By: Revanche

Spending Diary: NYC in 12 days and counting

July 12, 2009

I’m just giving current subtotals since my stay’s been extended and the daily notes are unwieldy:

Food: $68
Transportation: $74
Clothing: $101.15
Makeup: $62
Misc (Kinko’s printing, tp, foot protection): $20
Subtotal: 325.15

Many friends have been ever-so-generous in covering meals for me, and it’s making it a tad difficult to repay them for their hospitality by taking them out to dinner. Not all of them are footing bills, but those who have have each covered a meal more than once in the past several days. The meals weren’t prohibitive, I would most certainly do the same for them if they were unemployed and job hunting, but I still can’t shake a bit of guilt at allowing them to pay for me when they live in one of the most expensive cities. This trip was my choice to make and if I couldn’t afford to feed myself, I shouldn’t have come. I’ll have to think of another way to thank them.

On the food front, I’ve had my street vendor chicken and rice, hot dog, pretzel, and a slice of authentic NY cheese pizza. And at a dollar a slice, I should have had three!

The clothing and makeup were totally unplanned. 6 days of leisure before the interviews was a terrible idea and that was brought firmly home when my skin’s unevenness was made ever so much more evident due to all the sun I was getting. Imagine, I’ve gotten more sun in NY this past week than the last 4 years back in Southern California! Chew on that for a while.

Originally, I planned not to shop because I’d promised to bring a moving friend’s clothing back from NY – instead I discovered that he’d managed to stuff his entire suitcase full and that I had another round of interviews with the same company on Wednesday with nary a decent top to wear.

Off shopping we went! We found a cute dusty rose cropped cardigan at H&M which I paired with a borrowed white tank and the suit skirt. Worked quite well, actually. Yesterday, we turned up a surprisingly comfortable pair of skinny jeans at Forever 21 for a mere $12.50, and made up for the two bargains with the purchase of a very pricey undergarment. For what it’s worth, this is the first such item that actually fits well. One or two more pieces, later, will round out the collection.

With two more days to go, I’m still not sure if I could live here. I’ve enjoyed my time here, but is that just because I’ve experienced a pretty tourist/resident-light version of the city? I’m told that my trip coincides with a fairly quiet time for the city. At least I know that I can get around without getting too hopelessly lost, riding the subway just about everywhere for a dozen days will garner you at least that much ability, the rest will follow if I get an offer.

Now, to decide what sounds good for dinner tonight ….

**Note: I don’t think that NYC is actually affordable, or anything, don’t get me wrong. That cocktails average $13, that burgers are nearly $10, or that a regular pizza is in the neighborhood of $30 is pretty much insane to me. That doesn’t even start to touch the costs of living here. Yikes!

7 Responses to “Spending Diary: NYC in 12 days and counting”

  1. 🙂 Looks like you’re going to HAVE to land a job there, so you can return the favors for all the dinners out.

    Hoping that a fine opportunity comes your way!

  2. mOOm says:

    What’s the photo?

    Just got back from a one day trip to Brisbane for job hunting purposes.

    The problem with cities like New York or London (where I grew up) is either it is outrageously expensive, or a very long commute (if you work in the center), or incredibly grotty.

  3. I love the $12.50 jeans at Forever 21! Color fade for dark jeans is a major pet peeve and no matter how pricey the brand that’s something inevitable. Cheap Forever 21 jeans let me buy as many fresh pairs as I’d like without feeling guilty. It’s also a great place to buy trends, since it’s so cheap.

    Cost of living here is pretty high, but with all the selection you can also find good meal/drink deals if you know where to look. That being said, it can get tiring always trying to find that cheaper option. Aside from rent which is really where your wallet gets gouged, I don’t see that much of a difference from other major cities I’ve visited.

  4. We just keep all the affordable stuff secret, or else EVERYONE would want to move here! 😉

  5. Matt says:

    I’ve only visited NYC myself but the prices there seem to be pretty measurable with other large cities. Its the lifestyle that you are choosing to live if you move there. I think it would be fun for a while but it would make it incredibly hard to save money.

    Good luck with the job search

  6. MoneyFunk says:

    But it sounds like you are having a much fin time. 🙂

    More sun in NYC? Its been pretty dang hot out here in Sunny So. Cal (99+ today).

  7. Revanche says:

    Funny about Money: Alternatively, I just can stay here and never leave….

    mOOm: Sorry it’s a terrible photo, but the only one I have of the delicious mac and cheese appetizers we had at a bar.

    It seems to me NY could really suffer from a combination of the three. I’m strangely unmoved/not grossed out by the rats, but the odd puddles, drips and splashes sort of get to me sometimes. I try not to think about it.

    Cents in the City: Too true about jeans. I’ve got a pair of Expensive jeans and they seem to be wearing just about as much as my super cheap jeans. Go figure.

    I’m accustomed to suburbia and suburban prices (lower middle class, at that) so I’m still suffering from sticker shock. I’m sure I’d figure out a way to manage, but still. Rent is … so so much!!

    Little Miss Moneybags: I’m practically a transplant now, can’t you share SOME secrets?? 🙂

    Matt: We’ll see if it comes down to choosing between my bottom line price and having a job. Whichever is the lesser of two evils will likely depend on how long I’ve been unemployed.

    MoneyFunk: That’s a totally biased survey anyway: of course it’s sunnier back home, but I’d be hiding inside from the >100 degree heat. Here it’s sunny and humid, so I don’t mind being out and about. Also? Unemployment does wonders for being available during the daytime. 🙂

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