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NYU/Columbia/UCLA Cost of Living

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NYU/Columbia/UCLA Cost of Living [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 14:10
Ever since the markets tanked, I have def become more frugal. Never did I think about cost of living when determining what school I would like to apply to. I do not know where the markets will be in 2 years and do not want to take on 20k in extra debt.

My question is for current and prospective NYU, Columbia, & UCLA students. Based on your experience and research, how much more does it cost to live in these regions? If a nice Chicago 1 BR costs $1500 and I would spend $1000 per month on "other" expenses like food, what would this $2,500 number turn into in NY & LA? Is is worth considering when making school decisions?

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 14:23
LA is overall cheaper than New York, by a decent margin. However, you will need to own a car, insure it, and pay for gas. Cars are a necessity in LA.
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 14:37
Your definition of a "nice" 1 bedroom in New York will probably have to change. I would guess $2,200-$3,500 for your current standard. Living alone in Manhattan is very pricey.
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 14:42
rca215 wrote:
Your definition of a "nice" 1 bedroom in New York will probably have to change.


hahahaha So true.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:00
kidderek wrote:
rca215 wrote:
Your definition of a "nice" 1 bedroom in New York will probably have to change.


hahahaha So true.


Agreed. You're not going to have a new construction, full service building with marble baths, granite/stainless kitchen, etc. in Manhattan. Unless you want to pay $3500-4000 for a 1BR.

You can get a luxury 1 Bed like this in a prime Westside LA neighborhood for approx $2000-2500.
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:11
Even factoring in a car, NYC will be far more expensive to live in than any other location.

I honestly believe all the other major city locations are comparable to each other: Philly, Chicago, Evanston, Berkeley, Palo Alto, etc. There are expensive aspects and reasonable aspects about each place. NYC is on another level.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:31
I would consider 170k to be a good 2-year budget for NYU or Columbia in 2009. That's what I personally anticipate having to shell out if accepted to either school.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:33
solaris1 wrote:
I would consider 170k to be a good 2-year budget for NYU or Columbia in 2009. That's what I personally anticipate having to shell out if accepted to either school.


I've done some financial planning/estimates too but man, those budgets just make me cringe :shock:

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:37
lol, ac. my current professional situation and lack of allround intellectual stimulation make me cringe even more, so I know that 170k will be money well spent.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:43
solaris1 wrote:
I would consider 170k to be a good 2-year budget for NYU or Columbia in 2009. That's what I personally anticipate having to shell out if accepted to either school.


Does this include things like international trips, vacations, drinking, dining out, etc. etc. ?

I expect to allot somewhere between 150-170 for Chicago or Tuck, with all of the above included.
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:43
solaris1 wrote:
lol, ac. my current professional situation and lack of allround intellectual stimulation make me cringe even more, so I know that 170k will be money well spent.


My thinking exactly!

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:49
It allows for "moderate" socializing, terp06, an apartment shared with 1-2 roommates, and my internship earnings going towards funding study trips, spring break etc.

terp06 wrote:
Does this include things like international trips, vacations, drinking, dining out, etc. etc. ?

I expect to allot somewhere between 150-170 for Chicago or Tuck, with all of the above included.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 15:59
The biggest difference in NY that you will notice is the rent. You will pay at least $1000 more per month for a comparable apartment even compared to a high-rent place like Palo Alto. So, you have a $12,000/yr difference in budget due to rent alone.

I would consider the minimum to be about $30,000 in cash, per year, for rent and other expenses in NY. If you are an experienced professional and have "standards" that you won't go below for housing, you can bump that up to $40k.

I don't think you can do NYC on something like 20k per year in cash.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 16:00
I was thinking that someone could live pretty comfortably with roommates and have an active social life on approx. $3500/month in Manhattan. Is this incorrect?
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 16:04
solaris1 wrote:
lol, ac. my current professional situation and lack of allround intellectual stimulation make me cringe even more, so I know that 170k will be money well spent.


Same goes for me - I'm looking forward to leaving my current job!
This will also be the first time I have to take on signif loans (scholarship for undergrad, parents covered room/board/fun) so that makes me a bit nervous too :)

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 17:05
terp06 wrote:
I was thinking that someone could live pretty comfortably with roommates and have an active social life on approx. $3500/month in Manhattan. Is this incorrect?


if that is in cash, i.e. the amount of money you have coming in, it is probably enough. It's low if that is your pre-tax salary.

Last edited by Tarmac on 16 Oct 2008, 18:22, edited 1 time in total.
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New post 16 Oct 2008, 17:29
Is that what you meant, terp06? Or $3,500 in disposable income just for rent + utilities and socializing, which is a pretty nice amount.

Otherwise Tarmac is right, $3,500 in monthly take-home (even after taxes) is NOT conducive to an "active" social life in Manhattan, assuming you want something left over at the end of the month.

Tarmac wrote:
terp06 wrote:
I was thinking that someone could live pretty comfortably with roommates and have an active social life on approx. $3500/month in Manhattan. Is this incorrect?


Yes, if that is in cash, i.e. the amount of money you have coming in. It's low if that is your pre-tax salary.

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 18:39
Just going back to the 1br comment: I met a student who was rooming with his classmate. Their arrangement: 1br, he gets the living room (as his bedroom) and she gets the bedroom, $1200 each.

fyi: they're not a couple.

expect a similar arrangement

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 18:47
That's just insane, there's perfectly nice 1-bedrooms to be had for $1,200 in Long Island City. Just across the river.

kidderek wrote:
Just going back to the 1br comment: I met a student who was rooming with his classmate. Their arrangement: 1br, he gets the living room (as his bedroom) and she gets the bedroom, $1200 each.

fyi: they're not a couple.

expect a similar arrangement

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New post 16 Oct 2008, 18:49
I meant $3500/month for an MBA student who is draining their savings/taking on debt. So, yes net, not gross. I understand that it's nearly impossible to live off $42000/year in Manhattan.

solaris1 wrote:
Is that what you meant, terp06? Or $3,500 in disposable income just for rent + utilities and socializing, which is a pretty nice amount.

Otherwise Tarmac is right, $3,500 in monthly take-home (even after taxes) is NOT conducive to an "active" social life in Manhattan, assuming you want something left over at the end of the month.

Tarmac wrote:
terp06 wrote:
I was thinking that someone could live pretty comfortably with roommates and have an active social life on approx. $3500/month in Manhattan. Is this incorrect?


Yes, if that is in cash, i.e. the amount of money you have coming in. It's low if that is your pre-tax salary.

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Re: NYU/Columbia/UCLA Cost of Living   [#permalink] 16 Oct 2008, 18:49

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