OP, based on your income yes,NYC, just get ready to downsize. That's a fact of ife unless you are worth 7- figures. You want to buy yourself a nice one bedroom, you will get something for 750-800 sq ft and learn to love it.
ou will have to put stuff in storage. YOu will have no closet space. You will have no garbage disposal. You will have more likely than not, no wash machine and dryer in your unit.You will either have to use your building's laundry facility, or go to the laundry mat.
Forget about stocking up on groceries. You will have very little cupboard space and a not real big refrigerator. Most people don't own cars and I see them with four bags of groceries on the bus or the subway. NYC is a very inconvenient city. You will have to completely alter your lifestyle.
I love New York. But as I get older, I'd rather visit than live here. I'm on the UES. I long for a porch and a bit of green. I'm 42.
53 year old here. Lived in NYC (Village) since I was 18. I probably made 14K the first yea. I don't know what that means in todays dollars but I survived and had a blast. I am still having a blast and all the people I came up with feel the same. Would not live anywhere else in American which I find frightening and homophobic. Great opportunities to make money but come here prepared to work hard.
I make 100K and I live pretty comfortably in the Upper West Side (93rd St./West End Ave). Rent is $1700 for my studio. I commute to NJ every day, and am even able to park my car on the street every night. It's manageable, OP.
You're paying $1700 for a studio. How many SF?
How do you do laundry? Where do you shop for groceries? How do you travel around the city? How far do you walk to andfrom subways? How do you deal with the tunnel traffic during rush hour on week days, R8?
Yes, you can be comfortable, but you have to be willing to accept a different lifestyle and changes to activities you took for granted.
Try LES, or UES. You can live on 80-100 in Manhattan and enjoy the city. There's tons to do and it's a good life. There are good deal to be had on the UWS. Good Luck.
My apt is a quiet, 750 sq ft, second floor walk-up. It's on the small side, but I've got a separate kitchen. The entire apartment was modernized with new appliances when I moved in 2 years go. There's a laundromat just around the corner on Broadway. I drop it off in the morning and pick it up in the evening. Costs me about $40/month. I usually grocery shop at Fairway or at one of the markets near my job in NJ. Getting around the city, I either take the 1 train 3 blocks away at 96th St. or I drive. I usually go downtown to Chelsea or Hell's Kitchen on the weekends, and parking is rarely an issue. I work in Paramus, so I just scoot up the West Side Highway against traffic and hop on the GW Bridge toward Rte. 4. If the Bridge is backed up on the way home, I'll work out in NJ and drive back to the city later on.
All in all, I love living here. It's a total cliche, but the energy here is amazing and unparalleled. I grew up in suburban NJ, and couldn't imagine moving back there. Yeah, money can be tight at times, esp. with the car extras (gas, insurance, ezpass) but I'm not a big club or bar goer. I really have no issues making ends meet and I don't feel limited in any way.
That's my story in a nutshell.
R8/R11, how about saving money for retirement? Are you able to do that in any material way? Do you plan to own property some day?
sure I do, r12. I contribute 10% pretax income to my 401k. Unfortunately my company doesn't match. I've also got a ton of dough in the stock market (blue chip stocks) that I inherited from my grandfather, so I'm good with that. I also try to pick up freelance work when I can.
PS, I should add that if I were the type to take expensive vacations, that would be tough. I'm pretty low maintenance, so a vacation for me is a summer trip to Cape Cod or Jersey Shore, with the rest of the time just hanging around the city with friends and soaking up the city's energy.
Yes of course you can and yes of course you will live in a smaller space for the money and your lifestyle will change. But then NYC is a huge city where space is at a premium and public transportation is the rule for most- among many other things that change lifestyles whether you make 100K or one million.
Flash- if you move to Paris your lifestyle will also change and guess what? People speak French!
A lot depends on some factors:
- Do you plan to stay car-free?
- Will you have a hungry and unending appetite for Broadway shows and foodie restaurant dinners? For travel vacations as well?
- Do you intend to buy real estate someday or are you intent to stay on the urban rent treadmill?
- Do you intend to save for retirement alongside all this, and if so, what % of your income do you intend to sock away?
