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Thread: Budget to live in NYC?

  1. #1

    Default Budget to live in NYC?

    I am completely aware that the cost of living in New York City is high, and it is a steep move to make, being from a middle class family in Texas, currently 17 years old. I want to be a fashion photographer ultimately, and I need to attend an art institute. The ones I would really like to go to are in NYC, and I've always dreamed of living there anyway. I am completely willing to accept a frugal lifestyle when starting out in the city.

    Now, base any answers off of this hypothetical situation. Suppose I have been accepted into an institute such as Pratt, and that is sorted out, money and all. It is also good to note that I currently make money from freelance photography, and would more than likely do some freelance work in New York for extra income. Now suppose I have some money from that, and I also have a part-time job, as well as a roommate with a part-time, or even full time job as well. Basically, I would like to know how much it would cost to provide the following, on a monthly basis:

    -A small, cheaper, one-bed or studio apartment in a safe neighborhood
    -Expenses for subway/cab rides
    -Food, especially wheat bread and turkey lunch meat (I eat only a meal a day already, by choice, so I can absolutely go small on food expenses)
    -Phone, Electricity, Internet, Cable, Water, etc

    Please, do not give me a pessimistic answer that says "It's SO expensive, you'll never live like that." I am realistic about things, and I simply want to know the minimum amount of income I would need a month for those commodities. I've heard that neighborhoods such as Williamsburg are manageable, as well as Flushing and Sunnyside. I even found one studio in upper east side Manhattan that wasn't an extremely steep price. I'm not expecting some glamourous lifestyle, just because it's New York, don't worry. I just want a place that's safe and affordable to start in.

    This is pretty irrelevant to my question, but here is a link to part of my portfolio, just to give some verification that I have a dream, as corny as that sounds:

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Nairobi Hilton


    You don't want Pratt. You want Parsons. Cheapest bet would be to see if they offer any kind of student housing deal.

  3. #3

  4. #4


    I don't live there (yet), but a concierge who I spent quite a bit of time talking with about possible neighborhoods for me to move to said he spends only $900/month with 2 other roommates on the Upper West Side - making the total $2700/month. Toss in the $100 or so for the unlimited metro card, and you have housing and transportation covered.

    Sounds like a decent deal to me. Close to the subway, too. But like I said I'm just a tourist for now - but I'm from a middle class family as well.

  5. #5


    I've never lived in NYC, but have dreamt of doing so for a long time. My younger sister, however, has just moved to NYC to attend FIT in the lower Manhatten area.

    I'm not sure of Pratt or Parsons, but FIT has a photography program. They also offer housing for their students at a relatively low price. (Something a grant would most likely cover completely). My family hasn't had to deal with the price of tuition/housing due to GI Bills from prior military service, but from the website - tuition is 17000 and housing/food is a few grand more. According to her, the rooms are very nice, you share with only one roommate, and it's in a decent place. She's in love.


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