Post # 1
Hi ladies, I know finances can be sort of a sensitive topic but I would love if our NYC/expensive city Bees shared their budgets, how much you make, how much you spend on childcare and apartment etc. Anything you feel comfortable sharing.
My husband and I both just got job offers in NYC, we´ll make a combined $120,000 pre-tax. We currently live in a big city that’s much cheaper than NYC (we make about $80,000 now but our apartment is only $800/mo). What is scaring me about making this move is the fact that we are TTC. I know tons of people raise kids in NYC but it´s a daunting proposition.
We have $35,000 saved for our move/getting an apartment etc so that shouldn’t be a problem. From my calculations (minus taxes and 401K) our take-home will be around $74,400 per year. The average two bdrm apartment that I’ve been seeing online will be about $3,000/mo. Childcare will probably be around $1,200, health insurance will probably be another $1,000, subway card x 2 will be $240, utilities/cell phone/internet will be around $500 with groceries another $550 or so. Annnnd the grand sum is… minus money! Haha! Which is actually super depressing because $120,000 isn’t a tiny salary!
How do you all make it work? What do your budgets look like for a family of three in the city? Thanks for sharing and if someone knows of another thread just like this, feel free to link it. I did a search and didn’t find one!
Post # 2
Hi there! I don’t have kids in NYC yet, but have worked for many families that do and have lived in the city myself for 9 years. Unfortunately, money doesn’t stretch very far here. I would not recommend getting a 2 bedroom to start off with, it’ll be too much $$$ and you won’t need it right away (even once you have a baby you can stay in a 1 bedroom for the 1st yr). You should also consider not living in Manhattan, my FI and I live in Hoboken and have a 2 bedroom for $1,600. Meanwhile, I have friends living in Manhattan in 1 bedrooms for $3,000 or studios in Brooklyn for $2200. If you can manage your living expenses you’ll be able to make everything else work!
Post # 3
The average two bdrm apartment that I’ve been seeing online will be about $3,000/mo.
What neighborhoods are you looking at?
Post # 4
jamb: JrzyGurl: I was looking at upper west side, upper east side and the village. Doh! That must be why.
I now started including sunnyside and a bunch of brooklyn neighborhoods (ditmas park, prospect heights among others) and that did lower it a bit. I guess the average I’m seeing now is ab $2,000-2,500. That helps!
Post # 5
sarahleebee: You’re right, guess what… most NYC bees who earn around what you do, don’t stay in the city. DH and I make more than what you do and still won’t be able to stay.
In fact, DH and I are going to buy a home probably in new jersey or queens and then commute in. You can stay in Manhattan while you are without kids so you get to know the city and network. And the prices you’re quoting are not out of whack at all. NYC apartment prices ARE that high unless you get rent control or you have connections. Start with a one-bedrom and move out once you’re pregnant.
Post # 6
To be honest, I don’t think you can trust the monthly rents that you are seeing online. It is common in NYC real estate for the brokers to post artificially low rates to lure you in and then it’s a total bait and switch when you get to the actual property.
On the UWS, UES, and village, the average monthly rental for a 1 bedroom apartment is at least $3,500, and that’s just average. The $3,000 that you quoted is maybe average for a studio or a 1 bedroom in a walk-up, but certainly not a 2 bedroom. An average 2 bedroom in those neighborhoods is, I would say, minimum $4,500.
To honestly get a 2 bedroom for $3,000 you are talking Jersey City, brooklyn, or queens…that’s what I would think anyway. The good news is that your groceries, childcare and everything else will also be cheaper in those areas. Honestly, forget Manhattan, your time will be better spent searching elsewhere. That’s just my view anyway.
Post # 7
sarahleebee: $3000/mo? What part of NYC are you looking at?
DH and I are in the exact same boat as you. I know its a lot, and DH always tells me to relax bc we can afford it, we can save money eventually for a house and still have a baby, bc there are a lot of people that make way way less than us and have 3 kids! Granted they are living off the governmeny but hey, they aren’t homelss.
I don’t have kids yet, we will be TTC early 2015. We are currently in a 1BR apartment in Brooklyn and are looking around for a 2BR apartment (in Brooklyn). Our budget is to spend no more than $1600 on rent. I hate spending that much money on something I don’t own! But we want to save for a little while more to put a down payment on something.
I know you probably hear this all the time, bc I know I do- but you will make it work. You can afford it. There are apartments out there that are affordable you just have to do your research and be patient.
Post # 8
$120k in NYC really isn’t much. In some areas of the country you could live like royalty on that. Not in Manhattan. You’ll be paycheck to paycheck on $120k (pre-tax). Your best bet is to rent in Brooklyn or Queens. I’m originally from Queens (don’t live there anymore) and it’s an easy commute into the city. The neighborhoods are also more family friendly which you may prefer after you have a child.