I recommend living alone unless you can afford a place that the architecture and sq ft size are such that two people won't feel crowded when they are both home on a random weekday evening.
More questions. Is this regaled naive troll?
It's possible, OP.
I make $68K+ as a legal secretary and live alone in West Harlem (on the border of Washington Heights) in a 2-bedroom apartment. Money's tight but I do okay. I try to save money every which way I can (including 401k) and just try to stay within my means. So if you want to do it, you can, you just gotta be prepared to sacrifice (the vacation I took with a friend a few months ago was my first in years).
But I will say, to know you are making it on your own in the big city -- and not having to ask anybody for anything -- is quite gratifying.
Of course you can live on $100,000 and even less. Anyone who says you can't doesn't know what they are talking about or they're nothing but a spendthrift.
Or still in their mother's basement.
[quote]Would not live anywhere else in American which I find frightening and homophobic.
that is because you're a xenophobic parochial NYC fag. grow up and get the fuck out, a whole big wide world has developed since you were whelped.
LOL NYERS hate blacks!!
@21 You are an idiot.
I've lived here in NYC since 1981. I have been all kinds of things, a student, actor, waiter, club promoter, phone operator, and more. I have made 50 thousand a year only a few times, and I have lived in Manhattan (south of 106th street) or Fort Greene Brooklyn the whole time. I love my life and have loved living in NYC. You can have creativity and hard work and make a few sacrifices when money is low. I can't say it's been all that difficult, so I don't know what these people mean when they say you need 100K a year. You don't.
I live on the upper west side and I only make 40k.
Good heavens. Apparently I've been overpaying Consuela for some time now.
The 'energy' of big cities is the one thing I hate about them. I find it stressful. Much prefer mid-sized cities where you can still have the big city experience, and live in the inner city, but - if you find the right inner city area, enjoy the soul-soothing pin-drop quiet and nature of a suburban lifestyle.
not if you let them take it out of your hide
A studio for 2500? Why would anyone live in Manhattan? I live in Forest Hills in a duplex/3 bedroom/hardwood floors/working fireplace/washer and dryer for $2350. I'm 30 minutes to midtown on the subway/13 minutes on the LIRR.
The problem with basically any area in NY state which is going through gentrification, is the fact the store owners seem to assume the original residents of a particular area are no longer living in these changing neighborhoods!
Prices can become outrageous for the most basic of things. How much are are shoe repairs in Manhattan? In my area, new heels gone up from $6.50 to $11 in less than a year!
I've lived in Long Island City most of my life, with brief years spent on Long Island and the Bushwick/Ridgewood border as a child. The changes in my area are mostly about higher prices, this is due to the influx new residents with tons of disposable income.
Unless a person wants to live in a really rough area, there is no escaping gentrification, it's happening everywhere.
I bought my co-op in LIC for about $35,000 cash in the early 1990s. I have a terrific view of Manhattan, I basically love the fact that I was able to remain in my neighborhood, which I always knew would eventually become a 'hot' area due to the proximity to Manhattan and the incredible skyline views. Smart adventurous people bought lofts in the scarier parts of LIC in the 1970s and 80s, most were actual artists, such as sculptors and painters.
Unfortunately, the current interlopers haven't always made gentrification easy on the original residents.
Just walking down the two main shopping strips last weekend, I've noticed prices going up in most of the stores, even the cheapo liquidator type places. Nearly every store has raised their prices due to the influx of well heeled trustafarians and others who would have never even set foot in this neighborhood 15-20 years ago! They are here now and have caused prices to rise.
I've always enjoyed the diversity of my neighborhood, we've always had Greek, Spanish, Italian and Chinese restaurants, now we have absurd places like a 'gourmet' grilled cheese cafe replacing something important like a mom & pop hardware store. Even the Salvation Army is now half it's size due to some sports bar opening, a sign that the working class is being pushed out.
Not to mention, the original residents suffer when these trustafarians tire of living in gentrified areas. When they leave, all they've left behind, are absurdly high rents and useless 'artisanal' stores.
