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Old 01-23-2010, 12:58 PM   #1
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Future Queen of LBYM

Good article in the WSJ written by the father of a young woman who lived in NYC on less than $30,000 a year.
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She not only lived in New York on a salary of less than $30,000 from a publishing-industry job, she managed to save $5,000 over the course of a year. On top of that, she stashed about $1,000 in her 401(k) account.
I'm impressed.

Her newest adventure is to see how well she can do without an income:
Quote:
As for Mariana, she has already made one change since quitting her job in early December. "I'm living more cheaply since I don't have an income," she says.
Living Well in New York on Less Than $30,000 - WSJ.com
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:06 PM   #2
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Now this is the kinda stuff that warms the cockles of my 'cheap SOB' heart.

heh heh heh - Even though I'm not getting any younger and spend more than early in ER.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Leonidas, itís a similar myth to ďdonít move to Texas.Ē Yes, you can live very very well cheaply without dumpster diving or eating beans & grains only in an expensive city but LOL: 1) not anymore; 2) only if you moved there 30-40 years ago; 3) this is the one I heard when I moved from Wisconsin, ďif you donít live in (the most expensive section), you will be killed; 4) it isnít nice weather there, looks good but bone-chillingly cold; 5) loneliest place in the world; 6) itís hard to establish yourself in a j*b and to find friends; 7) .....

Phew, the article ends with the young lady moving to a less expensive place thus once again proving it is better not to think about moving to expensive cities.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the article. Great reading. Ya gotta admire a young person living in a $3k+/month NYC apartment with this kind of sane action~

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A couple of times, Mariana says, she did some Dumpster-diving when she spotted a local market throwing out "big bags of bread perfectly packaged."
Eating garbage can be a good thing.
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Old 01-23-2010, 01:55 PM   #5
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Cheap living always starts with keeping the big expenses small. For most of us, that means housing. Amid the real-estate crisis, Mariana and three friends were able to lease a four-bedroom apartment in the upscale Park Slope section of Brooklyn for $3,100 a month.
Their rent alone is the same as the gross income I'd need to live on, if I were retiring this year! I have never figured out what the attraction of NYC is that makes people willing to pay such exhorbitant amounts to live there. I was born in Queens and have visited a few times since moving to the west coast as a child but I'd never voluntarily move back there.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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Both of my children lived in expensive cities when they first graduated from college and not making much more than $30,000. My son lived in NYC and my daughter lived in Boston . Their apartments that they shared with two other roomates were awful looking and awfully tiny but they loved city life and flourished . There are tons of young people living in these cities on that amount . As for the attraction ,what better time to live in a vibrant city than when you are young and carefree .
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:53 PM   #7
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I read this article in the Wall Street and greatly admired this young woman for her smarts and tenacity. My son went to school in a high cost area(Boston) and then on to NYC(investment bank) and now London(same bank). The epicenter for some jobs is in the high cost areas. He is very frugal, believe me, even though I think he makes a good salary. I'm guessing in the 6 figures. He is secretive about his salary so I'm suspicious. I might ask for a loan or quit the Christmas and birthday checks
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Old 01-23-2010, 03:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
Both of my children lived in expensive cities when they first graduated from college and not making much more than $30,000. My son lived in NYC and my daughter lived in Boston . Their apartments that they shared with two other roomates were awful looking and awfully tiny but they loved city life and flourished . There are tons of young people living in these cities on that amount . As for the attraction ,what better time to live in a vibrant city than when you are young and carefree .
Seattle
Denver
New Orleans(cheap outside the French Quarter)

heh heh heh - I suspect if I could recapture my youth - I could find a place(I already know) to boggie in Kansas City. Too bad you can't buy youth with money - frugal I can handle.
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Old 01-23-2010, 07:13 PM   #9
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Thanks for sharing this article - enjoyable reading. Now, off to research about food co-ops...
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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Compared to her DW and I are profligate overspenders....
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:04 PM   #11
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I have never figured out what the attraction of NYC is that makes people willing to pay such exhorbitant amounts to live there.
Different strokes.

