Anyone live in NYC? Is it worth sacrificing high rent to have fun in the city?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Kendo, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. Kendo macrumors 68000

    Apr 4, 2011
    *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.
  2. MorphingDragon macrumors 603


    Mar 27, 2009
    The World Inbetween
    You don't need to live in the City to experience the City.
  3. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    If the numbers are what you say they are I'd be all over it, if it were me.
  4. obeygiant macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    totally cool
    Live in the city just so you can say you did... even if its just for a short time.
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    I don't get it, you say you make a decent salary so why would you need to deplete your savings to live in the city? You talking about a penthouse suite or what?
  6. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    a decent salary will only go so far in NYC, the cost of living is outrageous.
  7. Macman45, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    Speaking as an expat who grew up in the city, just go for it while you can...It's an even better place than when I was a youngster!!:)
  8. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I say do it if you're going to be able to manage. I would not deplete my savings in order to do it though.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Live in one of the outer boroughs. Lots of "real" people, probably in the same age group as you, live in those areas and have a blast.

    And surely there are really nice, trendy areas that aren't in Manhattan? I don't know NYC at all, but is that a safe assumption? Wouldn't Brooklyn be a nice place to live?

    Anyway, I live in the city, and I do all the things you mentioned. ;) It's incredible.
  10. malman89 macrumors 68000

    May 29, 2011
    If it'll only decrease the amount you're putting to savings and not actually decreasing/withdrawing from your savings, I say go for it. Just make sure the neighborhood/building is a nice fit.

    I lived in Chicago for school and was paying my way through that. When I graduated, I had a salaried job at a non-profit (so nothing amazing, but fine) and decided to move to a much nicer neighborhood. In some ways it was nice (could be drunk stumbling home on dark side streets at 3am with no fear), but in others it wasn't - really expensive (though I was still able to save a few grand), average age was more like 28+ to my 22-23, building was new and nice but anti-social, and so on.

    Looking back, I'd probably just stick to my more North Side neighborhood with 30% lower rent, but I can also say I lived in Lincoln Park, one of the nicest neighborhoods in all of Chicago.
  11. OneMike macrumors 603


    Oct 19, 2005
    It depends. I grew up in Astoria, Queens and lived there till I moved to Miami a few years ago.

    Literally 5 train stops and 10 minutes to midtown Manhattan.

    I don't know where specifically you mean in the Manhattan, but those 5 train stops took about the time it'd take to walk from Park to 5th ave.

    Give an idea more on where you plan on living. Manhattan is a big borough and central park runs from the east to west side.
  12. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Live in Brooklyn. Manhattan is not what it used to be. Most of the fun stuff (arts, music, etc) has moved to Brooklyn anyway. If you really feel the need to go to Manhattan, it's really close.
  13. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Only a New Yorker could call one of the outer boroughs "suburbs", :) and worry about how far out they were....

    (My family is an old NY family, though I'm not. I have family on the island, in Queens - literally as far out as you can go before leaving the city, and in Manhattan - all of whom I visit. So yes, I do know what I am speaking of. The OP's head would implode if they lived where we now live, we are so non-urban.)
  15. AhmedFaisal Guest

    Live in the city? Don't. It's an expensive, cockroach and bed bug infested ********. Manhattan is swarming with banking and fashion vermin and the outer borroughs aren't that much better now that the midlevel bankers are being pushed out of Manhattan with the last vestiges of rent control lifted on Manhattan island. And don't even contemplate Jersey City, Hoboken or Newark. Filled with idiots that vote for political caricatures like that Tony Soprano look/talkalike Chris Christie. In short, get away from the larger New York area and move to some place civilized like San Francisco or overseas.
  16. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    There is nothing - nothing - that compares to having the most exciting city in the world at your doorstep.

    Being 10 minutes away by subway is still great, and millions would envy you. But it's not the same.

    If you can afford it, do it. And then in a year you'll also be in the position to say, "Yes, I used to live in Manhattan, but I got tired of it and left."
  17. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    I was tired of it after 4 days. :) BTW- that's my time limit for visiting NYC. Any longer and I start to feel really claustrophobic.

    Don't get me wrong. It's fun, but in small doses.
  18. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    My sister moved to the Upper West Side last year, after going nearly bankrupt in Nashville. Trust me, she had no savings at all. She moved to New York with nearly nothing. From what I know, she is doing fine, although she lives in a nice apartment with three roommates. She works at a non-profit, so she's not raking in cash. If you are wanting to do it by yourself, that might be a little more difficult.

    But I also have numerous friends who live alone down near Broadway. I'm pretty sure they are making decent money, but I don't think any of them are rich.

    I'm sure you can make it work as long as you aren't wanting a swanky large apartment with a private rooftop patio overlooking downtown Manhattan.
  19. eric/ Guest


    Sep 19, 2011
    Ohio, United States
    I say do it, definitely. It sounds like you have a good plan, and not saving for one year, to experience something you can only experience once in your life (being young in the city) is totally worth it.

    What's the point of making money if you're not going to spend it, and what is the point in saving all that money if you're too old to spend it and have a great time?

  20. AhmedFaisal Guest

    The most exciting city in the world? According to whom and based on what? I can name at least 10 cities in the world that are more vibrant and exciting than New York, especially Manhattan.
  21. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Great segue - several years ago in New York I went on a bus tour of TV and movie locations. For the friend I went with, who grew up in Lebanon, it was like visiting a land of fairy tales - there's the Huxtables' front door, and Central Perk, the Soup Nazi, etc.

    And overlooking Central Park is Lois Lane's apartment - the one from the first Superman movie where Christopher Reeve landed and took Margot Kidder on that flight.

    Let me tell you something folks - not only could Lois Lane not afford that apartment, Perry White couldn't afford that apartment! I'm not even sure Bruce Wayne could afford that apartment!
  22. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2008
    I'd do it. I lived in Central London during my first degree, it's amazing. Living on the outskirts has it's benefits for sure, but as soon as the opportunity arises to move back to the city, I'll be all over it :p

    It's incredibly expensive, and it's not like every day was a party. But being close to all the landmarks and being walking distance from nice restaurants, cinemas, bars etc was fun.

    Of course having good company helped!
  23. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    And that will be merely your subjective opinion, much like I expressed mine.

    One of the things that makes New York great, of course, is your absence.
  24. AhmedFaisal, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2012

    AhmedFaisal Guest

    Sorry mate. Forced to live there at the moment. Can't wait to leave. What a letdown. The most overrated, overhyped place in the world. I'd take San Fran, Singapore, Berlin and London over New York any day. Especially Singapore. Now THAT is what I call an exciting city. Other great places are Kuala Lumpur or Rio for example.

    New York still lives off it's pre-Giuliani reputation but it has become a sad caricature of the amazing city it was before the Mussolini of New York got his hands on it and sold it to the super-rich.
  25. leekohler macrumors G5


    Dec 22, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    To be fair, I think NYC is fun if you're in your 20s.

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