Rents in LIC and Astoria are lower than Manhattan, but they are still too high for a person who doesn't make at least $75,000-$100,000 a year. As others here mentioned, you usually are not allowed a washer/dryer, unless you want to spend your evenings/part of your weekend doing laundry, you are going to want to drop laundry off at a laundromat. That adds to you living expenses. It doesn't seem like much until you sit down then add up exactly what it costs to live in the city.
I always tell friends who are doing well financially, to buy, buy something! A house which in foreclosure or a co-op/condo in an outer borough. Paying a high rent is throwing money out a window.
Manhattan is fine if you want to have the experience for a few years, but the average person, who is not wealthy or a career person, will find out they are mentally and financially exhausted just a few years into dealing with the Manhattan lifestyle.
Re co-op living, my gas and electric is included in my maintenance, which is big plus about buying an apartment. Also, many co-ops now get deals for their cable/Internet/phone combos because co-ops sign contracts with cable companies like Time Warner.
A female friend, who pays only $500 for a one bedroom in the Village, is even exhausted from the city and she grew up there! She constantly complains about her lack of space (she's had to rent a storage space because she only has two closets), the outrageous food prices and the fact that her once quiet neighborhood is now a "24 hour party on the weekends, it's like I live in the middle of a frat house". This lifestyle begins to grate as you get older.
A person has to weigh the pluses and minuses of dealing with a Manhattan lifestyle.
Just as long as you don't read the NYT you'll be fine because then you won't get the idea everyone is richer and more fabulous than you and having more fun.
Thanks R 29. There are a lot of unanticipated costs. I'm not trying to discourage anyone from moving to NYC. I love it. But I do think some people romanticize living in NYC, and it is very helpful to get a dose of reality.
Saying that you'd have to change your lifestyle isn't a criticism, it is just a reality. One think I've observed, is that if you relocate when you are younger, and stay you are happier that people who relocate later in ife and try to deal with the adjustments.
OP, your interests and your lifestyle will also determine how much income you need to live in NYC. if you're heavily into nightlife, bars, clubs, eating out, you'll need more money.
If you love to shop and buy clothes, you'll need more money. If you're accustomed to shopping at high end gourmet food shops, you'll need more money. If you like a queen or king-sized bed, and you find an apartment that
will only take a double or a twin, that's a problem.
A friend of mine has been looking for a bed with storage capabilities. Expensive. If you chose to have your own car you'll have to pay for parking. It's not cheap. But do look around as it has been pointed out, you can get a decent place if you aren't determined to live in Manhattan. There are parts of Manhattan that are affordable too, of you don't mind no elevator, etc.
"A friend of mine has been looking for a bed with storage capabilities. Expensive."
A captain's bed is expensive? Not if you know where to look!
Gothic Cabinet Craft makes such beds and you can customize the finish. I gather Gothic is still in existence, they were all over the place in the 70s-80s. Perhaps gentrification has priced them out of NY!??
Gothic been making affordable furniture for many years. When I dealt with them, they were a custom furniture business, their furniture was very affordable. Last I heard they still did custom work.
I still have the sturdy bookcases and custom LP cabinets I bought from them.
Hope your friend doesn't have roaches or bedbugs, those critters love under bed drawers!
Look under your bed, rape in disguise
I've lived in the same large, 3 bedroom apartment in Astoria for 5 1/2 years. Rent is $1800/mo, never raised. Always had at least two other roommates. I make less than $40k/year.
I shop at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. I carry my groceries home in paper bags on the subway, a 30 minute ride. I walk up to the 3rd floor of my building where I live.
I do my own laundry at a laundromat around the corner; I actually put the quarters into the machine myself. I don't sit in the laundromat the whole time while the clothes are spinning.
I spend almost of my money on food. I'm not able to save any money, mainly because I eat out so much. That's a big issue.
But living here and having fun while earning less than $40k? Definitely possible. Living in Manhattan may seem like a necessity to someone who's never lived here (as it did to me when I first visited at age 13), but it's really not, and rent is getting unreasonably high. You'll really have to settle for pathetically small living quarters if you insist on Manhattan.
I plan to buy a car when I start a new job next month and can finally save up, and I intend to move to California where the weather is nicer. I think I've tired of the whole gloomy subway rat race angry people careerism bullshit that I experience every single fucking day in New York.
