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I am moving to NYC in January to pursue a graduate degree in fashion merchandising. Financial aid and private loans will cover tuition and academic expenses, but I obviously am going to need a lot of $$ for the move, rent, furniture, etc. Unfortunately once I get there I don't know how much time I will have to work for $$, what with internships and at least 6 classes (I have experience waitressing in high end restaurants so I might be able to do that 3 nights a week). I don't expect I'll have much more than $15,000 in savings by the time of the move. About how long will this last me, assuming I pick up SOME kind of paying job by mid-Jan? Can I afford $1200-ish rent with roommates, or will I run out too quickly? Additional info... I've been living in Lowa and Boston so I am not going to be awestruck by the cost of things, but I don't really have parents or relatives who can front me $$.. it's all me. Thanks in advance!
Do you think you could live on $15k in either Lowa or Boston? Those places are quite comparable to NYC. The big thing in the city is that there is so little housing stock available. People just don't move unless they're forced. We'd have stayed in Jackson Heights (Queens) forever if our building didn't offer us a ton of dough (about a year's salary at that time) to get out so they could go co-op. The only time you can buy a house is when a relative dies and your mother pretty much gives it to you. Take a look at real estate ads online. Just search for apartments Manhattan. You'll probably have better luck in Queens or Brooklyn, but don't forget to factor in travel time. Bensonhurst was a very long way from Times Square, but Jackson Heights was about 15 minutes on the F train. I don't know if this is still true, but I could get a very cheap breakfast in a deli when I worked in Manhattan, and people lived on $1 slices of pizza...this was in the dark ages, the 1970s and 80s. Does the school offer work study? Most colleges have employment offices to help students get part time work. I had a work study job 20 hours a week in the math department, and was allowed to tutor too...sometimes at the same time. I'd be sitting in the office where my regular job was, and tutoring someone in accounting or algebra at the same time. I had a "job" taking notes for a kid who was paralyzed from the chest down in a motorcycle accident. The best part was he was in 3 of my classes, so they paid me $4 an hour (minimum wage in 1990) to take notes on carbonless paper for my own classes. I took very good notes because someone else needed to be able to count on me. I took tests for disabled students too. They'd dictate the answers to me. There are lots of jobs on campuses you'd never expect.
Jackson Heights is disgusting. What most people like you do is they move to Bay Ridge Brooklyn and split the rent on a 2 bedroom costing about $1300 a month (so $750 each) and then commute the 30 mins from Bay Ridge to Midtown.