*By the way, I guess this post can relate to ANY expensive city like San Francisco, Tokyo, London, etc.* So it is finally time to leave the nest and I'm having some difficulty deciding on whether I should move to an outer borough like Brooklyn or go straight for Manhattan. Living at home for the past few years, I have essentially been in "savings mode" by putting away nearly 45% of my net income. If I move to Brooklyn, that number would probably go down to 25%. If I move to Manhattan, that number would probably be 10% (or more realistically, no savings at all). I currently have zero debt, a healthy emergency fund, and make a decent salary. I was weighing the pros and cons of sacrificing a year of high rent in Manhattan just to experience the city while I'm still young and single. I figured even though I am saving a good amount now, what good is it if I don't enjoy some of it while I am young? I figured although my rent would double by moving to Manhattan (compared to Brooklyn), I could actually enjoy things on the fly. How often can one wake up and decide to go to the museum or take a jog in the morning in Central Park? It wouldn't be nearly as spontaneous if I lived in an outer borough. I couldn't see myself going to a museum "on the fly" if I had to trek it out on a 20 minute train ride. Manhattan just affords more spontaneity. Like waking up and walking down a block to Barnes and Noble, read a few chapters of the latest bestseller, and hit the gym on the way back. All of these things require "planning" in the suburbs or outer boroughs. I've been saving diligently for the past couple of years. Is it dumb to have zero savings for a year but ultimately having a blast in the city for a year? I would eventually then move to a more affordable outer borough (unless I got a huge pay increase). But on the other end of the spectrum, I don't wanna feel like I just wasted a years worth of money for something that ultimately wasn't special and flew right by.