Money tends to be a taboo topic. People don’t like to discuss what they earn and spend but it’s something I really wanted to know when I was moving to New York. I had no idea what to expect when it came to budgeting and how much I would need. No week is the same but I decided to record every penny I spent last week to give you an insight into how much things cost in this expensive city and how much a typical 20 something working full time in marketing might spend. I earn an average wage for my age, experience, and profession so I hope this might be helpful and interesting to some of you.
Industry: Digital Marketing Manager, Interior Design. I’m living and working in New York for one year, experiencing an extreme need to do and see EVERYTHING while shopping for the winter and saving for my move home.
Location: East Williamsburg, Brooklyn (Less expensive than Manhattan, but still an up and coming area so it’s more expensive than Bushwick, Queens, Upstate etc).
# of roommates: 3
Salary: My salary is competitive with those who are degree educated and have 2+ years full-time experience. I am paid weekly which makes it easier to budget my spending. Whatever I have left over at the end of each week goes into my savings account.
Utilities: $12 for wifi + $34 for ConEd Electricity & Gas.
Transportation: $60 for the subway (I get a reduced pre-taxed rate through work).
Phone Bill: $0 (My company pays for my phone bill). An average of $75 monthly.
Health Insurance: (My visa package included health insurance). Approx $328 for a middle tier plan.
Gym Membership: $130
Apple Music: $9.99
Amazon Prime: $7.99
8:30 a.m. — Breakfast consists of porridge. I buy instant oat packages with 6 in a box. $5.93
12:00 p.m. — I go to a 30-minute gym class.
12:45 p.m. — I usually forget to make lunch on Sunday so I buy something simple to make in work. Eggs & ham scrambled in the microwave. $7
6:00 p.m. — I buy 3 organic chicken fillets $13.45, microwave rice $2.99 and $4.65 broccoli. I cook two of the chicken fillets, one for tonight, one tomorrow and freeze the other. $21.00
Daily Total: $34.02
8:30 a.m. — Breakfast porridge again.
1:00 p.m. —Eggs & Ham again.
6:00 p.m. — I’m going to a concert tonight, some of my friends decide to grab dinner but I make the decision to eat at home to save money. I have the same dinner as last night.
8:00 p.m. — My ticket to Vance Joy in Brooklyn Steel cost $60 including booking fee from StubHub. I bought it last minute so it cost about $20 more than the original price. I buy two drinks here, vodka and soda with lime, $10 each including $1 tip. $80
11:00 p.m.— After the concert, we go to a nearby bar. I get one cocktail for $13 including tip. $13
Daily Total: $93
10:00 a.m. — Breakfast porridge again.
12:00 p.m. — I go to a 30-minute gym class.
1:00 p.m. — Eggs & Ham again. I’m craving something sweet so I go to CVS and buy two Kind Bars for $3.00.
6:00 p.m. — I want something different for breakfast tomorrow so I buy bananas $1.32 and spinach $2.39 to make a smoothie.
Around 7:00 p.m. — I head to my friend’s apartment and we order food on Seamless $11.98.
Daily Total: $18.69
7:45 a.m. — I make my smoothie with the ingredients I bought yesterday and the ones I already had. See the full list and recipe HERE.
8:00 a.m- I drop my laundry into the Laundromat.
12:00 p.m. — My brows are in need of some TLC. I get them threaded and tinted in a small Chinese salon near my office. $9.62
1:00 p.m. — It’s cold today and feels like winter. I’m craving soup so I go to Panera Bread and get tomato soup and a half Avocado and turkey sandwich. $11.08
7:00 p.m. — I pick up lentils $1.49, a red onion $0.48, feta cheese $5.98 and a lemon $0.32 on the way home and make a Quinoa Salad. I have some for dinner and save the rest for tomorrow’s lunch.
8:00 a.m- I pick up my laundry in the Laundromat. $15
Daily Total: $$43.97
8:00 a.m. — Another breakfast smoothie.
6:00 p.m. — I decide to get myself a Friday treat, a pair of Aritiza leather leggings. I have had them on my wishlist since moving to New York and now that the weather is cooling down I feel it’s time to get them. $146
6:30 p.m. — I’ve spent a lot this week and I’m tired. I decide to have an early Friday night and chill out at home watching Netflix (my Dad’s account).
Daily Total: $146
9:00 a.m. — It’s the weekend! I meet the girls in the ‘Burg’ for brunch. I get a full breakfast and a mimosa $32. I was running late so I took an Uber for $5.45.
1:00 p.m. —Tonight we have a house party to go too so I pick up a bottle of wine for $13. I spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with the girls and then I get ready for the night. The party is near my apartment so I just walk.
3:00 a.m. — I realize I haven’t eaten since brunch so I leave the party and get a slice of pizza $3.50.
Daily Total: $53.95
10: a.m. — I wake up hungover to pouring rain outside.
12:00 p.m. — I make my way to a bagel shop staying close to my apartment, for a breakfast and a litre of orange juice. $12.79.
Daily Total: $12.79
Weekly Total: $402
I usually try to put away $300 a week for rent and bills and try to save another $100 for miscellaneous activities.
Note: This particular week was very eventful and costly. An average week would not include a concert and expensive leather leggings. Although I do try to buy myself one piece of clothing or makeup each week.
Other typical costs:
Coffee: Small cappuccino averages about $3.90
Nails: $45 for gel manicure
Dinner with drinks: $60 average for meal with 3 drinks
Full grocery shop: I often spend about $60 in Trader Joes
Doctor Visit: $120 without insurance in CityMD
Soul Cycle class: $34 for one class, $75 for three
I hope you enjoyed this post, like I said above no two weeks are the same and sometimes I would spend much less or more than this one. If you have any questions about New York life pop me a comment below or shoot me an email via my contact page HERE!