Renting a studio apartment as IB analyst - furnished or unfurnished?

Hi all,

I'm looking to rent a studio apartment and initially thought finding a furnished one would be very easy, but apparently a furnished studio is ~1k per month more than an unfurnished one. I'd initially planned on budgeting around 1500-2000 but a furnished would take me up to around 2500.

I was wondering if anyone had advice on whether a furnished studio is unnecessary laziness and it just makes sense to buy (?) furniture instead. The time it would take to set up alone makes me not want to take that route, but I was curious if others had any experience with this decision.

2500 would be almost half of monthly income (base) which is admittedly high. Can I take into account approximated bonus as part of my salary too, then, or should bonuses not be counted as such?

Thanks very much in advance.

Comments (11)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 11, 2022 - 10:56pm

Would definitely just go the furniture route. $12k a year for furniture is completely throwing money away, especially for a studio where you have very little furniture to begin with. Also, most large furniture (sofa/bed) will come with someone to deliver it so not really a problem there, and something like a small dining table isn't hard to put together. Maybe a few hours. Buy an inexpensive bed, small sofa, dining table/chairs, some art on FB marketplace... done

Not sure where you are, but in NYC you literally can't sign anything over 40x your base salary. Bonus should not be included int your salary, and even outside of NYC they won't factor it in unless you have multiple tax returns showing it, since it's not guaranteed (especially so in these markets). Even so, half of monthly income (pre or post tax?) is a LOT to spend on rent, you will be really tight on other things and probably find yourself on a shoestring budget for fun/dinners out/shopping. Bonus is great but you still have to be able to make rent your first year until that check hits

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 12, 2022 - 6:27pm

Thanks for the reply.

The only thing I was thinking is that I don't know if Im going to be in the same city/job too long in which case would I just be selling the furniture? Do you know if it's possible to rent things like a bed and if people actually do that?

Advantage of a furnished tho is that they also handle things like a tv etc which would be a massive pain, but I totally see what you mean in terms of the the overall price.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
May 12, 2022 - 7:34pm

You can technically rent furniture but it'll be like $500-1000 a month as well. Look into it... don't know anyone who does it.

Also TV is really not that hard to set up. It's like plugging in a computer. If you don't know how to mount, it's not that hard + a good skill to learn, but again you can get it from a place that will install it for you. 

Yes you would just sell on FB marketplace typically. If you're only going to be there for 1 year or less, furnished might make sense to avoid hassle. Otherwise just sell the furniture when you move or bring some of it with you, you'll need furniture at your next apartment too.

  • Investment Manager in HF - Other
May 12, 2022 - 7:55pm

Very few things are a pain if you are willing to pay a bit. Just like finishing a furnished place handles a lot of the "pain" of getting furniture, paying for someone to move the furniture, assemble it, or install a TV is possible and nets out much lower than the cost of renting a furnished place. At a furnished place you will only be taking advantage of a small percentage of the stuff they give you (do you care about 2 nightstands? A dining table? What about the loveseat and couch? Etc) so it is most likely a waste. Also, if you move you don't have to sell your furniture, there are movers and they cost like $500-$1000 for relatively simple moves. 

I would get it unfurnished, buy the stuff I want, and pay for the conveniences (delivery, assembly, install of TV). A TV install is ~$100 from a decent place. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 13, 2022 - 10:47pm

Got it, thanks a lot for all the replies.

What would you say is a "good" amount of rent to be paying, then? You had already mentioned the 40x rule but is that a 'good' position to be in for rent payment or just the maximum? Is that level chosen to strike a good balance between comfort and affordability? 

May 14, 2022 - 12:50am
joeisomer, what's your opinion? Comment below:

As someone else looking for a studio- where do you find an unfurnished studio for just 1500-2000 in NYC at this point?! Is it really 1000 less per month for unfurnished? 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
May 15, 2022 - 9:49pm

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