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Old 12-11-2010, 02:21 AM
 
6 posts, read 29,994 times
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Just wanted to see what you guys think about my cost of living estimates for a single male in Manhattan (probably in FiDi). I'm originally from California and will be graduating soon from college, so living in NYC will be pretty new for me in a lot of ways. With that said, these figures are probably way off.

Estimates/month:

Rent - $1700 (planning to share with either 1 or 2 roommates)
Transportation - $300 (no idea on this one...might be compensated for)
Bills (Gas, Electricity, etc.) - $125
Food - $1200
Internet + TV - $75
Going out + Misc. - $800

Total - $4200/month

Does that seem about right? A lot of payments like bills and TV I plan to split 2 or 3 ways so that's why they're on the low side. Expenses for food and going out might be overestimated, probably due to how expensive I always hear Manhattan is.

All in all, it looks pretty pricey. I look forward to hearing any feedback or advice on how to save. Thanks guys
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Old 12-11-2010, 04:48 AM
 
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what about you cell phone bill ..most people i know do not have a land line inside the house it all cell phone
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:17 AM
 
Location: Staten Island, New York
3,681 posts, read 6,052,245 times
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1200 for food? How many people are you feeding?!
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:36 AM
 
72 posts, read 133,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYChistorygal View Post
1200 for food? How many people are you feeding?!
Lol, not to mention for his rent he could get his own place. For that kind of money, you don't need roommates yo!!
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:07 AM
 
11,962 posts, read 22,277,043 times
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Are you calculating your net pay correctly? Use paycheckcity.com to make sure all your taxes including federal, state, city are accounted for. Also, if you k ow how much your pre-tax deductions like health insurance and 401k, you can get an even better estimate of your net pay.

#1 thing missing in your budget is SAVINGS. On $4,000+ net, you should have no problem saving $400-600/mo (10-15% net). You MUST save.....let the last 2 years be a lesson you- financal jobs are expendable when times get tough. I had a lot of finance friends who had to move home with mom & dad because even after making $100k's for 5-10 years, they literally had NO savings.

Food & entertainment depends on how much you expect to work and how many nights a week you'll go out and to what kind of places:

Breakfast- just buy coffee/cereal/whatever you eat at the grocery store $25/mo is more than plenty to have eggs, bacon, oatmeal, toast, fruit, etc.
Lunch- fast food in FiDi runs $4-8 depending on what you order. A nicer salad or sandwich that you pick up & take to the office is $10-15. You can eat lunch on a comprable level to your peers at $40-50/week.
Dinner- mix of takeout and leftovers is pretty typical for professional guys. Again, $10-15/meal is plenty. A huge good slice of pizza is like $2-3.

That's a pretty generous food budget, much more than this forum will tell you is "enough" and it will run $400-450/mo.

As for going out, beers at a less expensive "fratty/dive" bar are $5-7. Mixed drinks at a really nice place are $10-16. A nice dinner out (not at Jean Goerges, but at a nice fun restaurant like Stanton Social or the Pan-Asian place at the Maritime Hotel) will be $60-75/pp. A more casual dinner (Tortilla Flats, ethnic food in East Village) is $25.
So 2 nice dinners a month, 4 casual ones, 4 nights @ dive/fratty bars, and 4 nights at high-end places will run you about $600.
If you plan to hit a couple of concerts at Bowery Ballroom or other live music places, add another $120/mo to your entertainment fund.

As for rent, if you plan to share with 1-2 other guys, you can find a great, like a really really nice big place for $1400-1500/ea.

I think I found $800 for you to save out of food budget and $200 from your rent budget. Now you can still live a pretty swanky life for a 22 year old and be saving $12,000 a year, which would at least cover your rent & bills & basic food needs for 4-5 months should you get laid off.

The other $80 left in your entertainment fund can pay your laundry/dry cleaning which was absent from your budget.

Transportation should run $90/mo for unlimited metro card and taxis from FiDi to other downtown going out places about $10/trip. So $200 or so will get you a Metrocard and taxi rides home from 11 nights out a month.

