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Old 04-27-2015, 03:11 PM
 
Location: on a bus between amherst and northampton, mass.
3 posts, read 3,033 times
Reputation: 10

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I am graduating with my BA in May. I'm 21 and love New York City and have always wanted to live there. I've been offered two fellowships; both are really wonderful opportunities tutoring middle school kids. Both would also pay off a healthy chunk of my student loans through an education award.

- The first offers a $23550 stipend (before taxes). No housing but does include healthcare, vacation time, professional development, etc.
- The second offers a $7000 stipend (before taxes). Housing provided in Brooklyn and I would commute to Lower Manhattan. Includes professional development but no other benefits that I'm aware of (besides the standard Americorps benefits).

I'm definitely leaning toward the first. But the second one appeals to me because of not having to worry about housing; I know housing in NYC is a NIGHTMARE for low-income people. Plus overwhelming in general. I go to craigslist and just don't know where to start.

Also, if I do the second one, I would be eligible for food stamps. With the first, I actually would be ineligible for food stamps. So basically, I'd be making less than 7k/yr, but my only expenses would be cell phone, MetroCard, whatever groceries food stamps doesn't cover, and discretionary (unless I'm forgetting something).

Here are some numbers I crunched...

OPTION 1
Monthly income after taxes: $1685
Rent ~ 800 (?)
Utilities ~ 100
Food ~ 300
MetroCard ~ 116
Cell phone ~ 45
Leftover: $324

OPTION 2
Monthly income after taxes: $538
MetroCard ~ 116
Cell phone ~ 45
Groceries ~ 100 (to add to food stamps)
Leftover: $377

So based on the numbers alone, Option 2 seems better...? I plan to do this for a year or two before going to grad school. Which is better, more feasible, etc.? Am I overlooking any other factors/expenses? (I've never lived in New York.) Opinions please!

ALSO I have no parental/outside support so please do not suggest that.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:41 PM
 
1,335 posts, read 1,247,859 times
Reputation: 1573
Option 2 does seem wiser however where will you obtain health insurance?

I honestly do not think you could even live off of option 1 ($23k) in NYC. Because I'm assuming you'd not be able to get food stamps with this income level and food is super expensive.
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Old 04-27-2015, 04:55 PM
 
Location: Upper East Side
110 posts, read 181,874 times
Reputation: 33
i would do option 2 and look for a side job. It's going to be TOUGH to survive off that, but if you can get food stamps and don't have to worry about housing, that will definitely help. The other amount, though way more $$, is not enough to survive in NYC.

Are you open to a part time job? You can even find random, one off side jobs on craigslist - ex. focus groups, dog walking, promotions for brands, babysitting, bartending, waitressing. There are lots of options you just have to look for them.

You're definitely going to be hurting for money, but if you're smart and thrifty then you can survive.
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Old 04-27-2015, 05:08 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,502 posts, read 6,334,432 times
Reputation: 3697
Quote:
Originally Posted by burn this disco out View Post
I am graduating with my BA in May. I'm 21 and love New York City and have always wanted to live there. I've been offered two fellowships; both are really wonderful opportunities tutoring middle school kids. Both would also pay off a healthy chunk of my student loans through an education award.

- The first offers a $23550 stipend (before taxes). No housing but does include healthcare, vacation time, professional development, etc.
- The second offers a $7000 stipend (before taxes). Housing provided in Brooklyn and I would commute to Lower Manhattan. Includes professional development but no other benefits that I'm aware of (besides the standard Americorps benefits).

I'm definitely leaning toward the first. But the second one appeals to me because of not having to worry about housing; I know housing in NYC is a NIGHTMARE for low-income people. Plus overwhelming in general. I go to craigslist and just don't know where to start.

Also, if I do the second one, I would be eligible for food stamps. With the first, I actually would be ineligible for food stamps. So basically, I'd be making less than 7k/yr, but my only expenses would be cell phone, MetroCard, whatever groceries food stamps doesn't cover, and discretionary (unless I'm forgetting something).

Here are some numbers I crunched...

OPTION 1
Monthly income after taxes: $1685
Rent ~ 800 (?)
Utilities ~ 100
Food ~ 300
MetroCard ~ 116
Cell phone ~ 45
Leftover: $324

OPTION 2
Monthly income after taxes: $538
MetroCard ~ 116
Cell phone ~ 45
Groceries ~ 100 (to add to food stamps)
Leftover: $377

So based on the numbers alone, Option 2 seems better...? I plan to do this for a year or two before going to grad school. Which is better, more feasible, etc.? Am I overlooking any other factors/expenses? (I've never lived in New York.) Opinions please!

ALSO I have no parental/outside support so please do not suggest that.
Option 2. Housing is ridiculous in NYC. Plus you would have some money in your pocket. Option 1 and the whole thing will go towards housing, and then you'd really have something to worry about. I honestly believe you may spend the entire monthly income on food, but at least you get to experience NYC and can write about it.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:40 PM
 
Location: on a bus between amherst and northampton, mass.
3 posts, read 3,033 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks everyone. It looks like Option 2 makes more sense.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:46 PM
 
11,661 posts, read 22,318,238 times
Reputation: 9336
I'm leaning towards option #2. Housing is insane, and trying to find even a room on a limited budget can be a real hassle, and you can encounter some weird situations with weird rules. At least presumably if the program provides housing, you will be with like-minded people who can share meals, etc. and possibly a social life. Is laundry included with the one that comes with housing? That is an expense you might want to budget for.

Are you sure you'll be able to get food stamps easily? I don't know what the process is.

Btw, the unlimited metro card is $116.50.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:47 PM
 
101 posts, read 109,134 times
Reputation: 238
I really hope you just get a job as a full-time teacher. Golly, you have a tough dilemma on your hands. NYC just raised a subway/bus fare to $2.75 for a one way trip to a destination. You can make your food stamps stretch if you go to pantries. I really wish you can get a second job. You know, you can always take a second shift job to make ends meet.
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Old 04-27-2015, 07:47 PM
 
Location: on a bus between amherst and northampton, mass.
3 posts, read 3,033 times
Reputation: 10
I just found out that all AmeriCorps members qualify for maximum food stamps since SNAP doesn't count the stipend as income. So I would have an extra $200/mo for food even I did Option 1 (more if I shop at farmers' markets). And Option 1 has a transportation stipend also. Hmmm...

Last edited by burn this disco out; 04-27-2015 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:17 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
650 posts, read 1,614,622 times
Reputation: 613
You have to pick option 2. I don't think any landlord would even rent to you with option 1's income. Housing is what kills your salary in NYC, food can be reasonable if you look hard enough. I would recommend a side tutoring job for cash as well. Or become a waiter at night for cash as well.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:27 PM
 
6,685 posts, read 6,256,734 times
Reputation: 4797
What is the housing that is provided? Studio apt, a shared apartment, a dorm room etc? And do you know what neighborhood?
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