1. It’s Always Better To Underbuy Than Overbuy
One of the beauties of living in a city is that there’s generally a new Asian Fusion restaurant to “check out” every week. This is good, because wonton tacos make any terrible workday instantly forgettable. This is bad, because the rent is too damn high and those Wonton Tacos are $6 per tuna shred.
Buying groceries is without a doubt one of the most #crucial ways to save money. But if you find yourself falling victim to wonton tacos one night and an on the go slice of pizza the next, the groceries you’ve bought may have bought may very well perish. Not buying EVERYTHING for the week will sometimes save you money.
2. Plan Out Your Night In Advance
The first night in any city always goes something like this; dinner on one end of town, drinks with your other friends (who you can’t afford to piss off this early in your move) halfway across the city, followed by taxi victory lap leading you to an eardrum busting factory (AKA “Da Club”), which will do an admirable job of wiping out your monthly budget in approximately 46 minutes.
Other than learning that keeping up with friends is a cruel, cruel beast, you’ll also learn to spend the night in one area of the city. Urban rule to live by: you don’t meet people, people meet you.
3. Pregame With 40’s
Unorthodox, yes. Slightly hipster, more yes. But the 40 oz bottle of malt liquor, running anywhere from $2-4 at your local “is this a drug front?” convenience store, is probably the best pregame item on the market. Satisfactory alcohol content, much less lethal than a wine hangover. And most importantly, 40’s provide tremendous conversational fodder.
4. Have Insanely High Expectations. Just Don’t Tell Anyone
You came to this city so that you can #makeit. Never lose sight of this; it’s the reason why you’re living in a $1200 box instead of a nice house with a cascading waterfall that’s also a giant lava lamp.
But because there’s a deluge of ambition that surrounds you, be sure to convince everyone else that they’re in fact winning. Just be sure to overtake them at the end. Kicking into high gear on the last lap, 8th grade running-the-mile-in-gym-class style.
5. Get Your Transportation Locked Down
Even WITH planning your night, efficient and cost-effective transport is arguably more crucial than anything on this list. Subway and bus access may save some coin, but they’ll quit on you late-night, are sometimes really far away, and have a knack for turning surefire hookup into epic, blogged-about failures.
Cabs on the other hand, are known for (a.) extracting funds with a heartlessness reminiscent of that boss from Dinner for Schmucks, and (b.) not always being the most reliable and available, particularly at odd hours.
All that said, get this taken care of before you find yourself drunkenly stumbling across a highway looking like a cross between an amateur murderer and someone who still hasn’t recovered after getting laid off from Lehman Brothers. Best bet is to get one of those sweet mobile apps that take care of your ride for you.
6. Pick Up A Weird Hobby That Forces You To Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
To paraphrase something I once read on my twitter feed, “if you’re in a city and aren’t making it weird, you’re doing it wrong.”
Cities are the only place where you could meet that 47 year-old South American dude who makes world-class empanadas. Expand your horizons. Quote toolish lines from an Anthony Bourdain book. The city is your bluepoint oyster. Get it fried if you want to.
7. Have at Least Minor Knowledge of the Local Sports Teams
This will go a very long way in striking up small talk and flirtatious seed-planting. You don’t even have to know much of anything. Just be really passionate about the closer’s weird facial hair. This is clearly how love is born.
8. Find a Go-To Bar, and Develop A Terrific Relationship with Your Bartender
It’ll make the city feel smaller, and neighborhood feels are especially important in the concrete jungles where lyrics can be plugged in an automatically seem meaningful. You’ll also learn a lot about life. Just remember to tip well.
9. From Time To Time, Get OUT of the City
Cities are only beautiful because they’re really good at taking people, dumping them in a blender, and chugging the contents in a single gulp. Even though you are you–and that sort of stuff doesn’t happen to you–it’s actually happened to a lot of yous. Meaning that, YOU–yes, YOU–are not immune.
Get out and hit the beach. Recharge the batteries. Then return. Then dominate.