One other thing to consider: do you have enough saved to pay the deposits on your apartment ($3,000 + broker fee if applicable), buy/move your furniture, and buy a professional working wardrobe. Finance/consulting/etc guys are a little snobbish about apparel- you will fund shopping at Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, J Crew, and more high end stores (Saks, Bergdorf) is pretty much part of your job to "look the part.". If you will need to buy a wardrobe, I would think $2k or so will get you started- 2 pr nice dress shoes, 1 winter wool coat, wool slacks, button downs, crewneck cashmere sweaters, etc.
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:50 AM
 
769 posts, read 1,825,306 times
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In FiDi, depending on how much space you need you can get a studio in a doorman building (most of them are) for $1800-1900 a month, or $2200-2300 a month for a larger studio/flex 1. In my building they showed as a great studio that was set up perfectly for 2 roommates though. It had a nice size area at the entrance for a bedroom, then the living area was large enough to also split into a bedroom and living area, and they allow walls here. It was $2700 a month. We ended up choosing a slightly smaller one. Transportation would be around $150 a month if you don't take too many cabs. You will not pay for heat, water, or gas in these apartments either. My studio is around 650 square feet in FiDi and my electric bill is $70.

Cable TV plus internet will run $100-120 a month depending on what options you want. Keep in mind that in FiDi pretty much all the carriers have weak cell phone reception in some spots because of all the giant buildings. Inside my apartment we only get a signal if we are in the living area which is near the window. In the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, etc we don't get a signal so we added a home phone to our package, but our total bill is only $135 a month including the phone.

Your food budget is way too high. We spend (married couple) around $100 a week on groceries, mainly from Fresh Direct. We eat breakfast at home every day and usually bring lunch from home as well. So maybe we each buy lunch once a week. We buy dinner out 2-3 times a week, usually cheap takeout meals from the pizza place or subs because we worked late, but occasionally we'll go somewhere and spend $50-60. So in an average month we spend around $700 on food for both of us. And we buy good stuff for groceries- steaks, lean ground beef, name brand items, lots of drinks (juices, milk, soda, beer, etc).

Laundry is another factor. In our building it's actually cheaper to pay the valet to do laundry by the pound ($1 per pound) than to wash it ourselves in the laundry room at $5.00 per load plus detergent. We spend around $100 a month on laundry and that includes a few laundered shirts and an occasional dry cleaning item- all conveniently done by the valet in the building.

Your going out/misc budget is high, but I guess it depends on your lifestyle.

Where are you planning on working and how much do you plan on making? Finding a job from California will not be easy. And keep in mind that in FiDi most of the buildings require your annual income to be 45x the monthly rent plus you need good credit. Also, if you send me a message I will be happy to give you my broker's contact information. He showed us several great no fee apartments in FiDi including the one that we picked. Good luck!
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:06 PM
 
1,309 posts, read 3,003,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newyorker24 View Post
In FiDi, depending on how much space you need you can get a studio in a doorman building (most of them are) for $1800-1900 a month, or $2200-2300 a month for a larger studio/flex 1. In my building they showed as a great studio that was set up perfectly for 2 roommates though. It had a nice size area at the entrance for a bedroom, then the living area was large enough to also split into a bedroom and living area, and they allow walls here. It was $2700 a month. We ended up choosing a slightly smaller one. Transportation would be around $150 a month if you don't take too many cabs. You will not pay for heat, water, or gas in these apartments either. My studio is around 650 square feet in FiDi and my electric bill is $70.

Cable TV plus internet will run $100-120 a month depending on what options you want. Keep in mind that in FiDi pretty much all the carriers have weak cell phone reception in some spots because of all the giant buildings. Inside my apartment we only get a signal if we are in the living area which is near the window. In the kitchen, bathroom, hallway, etc we don't get a signal so we added a home phone to our package, but our total bill is only $135 a month including the phone.

Your food budget is way too high. We spend (married couple) around $100 a week on groceries, mainly from Fresh Direct. We eat breakfast at home every day and usually bring lunch from home as well. So maybe we each buy lunch once a week. We buy dinner out 2-3 times a week, usually cheap takeout meals from the pizza place or subs because we worked late, but occasionally we'll go somewhere and spend $50-60. So in an average month we spend around $700 on food for both of us. And we buy good stuff for groceries- steaks, lean ground beef, name brand items, lots of drinks (juices, milk, soda, beer, etc).

