The Cost of… “Living in New York”

As made clear by my previous posts, New York’s cost of living is considerably higher than essentially any place in America. However, the cost of actually living in New York City also must be discussed. In Moving to Manhattan, I explained the differences in rents among the city and to touch upon it a bit more…

Some families choose to sacrifice what they could have in other towns to live in New York. I know a family of 4 living in a one-bedroom apartment. Now, they do live in the heart of the West Village, a dream of many, but I’m sure people usually think the parents would at least want their own bedroom. This family has been doing this since their kids were born, now 8 and 11 years old, and they seem to be perfectly satisfied with their lifestyle. The bedroom consists of a full or queen size bed (I can’t remember which one) for the parents and a bunk bed for the boy and girl.

I don’t know what they rent is, but this is quite the sacrifice to make to live in one of the nation’s most sought-after neighborhoods. They could probably settle for a small house in the surroundings suburbs or get a less expensive, bigger place in a different neighborhood or even borough. I just wonder what will happen when the kids get older and want to bring home their girlfriends/boyfriends… Uh oh.

How Far Does a New York Dollar Go? [Part II]

(This post continues off of my previous one, How Far Does a New York Dollar Go? [Part I].)

If you’re seeking to live a well-off lifestyle in New York City when you get older, you better plan to have a very well paying job and marry rich. (This goes for guys and girls.) A New York Times article called “You Try to Live on 500K in This Town” explains just how expensive New York can be. After calculating costs of private school, mortgage, nanny, and co-op maintenance fees, the article states, “We are already at $269,000, and we haven’t even gotten to taxes yet.” Now, the expense listed in this article may seem a tad excessive to some, but to many in New York, these things are parts of the lifestyle they are accustomed to.

The Value of a New York Dollar

New York’s high cost of living is partially due to it’s low dollar value. In a New York Magazine article, “The Value of a New York Dollar,” the New York dollar was stated as being worth only 76 cents. That measly amount was calculated back in 2006, was when the article was published. Because of a number of factors, including regulations and zoning, housing caused the dollar’s value to drop 14 cents. Taxes drag its value down 5.6 cents, while basic costs like the higher prices in New York, decrease it even more by 4.4 cents. These are all further explained in the article, as well as the difference in lifestyle costs and wages.

How Far Does a New York Dollar Go? [Part I]

The money you earn and spend in New York does not go as far as it does in other cities. The New York Dollar is, by definition, “calculated by subtracting the additional cost of living in New York, and then adding back the additional income residents tend to command as a result.” It’s common knowledge that the cost of things in large cities are going to be more expensive than in small towns. But do you know just how big this price difference is?

The cost of living in New York City is much higher than it is in other cities. However, the salary one earns in the city also is higher in comparison. (Though, it may not always be high enough to accommodate the difference of cost of living.) For instance, an Information Technology Director living in Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, has a median income of $147,493, according to Salary.com, while a person who holds the same position in New York, NY earns a median income of $193,881. To find out how far your salary can go in any city, take a look at the CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator and the PayScale Cost of Living Calculator.

Sassy Steve

To state the obvious, the holidays are coming up and it’s getting colder outside. This means I need to dress warm when I go outside, but of course still while looking good. It’s a good thing New York in the winter makes me love cold weather fashion! Want to look even more cold weather chic? Click here to get inspired.

To state the obvious-to-me, I really need (want) winter wedges. And I found the perfect ones! It was quite a splurge, though, especially for shoes I won’t be wearing nearly everyday. Despite buying them for 25% off, they were not a bargain. (25% really isn’t that much anyway.)

My Steve Madden Annnie Wedge in Taupe Suede

Standing tall at 5’1.5, I like to have some more height when I go out to social events. The Steve Madden suede Annnie wedges are comfortable, fashionable, and make a little one like me much taller! I purchased them in taupe color (they look more gray to me), but they come in black and olive green, as well.

Check out them out on Steve Madden’s website.  With a 4.8/5 rating, it’s hard to go wrong with them! For those of you who like animal-inspired shoes, take a look at the Annnie-L; they come in Leopard and in Black Pony.

