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Old 12-18-2011, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. suburbs
79 posts, read 55,132 times
Reputation: 64

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I have a friend from college who lives in NYC on $80,000 a year. I was jealous at first because that is my dream. I love the city and have a blast every time I go. I love the diversity, the food, the high energy feel, the tall buildings and every thing else. I eventually want to live there before I get old.

But NYC is crazy expensive and highly competitive. Seems like my friend doesn't save any money and rarely has any free time. Is this the norm for a young professional living in Manhattan?

I would love to live in NYC, but I would want to have a similar standard of living to what I have in Washington D.C. I live on $45,000 a year and always have extra money after my bills that I can either put away or use for fun. I was able to save $3,000 this year and I still had money to go on 2 vacation trips.

It takes a lot of stress and hard work to earn $80,000 a year and still be broke after all your expenses. Its like being stuck in neutral. But maybe the skills and experience you get for your resume pay off later.
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Old 12-18-2011, 03:08 PM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,420 posts, read 4,192,998 times
Reputation: 2445
It won't be a glamerous lifestyle, but a single person can easily live fairly comfortably in NYC on 80k. That's about what I make and I have no debt, max out my Roth IRA every year, put 5% into a deferred compenstion plan, and put away a good portion into a regular savings account.

Working lots of hours really helps you save money, as that's time that you're not spending out on the town, and its also a bit of an incentive to get a simple apartment rather than a luxury one since you're not there that much.

Your friend may have crazy student loans or something though, so that can change things of course.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: New York City
559 posts, read 928,525 times
Reputation: 384
But there are lots of free/cheap things to do in the city!

It takes careful planning, but it can be done. For instance, Sundays at the Frick Collection are "pay what you wish." Thursdays at 4 PM are free admission at the MOMA. And so on.

Most Thursday evenings, in Chelsea or the Lower East Side, there are gallery openings, with free wine and nibbles and opportunities to meet and chat with new (and hopefully interesting) people.

There are the parks. There are the lectures at the NY Public Library.

The city is your oyster.
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Old 12-18-2011, 04:43 PM
 
407 posts, read 893,992 times
Reputation: 186
If he's working so much, how is he broke?
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Old 12-18-2011, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Astoria, Queens, you know the scene
750 posts, read 2,128,070 times
Reputation: 598
Yes, you will be worked like a dog in NYC, especially if you're young. There's a lot of pressure to perform here because of the level of competition, the culture companies have of doing more with less resources, the intrinsic competitive spirit of NYC, and just the sheer amount of work to be done in industries like finance, consulting, law, advertising and marketing etc. So it's not surprising that your friend doesn't have a lot of free time, but as far as always being broke, he is probably overspending on rent by living in Manhattan. On 80K, I'd prefer to get a place in Brooklyn, Queens or Jersey for 1300-1500, which would allow me to have a very comfortable lifestyle for a single person - which would include having a good apartment in a nice neighborhood, eating out whenever I want, going out to shows, bars, museums, parties etc, buying nice clothes, electronics, etc, going overseas once a year, traveling domestically a couple times a year, and saving and investing. 80K is definitely enough to do that if you keep your rent down, so there is no reason he should be broke unless he has other financial responsibilities.
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:44 AM
 
2,853 posts, read 6,250,461 times
Reputation: 1636
Sometimes young people people come here out of college and have to live in the nice doorman building in the prime neighborhood and go out to the trendiest bars. Even if you are workign most of the time, the rent and the few times you go out can also eat up your income. Also if you are new to living on your own, the cost of furniture, and other start-up costs, can also make an impact.

When I started out, I lived in a humble walkup studio on the fifth floor of a building. It was a nice enough neighborhood but I didn't have to live in the trendiest building. So I was able to save. I also worked a lot but still managed to find balance.

It's possible to save money and manage your hours. But I think new life in the city can overwhelm some people.

Perhaps he also has bills you don't see like student loan repayment.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:07 AM
 
1,320 posts, read 3,498,274 times
Reputation: 800
Depends on lifestyle and how stupid or smart they are. I've met many folks that make very good pay but spending it all on enjoying their life and live paycheck to paycheck.

I've met just as many folks who are very conservative and save, save, save with mentality that they want to retire early to enjoy their life later or to buy a home of their own (buy as in pay off much as possible).

It is whatever risk you can stomach. I for one fall on the ladder category and cannot stomach such risk and I'd definitely loose sleep over it and stress out. So I save, save, save to pay off a home much as possible and enjoy my life later during my older years. One of my closet friend on the other hand, does not and spend most of his pay on enjoying his life now. He has mentality of if I need more money, I'll make more money and is able to stomach the risk that comes with this lifestyle.

So it is what you make of it.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States
292 posts, read 580,181 times
Reputation: 250
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Crisp View Post
I have a friend from college who lives in NYC on $80,000 a year. I was jealous at first because that is my dream. I love the city and have a blast every time I go. I love the diversity, the food, the high energy feel, the tall buildings and every thing else. I eventually want to live there before I get old.

But NYC is crazy expensive and highly competitive. Seems like my friend doesn't save any money and rarely has any free time. Is this the norm for a young professional living in Manhattan?

I would love to live in NYC, but I would want to have a similar standard of living to what I have in Washington D.C. I live on $45,000 a year and always have extra money after my bills that I can either put away or use for fun. I was able to save $3,000 this year and I still had money to go on 2 vacation trips.

It takes a lot of stress and hard work to earn $80,000 a year and still be broke after all your expenses. Its like being stuck in neutral. But maybe the skills and experience you get for your resume pay off later.
Well, if he would just move out of Manhattan, he could save a lot more money.
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Old 12-19-2011, 11:44 AM
 
607 posts, read 686,974 times
Reputation: 1032
I agree with all the posts above. If you live within your means and manage your spending, it's easy to live off $80k/year in NYC.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. suburbs
79 posts, read 55,132 times
Reputation: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by babo111 View Post
Depends on lifestyle and how stupid or smart they are. I've met many folks that make very good pay but spending it all on enjoying their life and live paycheck to paycheck.

I've met just as many folks who are very conservative and save, save, save with mentality that they want to retire early to enjoy their life later or to buy a home of their own (buy as in pay off much as possible).

It is whatever risk you can stomach. I for one fall on the ladder category and cannot stomach such risk and I'd definitely loose sleep over it and stress out. So I save, save, save to pay off a home much as possible and enjoy my life later during my older years. One of my closet friend on the other hand, does not and spend most of his pay on enjoying his life now. He has mentality of if I need more money, I'll make more money and is able to stomach the risk that comes with this lifestyle.

So it is what you make of it.
I personally like to save a little and spend a little. I'm afraid of not taking advantage of my youth, but I'm equally afraid of blowing all my money and having nothing.

Life is so unpredictable its hard to plan sometimes. You could end up in a wheel chair and never get to do all the things you planned for later in life. At the same time you could enjoy yourself too much and end up never being able to retire and still working as you enter your grave.
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