Post # 9
sarahleebee: I am a little unsure of your childcare budget – I would guess daycare in Manhattan costs more, and a nanny is definitely going to be more. Sorry, this place is crazy. I definitely second looking outside Manhattan. Forest Hills, Queens is really nice too. I am currently in Manhattan in a walk-up and it is a giant PITA with a baby. We are looking to move to the burbs soon.
Post # 10
sarahleebee: your take home seems a bit high — did you also include NYC income tax? That’s killer.
I’m an SF bee (went to school on the east coast, just south of NYC) and we make almost enough to be accredited investors on the salary requirement. Our net worth is not even close.
We are constantly discussing if we can even have kids because while we have high salaries, we work in an unstable industry with crazy long hours and can’t afford to move to Oakland. We can only stay in SF because we have rent control. Bringing kids into this unstable (though well-paying if you’re employed) situation isn’t something we’re comfortable with.
That said, you might be able to bring childcare down with nanny sharing. A girlfriend of mine did it in Boston and colleagues in SF usually do 2-3 kids / nanny. The nanny makes a bit more $$ but the cost per kid goes down. Something to think about.
Post # 11
KitKatNYC: I agree, I think $2,000 a month is closer to a realistic number for full time daycare – and possibly even more for an infant.
People definitely make it work, but it’s difficult. I’m 11 weeks pregnant now, and my husband and I make around $120K combined, so some of the ways we’re planning on making it work are:
– Staying in a one bedroom apartment until baby is a year or two old to save money on rent.
– Living in one of the less-hip neighborhoods in Brooklyn. (And considering moving to Queens or Hoboken eventually.)
– Working opposite schedules to save on child care costs. (My husband works in retail, so he has opportunities to work evenings/nights/weekends so he can stay with the baby during my workday and vice versa.)
– Just general “tight budget” things like canceling the cable, downgrading our cell phone plans, cutting our “takeout food and fancy restaurant” budget.
Post # 12
I am in NYC and yea its tough salaries do not go far here. DH makes more than that alone and Im not too far behind. Dont live in Manhattan and I agree you do not need a 2 bedroom. When I was single and making probably 50k on my own with 1 child I lived in a 1 bedroom in Queens. We were more than fine the 2 of us. My rent was 1200 and I was still able to save money. This was 5-6 years ago.
Ofcourse now being several years later a 1 bedroom can be had for 1300-1700 (just doing a quick look) Look in Kew gardens, its a really nice area with forest hills close by (Forest hills is bustling with restaurants etc but rent is higher) Commute is 30 minutes to midtown. Safe and decent schools since this is something you will need to think about. Also daycare will be more than 1200 a month, Infact I am expecting right now and we are considering me staying home for several years because with daycare and my older childs afterschool expenses it just doesnt make sense. Ive been quoted $500 a week at some daycare centers.
Post # 13
I live on the UWS with my husband and one year old son. I’m a little biased because i’m currently in the process of moving to PA, but I would strongly advise you against moving to NYC if you want to raise a child. It was very cool when we were younger and didn’t need a lot of $ to get by, but no one is laughing now that we are faced with serious expenses like childcare, groceries, mortgage and maintenance. I wont’ say how much $ we make, but our childcare is $2,800, housing is $3,700 groceries $600 on the low end and clothing and diapers are a very large expense since DS needs a new wardrobe every season. We can no longer afford to go out anymore so the ‘exciting’ part of living in NYC is lost on us.
I think that $120K is a very impressive gross income figure, but in NYC it will not get you far. And you will probably be miserable with a baby. Sorry to be so downtrodden, but I’m living it right now and can’t wait to get out!
Post # 14
moderndaisy: Thank you for the opinion and the info. TBH, you do sound like a debby downer but in a totally honest and helpful way. The last thing that I want to do is live miserably in nyc just to say that I live there. We already feel poor where we are now (I’m just finishing my post grad degree so we’ve been living on one salary and one grad stipend) and our cost of living is much lower here. Luckily, our fields are not in anyway tied to NYC (like say finance is) so we definitely have other options. We are currently TTC so I guess if we aren’t pregnant we may put TTC on hold To move there. If we are pregnant — we may look elsewhere
Thank you all. I appreciate all the opinions/advice.
Any Brooklyn or Queens bees with similar salaries willing to share your budget?
Post # 15
bitsybee: You’re right. State + local income tax ~ 12,8%, Fed ~ 25% so take home would really be closer to $63,755. Well, that’s depressing.
NY income tax is a bitch! Maybe I should head to Miami and pay 0 state income tax! 🙂