The Subway Moving Day: A Quest to Save

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Determined to move apartments from Queens to Manhattan, one many only needed some friends and $2.25.

Want to save $1,000 in moving costs? Get some good friends, move locally, and hop on the subway. Here’s the story of one New Yorker who did just that – and lived to tell the tale.

The story comes from New York magazine's website. In it, New York City resident Young Min, an “underground symbol of frugality” saved an estimated $1,000 by convincing his buddies to help him move from an apartment in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens to one on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Here’s a list of the items Min and his friends moved across town, all for the cost of a $2.25 subway ride (per person):

  • One 40-lb. bag of rice
  • A portable closet
  • Dishes and linens
  • A laptop computer
  • A soup caldron
  • An air conditioner

Min told New York that his friends balked at moving his bed (which he wound up moving himself the following day). He also had to leave a television behind — it was much too heavy to lug across the city on a subway.

While saving more than $1,000 in an apartment move will likely make Min a New York legend, he still owes his friends repayment in the form of a night on the town in New York.

The 24-year-old South Korean convinced two friends from his language class at the Kaplan School to help with the move. Both friends made it through the first day of the two-day move but didn’t return Min’s calls for help the next morning.

It’s no wonder — the move required a subway ride from Queens to Time Square — including a trek through the fabled train station with Min’s belongings in tow — then a subway ride up to West 64th street and Win’s new one-bedroom digs.

Even though Min suffered some collateral moving damage in his cross-town haul — his air conditioner dropped and broke — he undoubtedly cut the high cost of living in New York City.

Min wouldn’t say what he paid for his one-bedroom Upper West Side apartment, but based on a New York Observer report, the one-bedroom Manhattan apartment averaged about $3,100.

And then there’s the actual cost of moving. Some estimates place it as high as $100 per hour or more for the proverbial “two guys and a truck.” In Min’s case, even a one-day move might have cost him up to $1,000 — he estimates that he saved $1,100 via the subway move.

The moral of the story? If you have some good friends you don’t mind alienating, and you can bear the loss of an air conditioner en route, the subway option will save a lot of money — and provide a great story to tell your grandchildren.

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