Steve Madden Annnie-L in Black Pony
Steve Madden Annnie-L in Leopard

Looking Nice at Half the Price

How many people can turn down a great deal when they see one? Not many.
How many people are willing to buy much of American Apparel‘s clothing for full price? Not many.

Thankfully, I can now dress myself like a hipster without paying the full price. Groupon, a digital couponing site, had a coupon for the swagalicious brand and you better believe I grabbed it!

Groupon offered a deal in which $100 worth of American Apparel merchandise was yours for just $50. Getting 50% off a $100 purchase? Yes, please! Now I can buy those $82 black Disco Pants (don’t judge the name) I’ve always dreamed of… They go with everything! #dreamcometrue

Check out Groupon for awesome deals near you! It has offerings for everything from clothing to restaurants to spas to vacations! Oh, the possibilities!


Middle class? What’s that?

So, you want to live in New York City, huh? You want the exciting nightlife that goes past 4am (morninglife?), incredible international cuisines, food at any time of the day/night, a city in which you never get bored, and you crave the chaotic lifestyle the city demands. The question is… Can you afford it?

A couple years ago, the Daily News published an article titled “N.Y.C. So Costly You Need Six Figures to Make Middle Class”, and the information it reveals still holds truth today, (given today’s prices/costs versus those of 2009.) It discusses the findings of a study done by the Center for Urban Future. The report shows just what it means to live in New York, and why middle class here is different than other large cities in America.

“In Manhattan, a $60,000 salary is equivalent
to someone making $26,092 in Atlanta.”

Furthermore, the report claims that a New Yorker would have to make $123,322 a year to maintain the same standard of living as someone who makes $50,000 in Houston.

Yes, the salaries in New York are higher than those in other states, but when you see some of the other factors mentioned in this article, it’s no wonder 24% of New York City residents plan to make their exodus out of the most expensive city in the country (and 32nd in the world). According to “The 12 Most Expensive Cities In America” in Business Insider: The Life, the monthly rent for an unfurnished luxury two-bedroom apartment is $4,300 in New York. This is almost $2000 more than the second most expensive city in America, Los Angeles. In the city of angels, the rent reported for an unfurnished luxury two-bedroom apartment is $2,500. Other prices found in that article are quite interesting…check them out! Also, refer to my previous post, Monthly Money, and to “There is No Manhattan, New York” on thefashionpond.

One more point to make before I start boring you, (as if I haven’t already,) is an experience of my own. Last year, when I went back to my hometown on Long Island during winter break, I went to Target with my mom and bought Dannon Activia Yogurt, which, by the way, is very delicious and nutritious! I highly recommend it. Anyway, a four-pack of this yogurt cost approximately $2 at the Target on Long Island. When I went grocery shopping in the city, the identical four-pack cost around $4. I was shocked when I saw the differences in the two prices! Good thing there’s a Target in Brooklyn

“If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Do you think this Frank Sinatra lyric holds truth? Is it worth living here when it is so much more expensive? What’s your take on the finances of New York?

Chai Tea Latte = My Alternative Life Source

Okay, okay, I admit it!
Starbucks probably eats up almost half of my spending money for the week… 

I don’t know about you, but it’s not uncommon for me to get the mid-afternoon slump of fatigue (welcome to college), which means I’m on the prowl for caffeine! Since I don’t like coffee, a favorite energizer for me is the chai tea latte from Starbucks, which I can get at the location in my school’s cafeteria. 🙂

A tall (“small” in Starbucks’ fancy language) cup contains about 70 milligrams of caffeine, and for someone who doesn’t have caffeine too often, this is just enough. Plus, that’s a lot to pack into a 12-ounce cup for tea alone! It has almost as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. A grande (medium, 16 oz.) cup contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, while a venti (large, 20 oz.) cup contains about 120 milligrams.

[Chai is a rich, black tea that has distinct spices in it which make it very flavorful. For more information, click here.]

If its a warm day, or I just want a cold drink, I get my chai iced, which I find just perfect. I know some people who only drink their chai tea lattes iced. The regular, hot version is delicious, as well, and it actually keeps me full for a little while. Though, that may just be because I drink it slowly because it’s so hot; the iced ones are hard not to drink quickly!

 Iced Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks

I like to get mine made with skim milk, but you can also order it with 2%, whole, or soy milk.