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Old 01-27-2009, 09:52 AM
 
61 posts, read 157,890 times
Reputation: 26

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Hello,

My wife and I are strongly considering Manhattan, and I am just starting to ensure that we can afford to live there.

I am anticipating that we will make roughly $90,000 at a bare minimum between the two of us. We both have college degrees, and are fresh out of school so I don't think it'll be that hard to find a job, we have experience in our fields and great references. What I am wondering is, is $90,000 sufficient for two people to live on in Manhattan?

Granted, a lot of factors can go into this. I am looking roughly the follow:

$1800 or less for an apartment
$1000 on food (Dine in and out)
$250 or less on utilities (gas/elec/water)
$200 on cab fare
$450 Loans (student loans)
$500 Misc bills + things that come up

$4200 total / month
$5100 total / month take home.($45k * 2)

Do these numbers seem accurate, or is NYC a heck of a lot more expensive than I am imagining?

----------------

Location wise we are looking at Upper West Side and Upper East Side - I found some studios near there for $1600-$1700, which is fine as we live in 370 sq ft studio right now. Wondering if a 1 bdrm is posible for $2k or less in Upper W/E Side.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:00 AM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,652,208 times
Reputation: 3699
Where in Manhattan? You'll be hard pressed to find something for $1,800 in the "cool" parts of Manhattan, which is what most people think of when they think of Manhattan. You could find something in Inwood or Washington Heights for that price, and while it's still Manhattan, it's not Sex-in-the-City Manhattan.

$1,000 a month for food for two people is around $5 a meal per person. You won't be eating out very much on that budget.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:03 AM
 
3,225 posts, read 7,496,017 times
Reputation: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by ndheah View Post
Hello,

My wife and I are strongly considering Manhattan, and I am just starting to ensure that we can afford to live there.

I am anticipating that we will make roughly $90,000 at a bare minimum between the two of us. We both have college degrees, and are fresh out of school so I don't think it'll be that hard to find a job, we have experience in our fields and great references. What I am wondering is, is $90,000 sufficient for two people to live on in Manhattan?

Granted, a lot of factors can go into this. I am looking roughly the follow:

$1800 or less for an apartment
$1000 on food (Dine in and out)
$250 or less on utilities (gas/elec/water)
$200 on cab fare
$450 Loans (student loans)
$500 Misc bills + things that come up

$4200 total / month
$5100 total / month take home.($45k * 2)

Do these numbers seem accurate, or is NYC a heck of a lot more expensive than I am imagining?

----------------

Location wise we are looking at Upper West Side and Upper East Side - I found some studios near there for $1600-$1700, which is fine as we live in 370 sq ft studio right now. Wondering if a 1 bdrm is posible for $2k or less in Upper W/E Side.

Hi, I don't wish to dissuade you or curb your enthusiasm in any way. I just wanted to give my take on some points:

1. Please do not assume that your college degrees, experience, references make landing a job a cinch. Perhaps in better times, but it's not necessarily so under prevailing economic circumstances.

2. A 1 bedroom for 2k or less will be way, way up on the UWS; perhaps on the UES it'll be near to York or First Avenue.

3. The other budget items seek okay to me.

Rent will be the real deal breaker in determining whether you can swing it in Manhattan. I think that it's possible under your proposed scenarios - especially as you don't mind a small studio and if you can compromise logistically on areas on the UWS/UES which may involve extra commuting.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,755 posts, read 25,542,103 times
Reputation: 6681
Don't forget your contribution to health insurance coverage, and cleaning services (at least clothes if not clothes and house).

Also, $200 for cabs isn't that many trips. Don't forget that a MetroCard is $81 each/month for the subway and buses, unless you're in realistic distance to walk to work and/or cycle to work with appropriate facilities at the office.
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Old 01-27-2009, 10:52 AM
 
274 posts, read 1,000,819 times
Reputation: 119
Manhattan is more enjoyable without a spouse.
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:00 AM
 
61 posts, read 157,890 times
Reputation: 26
Thanks for the input. We both won't do the move w/o a job for each of us, which would be a challenge in itself, I understand that. I just want to ensure that once we get there, we won't starve or have to put everything on credit.

As for the food cost comment, right now my wife and I spend $225 or so for food monthly, plus $100 or so in dining out, as we love to cook.

Everything I've read is that food (grocery) costs 30-40% more in NYC, even at 50% more cost, that's $350 in grocery, leaving $650 for dining out. Here in Minneapolis, a good meal for two with wine costs about $100-$125 - We won't be eating at that many 5* Restaurants. What does a typical 'nice' meal cost in NYC?
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Old 01-27-2009, 11:25 AM
 
3,225 posts, read 7,496,017 times
Reputation: 868
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ace Rock View Post
Manhattan is more enjoyable without a spouse.
LOL. Dunno whether the OP would consider that option. (I hear that many wanna do that even when they're not relocating!)
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:12 PM
 
2,312 posts, read 6,520,661 times
Reputation: 881
I know two husbands who took jobs in Manhattan and left their wives and families in other states. Actually, the wives weren't unhappy with the turn of events.
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:14 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,036 posts, read 8,652,208 times
Reputation: 3699
I lived in Minneapolis for five years before moving to NYC. Restaurant prices are comparable. The advantage here is that there are so many options that you can find something good in every price range, you just have to know where to go.

Groceries are more expensive, but not 40 percent more. I suppose I'm just shocked that two people can get by on $250 a month for groceries anywhere, but that is more a testament to your frugality rather than prices.

If you're accustomed to (and willing to continue) such sacrifices, i.e., a 375 square foot apartment and a very modest food budget, I think you would do quite well in New York. It would be best to move ASAP, i.e., before you get tired of living that way. The problem for most people is that moving here requires a cut in personal space and spending money; they get frustrated (and often resentful) of the loss. Here's a tip: Enjoy exploring the city (which only requires a good pair of walking shoes) and don't think about what $90,000 could get you in Texas. The value lies in being here, not in space or material possessions.

It's all about managing expectations, and your expectations seem realistic. Best of luck.

In re: the snarky comment about being married in the city, it may or may not be less fun (I'm not married so I don't know) but it's certainly less expensive.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Boston MA, by way of NYC
2,763 posts, read 5,871,471 times
Reputation: 498
Get that 90K+ job first, oh wait did you say that was a combined income, I don't know where in Manhattan you really could live on that.
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