You can't beat this city for diversity and excitement and culture, however. And you DO NOT need to make $100k. That's absurd. Although, hey -- aim high, I guess.
My ideal would be a bi-coastal lifestyle: California in fall and winter, New York in spring and summer. That's going to be my next experiment.
I make 45K and live very comfortably with a roommate in Hell's Kitchen.
I don't take vacations (why the hell would you ever want to leave New York anyway?), I don't care much for buying fancy clothes and bars/clubbing don't interest me. I spend my money on food and theater/dance/opera/movie tickets.
My friends would rather hang out at each other's apartments than go to a bar, and we all share the same love of the theater, etc.
I don't have a car (what's the point?) and Trader Joe's can be your best friend for food shopping.
100k? I'm doing just fine on half that. You should have money to burn.
Thank you for chiming in, R37, and adding something sensible and authentic to the conversation.
The posts I really don't get are the ones about how drastically you have to alter your lifestyle in NYC. Huh? Living here is like living anywhere else, except more awesome. I take the train instead of driving a car. That means no car insurance, no gasoline money, no parking tickets, no annual registration and inspection fees, or maintenance work. Not looking forward to doing any of that again.
The most drastic lifestyle chance I've had to undergo is finding time to suck all the Grade A dick this city has to offer. I'm not kidding.
Are you all planing to live in NYC past retirement age?
Thanks R38. I'm with you.
Not having a car is such a huge saver when it comes to expenses.
I agree re: the city having the best dick too. New York is the greatest place, and you'll have the best sex too. Leaving in Hell's Kitchen is a gay man's dream. You can sleep with a couple different people every week if you want to; you'll never be bored.
Nope, R39. At least not full time. Can't even imagine where I'll be in 5 years, let alone 40-50, but I've certainly had enough of northeastern U.S. seasons. 33 dark, depressing winters? I'm over it.
But your question was more about savings, right?
These messages are hilarious. I live 10 min from Paris (in a dreadful neighbourhood, granted) and I make less than 15K in euros. That's a little under 20K in USD.
I would never dream of spending that much money on housing...
My rent is around 270 USD. I share a house w/living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and a... closet!!!! Approximately 50m2.
I go to Paris every weekend. On could on weekdays as well, after work, but I'm too tired so I don't. I definitely could, though.
Having that much money to spend just seems unreal to me.
If I made 68K I would consider myself rich and I would travel all the time.
No, R41, it was was actually inspired by the guy who enjoyed sucking a multitude of dick (not that there's anything wrong with that!).
I just wonder if, as you mature, other priorities arise.
But yes, all of this would be intensified by the cost of living in NYC.
Oh, well that was me! I'm the one who loves all the dick. I'm 33 now. I have no idea where my sex drive will take me or how it will evolve over time. I'm guessing that if I keep getting cardio and stay fit and don't get depressed, I'm gonna be insatiable for at least the next two decades.
Unfortunately, I'll probably only be handsome until I'm about 50, which is the age my dad's smokin' looks started to fade a bit, so it'll be an uphill battle from that point on, I'm sure.
But let's not get off topic!
Car payments, insurance, maint., gas, and parking all add up.
If you get rid of your car you'll save a small fortune that will go towards your housing.
The hassle of grocery shopping has become a non-issue with FreshDirect.
Like anywhere, just don't try to keep up with the Joneses. It will seem like everyone you meet is living a more fabulous life than you, but they're probably just as pre-occupied with the cost of things and how to stretch a dollar.
You should spend no more than 1/3 of your gross income on rent, utilities, mortgage etc.
So at 100k that would be 33.333 per year or $2,777 per month for rent, utilities and related things. You can do that in Manhattan. Remember you don't need a car in NYC which considerably lowers costs. No car, no parking, no insurance. Everything you need is within a few blocks. Entertainment is fantastic and often free.
I lived in Manhattan when I worked for a company and they paid for the flat for a year. It's unbelievable. It's still less expensive than Boston, DC or San Francisco.
I found San Francisco the worst city for housing.
I strongly suggest you look at the FEMA map and determine which areas of all five boroughs got kicked in the ass when Sandy hit. Until that is fixed, so that NY addresses the flooding issues, you need to be careful about the bargains you come across right now.