Lies about NYC: You won’t be able to save money

14 Jul

Today I’m starting a new periodic series of posts called LIES ABOUT NYC! Its purpose is to ease a little bit of the “oh fuck” factor that seems to come with moving to New York — much moreso than it comes with anywhere else I’ve ever moved (I’ve been a renter in four cities from age 18 to now).

Here’s the first, and probably biggest, lie about being young and living here. It goes something exactly like this:

“I wish I could save money, but in New York it’s just impossible.”

No. NO. And I really wish, as a group, that we’d stop the self-defeating talk. I can think of several friends who’ve said this very sentence to me. Here are the two main* places you should be putting money away:

• Your 401(k): It’s pure lunacy not to contribute. I’m not a financial advisor, but talk to someone good with money and they’ll be able to sell you on this better than I can. It’s all about compound interest — remember that term. Ask your HR department — or someone who’s rich now, because you can be damn sure they put money into their 401(k).

• Your “fun money” account: When I moved here, I was making $30K a year — and I was still saving every month. How? BY FRIKKIN SAVING EVERY MONTH. I decided that in putting aside $50 per paycheck, I could quickly amass “fun money” for concerts at Madison Square Garden, trains to the the beach, flying home and birthday gifts — and still be able to buy groceries. Keep yourself cash-poor so you’re able to splurge without a credit card and without guilt. (Because spending money you don’t have? That’s a lie too.) You will know you’ve earned that concert, and it will feel GREAT!

Make sure both of these transactions are automatically taken out of your account at each paycheck. It’s a lot harder to miss what you never had.

*Not counting debt or saving for a house or something like that. But if you’re new to New York, chances are a house is not your top priority at the moment. Avoiding rat kings is.


One Response to “Lies about NYC: You won’t be able to save money”


  1. Reader mail: “I have zero savings.” | NewNewYorkers - 09/22

    […] long as he allows) and friends’ places for as long as I can take the awkwardness, and try to save $3000+ or live in a room rental place for six months to save up enough. Thanks for your consideration and […]

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