Laundry is another factor. In our building it's actually cheaper to pay the valet to do laundry by the pound ($1 per pound) than to wash it ourselves in the laundry room at $5.00 per load plus detergent. We spend around $100 a month on laundry and that includes a few laundered shirts and an occasional dry cleaning item- all conveniently done by the valet in the building.

Your going out/misc budget is high, but I guess it depends on your lifestyle.

Where are you planning on working and how much do you plan on making? Finding a job from California will not be easy. And keep in mind that in FiDi most of the buildings require your annual income to be 45x the monthly rent plus you need good credit. Also, if you send me a message I will be happy to give you my broker's contact information. He showed us several great no fee apartments in FiDi including the one that we picked. Good luck!
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
Are you calculating your net pay correctly? Use paycheckcity.com to make sure all your taxes including federal, state, city are accounted for. Also, if you k ow how much your pre-tax deductions like health insurance and 401k, you can get an even better estimate of your net pay.

#1 thing missing in your budget is SAVINGS. On $4,000+ net, you should have no problem saving $400-600/mo (10-15% net). You MUST save.....let the last 2 years be a lesson you- financal jobs are expendable when times get tough. I had a lot of finance friends who had to move home with mom & dad because even after making $100k's for 5-10 years, they literally had NO savings.

Food & entertainment depends on how much you expect to work and how many nights a week you'll go out and to what kind of places:

Breakfast- just buy coffee/cereal/whatever you eat at the grocery store $25/mo is more than plenty to have eggs, bacon, oatmeal, toast, fruit, etc.
Lunch- fast food in FiDi runs $4-8 depending on what you order. A nicer salad or sandwich that you pick up & take to the office is $10-15. You can eat lunch on a comprable level to your peers at $40-50/week.
Dinner- mix of takeout and leftovers is pretty typical for professional guys. Again, $10-15/meal is plenty. A huge good slice of pizza is like $2-3.

That's a pretty generous food budget, much more than this forum will tell you is "enough" and it will run $400-450/mo.

As for going out, beers at a less expensive "fratty/dive" bar are $5-7. Mixed drinks at a really nice place are $10-16. A nice dinner out (not at Jean Goerges, but at a nice fun restaurant like Stanton Social or the Pan-Asian place at the Maritime Hotel) will be $60-75/pp. A more casual dinner (Tortilla Flats, ethnic food in East Village) is $25.
So 2 nice dinners a month, 4 casual ones, 4 nights @ dive/fratty bars, and 4 nights at high-end places will run you about $600.
If you plan to hit a couple of concerts at Bowery Ballroom or other live music places, add another $120/mo to your entertainment fund.

As for rent, if you plan to share with 1-2 other guys, you can find a great, like a really really nice big place for $1400-1500/ea.

I think I found $800 for you to save out of food budget and $200 from your rent budget. Now you can still live a pretty swanky life for a 22 year old and be saving $12,000 a year, which would at least cover your rent & bills & basic food needs for 4-5 months should you get laid off.

The other $80 left in your entertainment fund can pay your laundry/dry cleaning which was absent from your budget.

Transportation should run $90/mo for unlimited metro card and taxis from FiDi to other downtown going out places about $10/trip. So $200 or so will get you a Metrocard and taxi rides home from 11 nights out a month.

One other thing to consider: do you have enough saved to pay the deposits on your apartment ($3,000 + broker fee if applicable), buy/move your furniture, and buy a professional working wardrobe. Finance/consulting/etc guys are a little snobbish about apparel- you will fund shopping at Brooks Brothers, Banana Republic, J Crew, and more high end stores (Saks, Bergdorf) is pretty much part of your job to "look the part.". If you will need to buy a wardrobe, I would think $2k or so will get you started- 2 pr nice dress shoes, 1 winter wool coat, wool slacks, button downs, crewneck cashmere sweaters, etc.
for that amount money that the guys are saying to save you should do ok by yourself instead of two room mates or less you type of person who just like to have a roommate ..

plus the Cable tv package remember this when looking at adding a cable tv package to your personal household bills ..

1-what shows do you really want to watch on the tv for haveing a cable tv package has channels i do watch or use so it a waste of time for me to have a cable tv package when iam only watching about 10 channels total out of the package plus the local channel in the area .

