How Much Money Do You Need to Live in a Big City, Really?

nicksaiz65

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Slowly but surely working on improving my finances. I currently make approximately $70K a year as a remote software engineer, working on getting a promotion, and paying off my student + credit card debts bit by bit.

I currently live in a small town, and I travel to bigger cities to game and meet women. The people I’ve talked to have varying opinions on this… some say I should move out to a big city right away because living in a small town is doing me no favors. (I have some friends who make less than me but still live in big cities. They’re super frugal.) Others say that I should stay in the small town and just stack up my finances due to the cheap rent and cost living. Still haven’t made a long term decision on that…

But as for the actual topic of this thread. I know that at some point, I’m going to live in a big city. A NYC, an Atlanta, a Miami, an Austin. But what kind of money should I be making, to live comfortably in these cities, and be able to save? Is it wise to assume 6 figures at least?

I’ve seen that some of the rent prices in Miami go all the way up to 4K for a solo bachelor pad. And the less we talk about NYC’s rent prices, the better:rofl:

Just wanted to have an approximate figure to shoot for. Never really seen figures for this anywhere online.
 

RazorRambo24

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I would say around 70k is the very minimum if you want to live in a downtown area with a decent apartment. Nothing less than that. Big cities have alot of cool stuff to do but everything costs money ofc.

If you want to be comfortable maybe 100-150k is more suitable. Ofc you don't need this much unless you like buying alot of stuff or going out quite alot and spending money.

NYC is not worth it though imo. Chicago is a better, cleaner version if NYC. It's also the 5th richest city in the world. It puts LA and NYC to shame.. 3rd biggest city in America too ..Yes there's crime in Chicago but unless you're hanging out casually on the streets somewhere on the west side or south side you're prob barely going to see it. Theres crime in every big metropolitan city though. Miami is actually worse than Chicago per population.

Austin is probably the best out of all of them when it comes to standard of living but-- I doubt they have as much stuff to do as Chicago.

You can get a nice luxury skyrise 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago for about $2800-3000.. Even less than that if you want something that's kinda small like 500-750 sq ft.
 

SW15

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It depends on the city. Do you want to have a male roommate? In certain cities, the dating culture looks down on men 30+ with a roommate. At 26, you could get away with a roommate for a couple of years and not have females penalize your value in their minds.

One bedroom apartments with no roommates are more costly.

Dallas is one of the USA's 10 biggest metro areas.

The absolute cheapest, yet acceptable 1 bedroom apartments that you can get in Dallas will be around $1,350 - $1,500 right now. These aren't great apartments, as they'll be 40+ years old and no bigger than 750 square feet. Acceptable for a 26 year old, but after 30, many women would judge you somewhat negatively for this. If you want an apartment that impresses a large women, you're getting close to the $2,000+ per month range. Impresses women is more relevant for longer term relationship than one night.

I think $70,000/year is a good starting number for a salary for a bigger US city to have a decent lifestyle. $70,000 - $90,000 won't buy you a "baller" lifestyle in most USA cities at this point.

This recent thread below was a good thread about the SMV of men making $75,000 - $125,000 in bigger US cities while being age 30+.

 

BackInTheGame78

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Depends...rent prices these days have skyrocketed, so it's not uncommon to be paying $1500 or more for a very basic place. Upwards of that in some cities.
 
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member160292

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At least 6 figures.
What’s interesting is that you will make more money in a bigger city so you can make close to that if you’re making 70k in a smaller city. I went to one making 40k with 3k in the bank and now living comfortably. Take the risk brother, you won’t regret it.
 

SW15

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I currently live in a small town, and I travel to bigger cities to game and meet women. The people I’ve talked to have varying opinions on this… some say I should move out to a big city right away because living in a small town is doing me no favors.
Smaller towns (areas where the metro population is under ~150,000) are difficult places from a game and relationships perspective. The biggest issue in areas where the metro population is under 150,000 and the man is 25+ and not in school is a lack of options. These areas don't have enough female population to make for a passable dating life.

If the smaller town is near a big city, the man is forced to travel to the big city to meet women. Typically, bigger city women are not motivated to travel to a smaller city man, because the bigger city woman has more than enough options in her bigger city.

It's difficult to have a healthy, longer term relationship in smaller cities and the "traveling to bigger cities" plan only works for one night stands and plating/casual sex/situationship type arrangements.

One of the bigger problems in bigger metro areas (typically the 1 million + ones, but can happen with lower populations) is that women get too spoiled by their abundance of choices, mostly when they are using tech-based dating methods. There are so many threads where this occurrence is discussed on this forum. While bigger cities don't have the lack of choices problem as the smaller towns, they have their own sets of problems.

Some men think there's value in the mid-sized metro (150,000 to roughly 700-800k). The idea here is that the area isn't too small to lack choices, but isn't too big too see the worst of female attitudes. The male competition might also be less in some of these mid-sized metros. In some cases, this may work. In others, not so much. The mid-sized metros will be cheaper than the biggest metros too, so you'll save on rent/housing costs in a lot of cases. That's a benefit.
 

Stanley

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Consider what a lot of guys our age are doing and get together with a couple of your buds and rent a house/condo. This is all location dependent, but overall rent is ridiculous and 'luxury' apartments makeup a large portion of available rentals which are out of reach for many.

