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Old 04-10-2007, 12:52 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,989 times
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I am considering moving to Chi-town for grad school but have a few concerns. I really liked the city when I came to visit for a weekend but I have to commit 6 years to the city and want to make sure it is the right choice. I will be living off of 18000 and wondered if that is feasible. I won't have a car so is it hard to grocery shop, etc. I am 23 SWM and assume that the singles life and night life is pretty good, any comments? Does the hard winters make it unbearable? Are there only a few good months of enjoyable weather? Thanks for all those who choose to help
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Old 04-10-2007, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Southern California
3,455 posts, read 7,656,775 times
Reputation: 1412
where are you coming from? I think that will help to understand (for me anyway) how much of a culture shock this will be.

Thats not a lot of money....but, I just realized by doing my taxes how LITTLE I made last year and got by, and even went on vacation twice.
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:19 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,532,767 times
Reputation: 29746
By the looks of his screen name he's coming from Pittsburgh.

Having lived in both Pittsburgh and Chicago, I'm here to tell you that it's a lot easier to live on 18 grand a year in Pittsburgh than in Chicago. Whereas it's possible to get an apartment by yourself for less than $500/mo in a decent neighborhood in Pitt, you're not going to do that here. Unless you're prepared to spend AT LEAST $700/mo to live in a phone booth, count on having a roommate.

Nightlife is much different here. It's more upscale. Your average North Side nightlife district makes Carson Street and the Strip District look like hillbilly towns. And I say that as someone who likes Carson Street (and I like the strip too, but not as much). The three main college areas in the city (central Lincoln Park around DePaul, Tri-Taylor around UIC and Hyde Park around University of Chicago) all make Oakland look like a hopeless pit. Of course, Oakland also goes a long way toward making Oakland look like a hopeless pit, but that's another story. Even Walnut Street in Shadyside has nothing on the boutique and nightlife areas here. There's endless things to do here, but it will cost you more to avail yourself of those opportunities than in Pittsburgh. If you're not careful, you can run up a $50 bar tab in less than an hour here. On 18 grand a year and even with a roommate to share housing/living expenses, you're going to have to be very selective about which opportunities to spend money on, and even do some bargain shopping, such as figuring what bar has what drink and/or pub-grub specials on which days of the week, which restaurants have the best lunch specials, which indie-band venues only have a $6 cover on which days, et cetera. A very useful website for finding out what's going on where is Metromix (http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/ - broken link). They often highlight cost-effective ways to take advantage of the city's nightlife. Choose wisely and I think you'll still be able to have a good time here.
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