2- how much tv are you really going to watch if working diff hours or shifts at the time ..

it better to get a good high speed internet connection and watch the shows that you like through hulu tv or netflix and save yourself some money and the shows are there when you want to watch them on your day off ..

that is what i do since iam at work in the evening dureing the socalled prime time tv viewing hours i use the internet more than a tv package for my personal useage in the house..

i can come home and make something to eat and get cleaned up and be ready to sit down in the chair to watch the tvs shows from hulu that i have downloaded to the computer and ready to be watched and it free but the internet connection whichs is $70.oo dollars a month out here for the fastest internet connection for downloading music and game playing on line out here in cow land in northern Ca area
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Thanks a ton for your responses; they've been immensely helpful.

The apartments I've been look at are all around $4500 for 3 bedrooms or $3500 for 2. Studios, like some have pointed out, can be $2000+. So I'll definitely try to grab some roommates. Plus, I feel like it'd be fun for a while (a lot of good friends from college will also be in nyc upon graduation so it'd be cool to live with them).

Food is definitely on the high side I guess. As a college student, I haven't yet learned how to cook so I figured around $40 a day for 3 meals in NYC sounded reasonable--looks like I can cut that down a lot by making eggs for bfast

Not a huge TV watcher except for sports, so I probably won't go for fancy HBO packages. Hulu does seem like a tempting option though. Cell phone bill is covered under a family plan by parents (really hoping that won't change lol). And great point about the laundry...I'll have to factor that in as ~$100/month it looks like. As for the wardrobe, I already have maybe 3/4 of that covered already. Will probably need another nice suit and pair of shoes down the line, but those I feel are more long-term costs.

As for savings, with the costs I estimate, I still should have a solid chunk leftover. I'm just worried I'll end up wasting it, which is why I allocated generously to my food and entertainment expenses. Coming in, I'll probably have my parents lend me some money for deposits if my savings aren't enough.

Thanks again for all the advice. I'd be happy to hear anything else people have to say. If I ever bump into one of you guys in the city I'd love to buy you a few drinks
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,830 posts, read 26,420,127 times
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Your food/entertainment budgets may not be that out of line, especially if you plan to date. A decent bottle of wine at some restaurants could eat the budget in short order, for example.

You can arrange for a bulk laundry service to pick up/deliver to your apartment, or doorman. I would add a bit to the laundry budget for dry cleaning, however, though admittedly I do tend to send things out more often. Sometimes, you can find a good neighborhood service, for the majority of garments, but then you may have some specialized needs as well. Campus Laundry and Brown Bag Laundry are companies that I have used with success for laundry items, though have not used Campus for dry cleaning, so I cannot comment on that service. My dry cleaning bills are likely not the norm, especially since I do recall one of the cleaners I use mentioning something about a vacation home purchase (LOL), but I would say that it would be fairly easy to add another $100-$150 monthly, especially factoring the shirt service.

Since you will have roommates, I would add in the cost of a cleaning service for the apartment. Depending upon how neat you are, I would say that once a week would be a good place to start, to keep the peace. Some guys are more prone to tackle "cleaning" on move out, to get back the deposit, or when their next of kin receive a ransom note from the dust bunnies who are holding them hostage in the apartment. Depending upon the size of the apartment, this could be $100 or so, plus holiday tip, also factoring the scope of work. Just be sure to use a reputable service that's licensed, bonded, and insured.

I didn't see a line item for your health insurance premiums/medical savings, but I would add those to your budget, too.
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Old 12-11-2010, 06:49 PM
 
11,962 posts, read 22,277,043 times
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Here's the best tip I wish I had figured out at 22. Don't plan to save "whatever's left over" because you rarely will. There's always a Vermont ski weekend or Lakers/Knicks tickets or something else to blow money on.

Plan to save a set amount each month; lowball it in the beginning if you want to be safe (like start with $500 and see if you can work your way up from there).

The key "trick" is to have the $500 or whatever direct-deposited to your savings account so you never get the chance to spend it. It basically forces you to save instead of transfering the "leftovers" each moth to your savings. I started doing that when I got a big raise at 26 and finally had a good savings account after 4 years of saving "the leftovers".
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