Moving to NYC – How's my budget?

Hey guys! 

I am moving to New York City next year and wanted to get an idea of how realistic my rudimentary budget is. I am making $100k as base with a $10k signing bonus (and 10-20% performance bonus at the end of the year). For the sake of the budget, I just used the $100k figure.

After tax and after a $19,500 401k deduction (I assumed 0% employee match just to remain as conservative as possible with my budget), I got an after tax income of roughly $55,239, which comes out to $4,603.25 per month.

Here's how I estimate my monthly expenses to go:

Rent: $2000

Phone: $50

Food: $600

Transport: $200

Roth IRA Contribution: $500

Entertainment: $750

This gives me roughly $503 per month left at the end. Is there anything I am missing from this budget, or is there any figure you guys suggest I try to reduce/increase? 

Thank you all!

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Comments (37)

Oct 13, 2021 - 4:01pm

Are utilities included in your rent estimate? Do you have potential roommates or are you living alone? Furniture cost? Laundry may be a little if you don't have one in unit. Transportation may vary depending on the location of office but could also possibly be comped.

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 13, 2021 - 5:25pm

Thanks for the reply! The furniture cost was going to come from my signing bonus (and I do have a lot of extra stuff I was gonna bring anyways). In regards to utilities and laundry, those aren't things I thought of but I definitely will include them, thank you. I am not sure if I am going to have roomates, however I want them for sure. 

Office is right in midtown so I was planning to get a monthly MTA pass and keep some slack for the occasional Uber.

Oct 13, 2021 - 4:04pm

600 on food is only $20 per day - seems kind of low, especially if you include restaurants and possibly dating.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 13, 2021 - 5:08pm

I figured entertainment is the bar/club. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 13, 2021 - 5:21pm

Yea I estimated only $600 as it's pretty typical for consultants to have lunches or even dinners paid for when they are on an engagement and are on-site. I expect this to be relatively common which is why I only estimated $600. 

Oct 13, 2021 - 5:38pm

Ok - consulting isn't always on site though - but if your division is mainly on client site, then yeah per diem will decrease your monthly spend on food.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 13, 2021 - 5:23pm

The max I can legally pay anyways is $2500 (most places mandate that gross income needs to be atleast 40x of rent). I figured getting a small/shitty studio or having roomates should alleviate this. 

Oct 13, 2021 - 5:59pm

This is extreme I know but before I moved to NYC, I sold my car at Carmax for $21K and then spent all of that in NYC at bars and clubs over 3 months. I was going out nearly every night. It was crazy. 

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Oct 13, 2021 - 6:06pm

The first club I went to in NYC was Pacha NYC when I was a senior in college. It was a finance and investment club trip and an alum was a part owner and bought us a couple tables. Our only job - get the chicks. It was so easy to get chicks to bottle service and it blew my mind in the club scene. It was a crazy night and the alum paid for all of it. 

My jam was Cielo in meatpacking for a while until they closed. I always had a good time there.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

  • 1
  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 13, 2021 - 6:14pm

That's insane haha. I am currently trying to find some sort of sustainable side income that I can use as my "going out" expense. 

Oct 13, 2021 - 9:12pm

Even if you are taking the occasional uber, transportation will probably cost you $300-$400 if you have any semblance of an active social life. It will probably cost you about $500 / month in groceries if you cook all of your meals so you might want to make that $750 to account for the occasional dinner out and fast-casual (unless you count dinner out as entertainment). Would lower rent budget by $200 and Roth by $200 and then if you are meeting your budget you can add more to your Roth. I have had night outs in NYC that were well over $1000 and ubers over $100. NYC can be very expensive if you are not careful and you will spend more than you plan. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 16, 2021 - 4:41pm

So the $55k~ after-tax income I quoted was after a $19,500 deduction which would be what I put into my 401k. In regards to health insurance, my employer luckily covers it haha

Oct 14, 2021 - 6:02pm

This is probably bad advice but don't kill yourself on retirement contribution and spend that $500ish enjoying the city. Terrible town to be penny pinching in and sadly you gotta sacrifice something. Maybe find some roommates and lower that rent cost to around $1500? For disclaimer, when I first started work, I lived like a total hermit crab loser maxing out retirement and don't like seeing young bucks sacrifice their youth just to put a bit away. 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Gen
Oct 14, 2021 - 11:37pm

NYC is such a joke. Doesn't matter how you justify it. Kid makes 100k and barely has anything left to save each month. Let's just keep normalizing this so we all work our lives away for 40 years. Wake up people seriously. 

  • Teller in PE - Other
Oct 15, 2021 - 11:53am

NYC is such a joke. Doesn't matter how you justify it. Kid makes 100k and barely has anything left to save each month. Let's just keep normalizing this so we all work our lives away for 40 years. Wake up people seriously. 

OP is putting away 19.5k in retirement savings though before even accounting for up to 500 monthly savings and additional 10-20% bonus that could be saved. You have fresh college grads with zero experience being able to save 30%+ of their six figure salary, live/experience NYC, etc. and you consider that to be a "joke"?

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 16, 2021 - 4:43pm

To be fair, I am choosing to live this lifestyle. I can easily find a place in Brooklyn or Queens that will be 30-45 minutes away which would be a lot cheaper. And of course I can spend much less on entertainment. 

  • Prospect in Consulting
Oct 16, 2021 - 4:43pm

Oh fantastic! Thank you. I am Canadian, so the concept of 401k is still fairly new to me. In that case, I can drop my IRA contributions a little bit and use that money for something else.

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Oct 16, 2021 - 10:55pm

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