Shortly after I graduated from college, I dreamed of moving to New York City and living a fun and fabulous lifestyle a la Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and The City. What I didn’t realize is that young professionals (most of them) aren’t living like Carrie Bradshaw. If Carrie Bradshaw were a real 20-something living in NYC here’s what her life would look like:
- Manhattan living-Forget a super sweet apartment on the Upper East Side. “Real” New Yorkers live in the outer Boroughs too. Think, Brooklyn and Queens. If you want to be in close proximity to the city but don’t have a big budget, there’s no shame in being, “Bridge and Tunnel people”.
- Single in the City-You might be single, but you won’t be living alone. I have one word for you, Roommates! Probably multiple roommates, maybe bunk beds, maybe turning the living room into an extra bedroom or putting up a curtain or partition.
- Fine Dining-Maybe Mr. Big is footing the bill, in which case indulge. But if he’s not, you’re probably looking at lower cost options. The restaurants “Carrie” frequented are expensive, and if you’re a young professional you’re not going to be eating at them regularly. Cooking at home in your microscopic kitchen, or ordering inexpensive take-out are more budget friendly options.
- Smoking-Not only is smoking bad for your health, a pack of the Marlboro Lights Carrie spokes during most seasons of the show are going to set you back over $10 a pack in NYC (how much exactly, I’m not even sure because even if I wanted to smoke, I couldn’t afford to do so).
- Cosmopolitans-Mixed drinks a fancy bars and clubs will set you back at least $10. During your first few weeks in the city you’ll find the dive bars and 1/2 price happy hours. You might also discover you like beer I did!
- Manolo Blahniks-At $400+ a pair, would you rather pay your rent or wear expensive designer heels? Not only were the shoes Carrie wore out of most young New Yorkers’ budgets, they’re also pretty impractical given you’ll be riding the subway and doing a lot of walking, see number 7.
- Cabs-Carrie rode in cabs constantly. If your rent is half of your budget, you can’t afford cabs. Public transport is where it’s at. NYC has one of the best public transportation systems in the world, and you’re going to be intimately acquainted with it.
Which Sex and The City Character Did You Identify With? (I liked to think of myself as a Carrie/Miranda combo). Do you live in NYC or another expensive city? How do you stay within your budget?