Personally I never understood why anyone would voluntarily live somewhere where they need to drive 20 miles or more every time they wanted something from the store.

Also NYC has more than one major employer that pays sufficiently to cover the cost of living. I can't imagine working somewhere where I couldn't quit my job because there were no other local options.

Different strokes.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:48 PM   #12
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Personally I never understood why anyone would voluntarily live somewhere where they need to drive 20 miles or more every time they wanted something from the store.

Also NYC has more than one major employer that pays sufficiently to cover the cost of living. I can't imagine working somewhere where I couldn't quit my job because there were no other local options.
Fully agree. Luckily NYC is just one of many cities that offers these benefits.

Again, different strokes.
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Old 01-24-2010, 02:28 PM   #13
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Publishing hasn't changed much. In 1993 we graduated from college and landed our first jobs. My then future wife got a NYC publishing job that paid $18,257.46 (yup, she remembers it down to the penny). In today's dollars that is just shy of $27K. My job in finance paid the equivalent of $40K in today's dollars. I don't ever remember feeling poor. We each had roommates, drank the cheapest beer we could find, ate pizza and a lot of pasta. It's just what you did.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:46 PM   #14
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Fully agree. Luckily NYC is just one of many cities that offers these benefits.

Again, different strokes.
I agree too. I moved out of NYC some years ago and if I lost my current job, I would be lucky to get one paying 60% of my current salary only because my company is the only big gig in town.
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:49 PM   #15
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My first job was in NYC paying $16K a year and I did not feel poor. Back then, you could live the lifestyle to suit your budget. Hell, you could even rent a room for $50/week. I think if you have to be poor, NYC is not a bad place to be poor. That might explain why so many immigrants make NYC their first stop.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by . . . Yrs to Go View Post
Publishing hasn't changed much. In 1993 we graduated from college and landed our first jobs. My then future wife got a NYC publishing job that paid $18,257.46 (yup, she remembers it down to the penny). In today's dollars that is just shy of $27K. My job in finance paid the equivalent of $40K in today's dollars. I don't ever remember feeling poor. We each had roommates, drank the cheapest beer we could find, ate pizza and a lot of pasta. It's just what you did.
Great movie about this lifestyle(and the publishing jobs that made it necessary) is Whit Stillmans's Last Days of Disco.



Ha
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Old 01-25-2010, 02:05 PM   #17
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That article pretty much describes how I've always lived, even though I make a whole lot more than $30k a year. For example, at the weekend the market had a special on stewing beef. So I got half a pound and made beef stew with, lots of potatoes, carrots, celery etc. and half a bottle of left over red wine. I topped it off with some dumplings. Total cost about $6 for 4 big meals.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:50 PM   #18
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I could have written this article about my own DD, who's living in Manhattan in a "studio-plus" apartment (read: 550 square feet) and working as a copywriter making between $28,000 -$30,000/yr, augmented by freelance photo and writing assignments and the occasional nanny job.

She's not a dumpster diver (that I'm aware of), although she did find a bunch of letters signed by Eleanor Roosevelt dumped on the sidewalk as trash -- which she sold at auction and got a nice return -- and as a vegetarian, she finds she is able to eat well on a budget.

She loves living in NYC, despite all the inconveniences, and I applaud her spunk. She's in her 20s, is a talented artist, has a good education, and a dream, so why not?
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Old 01-26-2010, 10:00 PM   #19
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Yep - my parents marriage license is New York city 1939 after doing a few fun years of the Depression as a part time chauffeur and second assistant milkman in Brooklyn.

After WWII picked the PacNW as a reasonable suburb of Brooklyn where one could stay employed as a log train mechanic.

In spite of move to the West Coast(by them) a Dodgers fan till the end(his).

heh heh heh - living cheap in an expensive spot is the ultimate cool.
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