cathedral is a must see when in New York City.  I originally thought we would only stop by for a few minutes, but the cathedral was so gorgeous with lots of details to look at, we ended up staying much longer.

 

Explore a New Neighborhood

18.  Walking Tour

Google “NYC Walking Tour” and you will find countless free guides that tell you exactly where to walk and what to visit in each neighborhood.  One of my favorite parts of New York City was taking in the beauty and uniqueness of each neighborhood.

 

19.  China Town

There is really nothing like visiting China Town.  I love walking through the streets, browsing the shops and taking in all of the sights, sounds, and smells.  China Town is a place you could spend hours in, or just walk through quick, it’s completely up to you!

20.  Window Shop on 5th Avenue

We had so much fun walking down 5th Avenue and peeking in all of the different stores.  This is not shopping for the cheap!  But, it is free (and fun!) to look!

 

There really is nowhere like New York City.  You can enjoy this great city, without breaking the bank!

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Be sure to check out New York City in a Weekend for more budget friendly NYC tips and tricks!

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Finances · for free · Frugal Life · Frugal Living Challenge

14 Day Frugal Living Challenge

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I have been working so hard on my 14 Day Frugal Living Challenge.  I wanted to create something that would encourage, inspire and help others to live a more frugal lifestyle.

I have put together 14 e-mails (one a day), each with a different frugal living topic.  Each e-mail includes tips and tricks from me and a daily challenge, all related to the topic.  There are links to other articles, free printable worksheets, and 15 of my favorite simple and frugal recipes.

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I am really excited for this project!  I hope others will find it useful, helpful and encouraging as they try to save money and live beneath their minds.  If you are interested in signing up you can do so at this page; Frugal Living Challenge Sign Up.

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Let me know if you sign up!  I would love to follow along as you participate in the challenge!

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What we cut from our budget to save over $2500 a year

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I am not naturally a frugal person.  I was raised by two frugal parents, but I lean more towards wanting to shop and buy things.  It has been a huge learning process for me to become more frugal and to learn the value and beauty in cutting back and saving money.  This learning process has been over the course of years, and quite honestly, I’m still learning and trying to better myself.  Today though I started thinking about all the things we have cut from our lifestyle over the years, and they have all been slowly cut out, and I was blown away with the amount of money we are saving ourselves just by making a few different lifestyle choices!

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Pack that Lunch:  $1000

Packing a lunch for work, instead of eating out with coworkers, has been our biggest money saver.  Every night I pack a lunch for my husband to take to work.  The lunch mostly consists of some leftovers from dinner, occasionally he will bring a sandwich.  I was so surprised to find out this simple habit is saving us over $1000 a year!

Change your own oil:  $210

My husband taught himself how to change the oil in our two vehicles, all it took was watching a few you tube videos.  It takes him less than an hour to do and he claims it’s super easy.  He uses this oil drum to drain the oil.  You can deposit the oil for free at most auto parts stores.  This is not some natural talent he has, he had to get out of his comfort zone to learn this skill, however this simple task saves us $210 a year.

Cut the Cable:  $480

A few years ago we decided to get rid of our cable TV.  We were actually already on a fairly cheap rate, but we decided we could do without it.  We have saved $480 a year by doing this!  There are so many great options for cheap TV.  We use Netflix.  But I have friends who use Hulu, Roku, or Amazon Prime.

At Home Haircuts:  $200

I bought clippers 14 years ago for $20.  You can find a similar pair to ours here:  Wahl Complete Hair Cutting Kit.  I have been cutting my husbands and sons hair ever since.  This is a $200 annual savings.  If you know me, you know that hair is really NOT a talent of mine.  I have watched a few you tube tutorial videos and both my husband and son get very basic cuts.  I have made my some a few mistakes on both of them, but I keep learning and trying.  And luckily boys hair grows out fairly fast!  😉

Workout at Home:  $840

We have never had a gym membership and this decision saves us $70 a month.  We have learned to get a good workout in at home.  We go for a run or bike ride during the summer and find great you tube videos to follow during the winter.  I buy cheap weights and exercise equipment to use from the thrift store.  My favorite you tube channels to follow are fitness blender and yoga with Adrienne.

The Results:  $2730

Just by making these 5 adjustments to our lifestyle we save $2730 a year!  So in five years we have saved $13,650!  Ten years it will be $27,300!  Those little expenses don’t seem like a big deal, but over time they add up to be a very very BIG deal.

It really has not been hard to cut any of these things from our budget.  We have been living this way for years and honestly never seem to miss a gym membership or cable TV.  It has just become our way of life, and it’s a great life!  It can be hard to form new habits, but once you do those habits become your way of life and you often never really look back!

Take a look at your budget and lifestyle.  Can you find a few things that you could change in order to save money?  I promise the pay off is so worth it!

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