I would say around 70k is the very minimum if you want to live in a downtown area with a decent apartment. Nothing less than that. Big cities have alot of cool stuff to do but everything costs money ofc.
This is probably a safe bet. I've got friends all around the city who are making between 40-70k and they get by fine BUT with roomates. What surprises me more is when downtown the amount of chicks I meet who are dead broke and spend what little money they have on rent with zero savings just to live in the city. Seems these are often the girls just looking to party and when they slow down snag some rich older guy
 

SW15

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What surprises me more is when downtown the amount of chicks I meet who are dead broke and spend what little money they have on rent with zero savings just to live in the city. Seems these are often the girls just looking to party and when they slow down snag some rich older guy
This is common in many of the more desirable centrally located neighborhoods in most major US metro areas.
 

Stanley

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This is common in many of the more desirable centrally located neighborhoods in most major US metro areas.
Yeah i've noticed, still jarring at first. Crazy to me the way some of these chicks think at times. So many seem to want to live in the trendy areas for clout, but in reality they just have some meh job somewhere and create this false image online of being successful. They're easy to spot though and I feel for the guys who fall for the illusion. To those that see through it, it is likely a boon.
 

SW15

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Yeah i've noticed, still jarring at first. Crazy to me the way some of these chicks think at times. So many seem to want to live in the trendy areas for clout, but in reality they just have some meh job somewhere and create this false image online of being successful. They're easy to spot though and I feel for the guys who fall for the illusion. To those that see through it, it is likely a boon.
I saw more of this 10 years ago when my social network was younger. In recent years, my social network has been busy getting married, moving to houses in the suburbs, and having babies. Now the women in my social network seem to be competing for getting the most likes on their baby photos or pregnancy announcements.

I made a thread about my changing social network last year.

 

itouchyou

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NYC is not worth it though imo. Chicago is a better, cleaner version if NYC. It's also the 5th richest city in the world. It puts LA and NYC to shame.. 3rd biggest city in America too ..Yes there's crime in Chicago but unless you're hanging out casually on the streets somewhere on the west side or south side you're prob barely going to see it. Theres crime in every big metropolitan city though. Miami is actually worse than Chicago per population.

You can get a nice luxury skyrise 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago for about $2800-3000.. Even less than that if you want something that's kinda small like 500-750 sq ft.
When is the last time you were in Chicago? Have you been keeping up with the news?

The south side crime has migrated to the nicer parts of Chicago. I have seen chilling videos of people robbing and killing people on the north side. Not only that but the recent diversity hire mayor Lori Lightfoot, to my satisfaction, was voted out, but to my horror, someone far worse than her was voted in. Recently a group of gangbangers were speeding in their vehicle and plowed into a family driving a truck, killing a young child. They were let off with a MISDEMEANOR.

I lived in Chicago downtown for many years before the pandemic - back then, never had any fear of crime because it was quarantined to the south side. Now? Flash riots in the richest part. Carjackings, murders, robberies. Not the same place it was.

NYC is expensive - and while I don't support paying taxes to support an administration that supports various liberal policies, it is on an entirely different level than Chicago. Yes, crime exists, but per capita it is far lower than Chicago.

Also a nice highrise apartment in Chicago can be had for $2000 easily. $2800-$3000 is ultra luxury.
 

Stanley

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When is the last time you were in Chicago? Have you been keeping up with the news?
When was the last time you have? $2000 for a "nice highrise" in downtown or in any nicer areas fetch far more than that. A decent studio in the heart of the city is going to run you about $2300 starting. Regardless, things have gotten more expensive.

Yes, we are aware and things have gotten worse. Some people live in small pockets or bubbles here with little exposure to some of the things going on, not saying that is Rambo. Believe me Chicagoans are well aware of the state of our city and the direction it has been headed. Many are exceptionally displeased and these once safer areas are now seeing an uptick in crime that is hard to be ignored. You will hear people in the city and the burbs b**** about it all the time. There still plenty of things to like about the city, but I understand your sentiments.

Also, i've yet to meet anyone in real life who liked Lori Lightfoot. She is almost universally hated and she failed the communities she sought to improve. She is our first mayor in forty years lose re-election.
 

itouchyou

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When was the last time you have? $2000 for a "nice highrise" in downtown or in any nicer areas fetch far more than that. A decent studio in the heart of the city is going to run you about $2300 starting. Regardless, things have gotten more expensive.

Yes, we are aware and things have gotten worse. Some people live in small pockets or bubbles here with little exposure to some of the things going on, not saying that is Rambo. Believe me Chicagoans are well aware of the state of our city and the direction it has been headed. Many are exceptionally displeased and these once safer areas are now seeing an uptick in crime that is hard to be ignored. You will hear people in the city and the burbs b**** about it all the time. There still plenty of things to like about the city, but I understand your sentiments.

Also, i've yet to meet anyone in real life who liked Lori Lightfoot. She is almost universally hated and she failed the communities she sought to improve. She is our first mayor in forty years lose re-election.
I'm not sure I agree with your pricing. Example:


Prime downtown one bedroom highrises. To me this is luxury, but I guess if you want exotic wooden hardfloors and expensive kitchens, prices will be higher. Friend of mine lived here, we used to spend a bunch of time there. Prepandemic the prices were maybe $300 less on average. I haven't looked at other places but I can't imagine places that were $1800-$2000 are now much higher.

As for Lori Lightfoot, not sure if you misread my post but I didn't like her either.

Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago. I've wanted to move back ever since I left. But the randomness of a stray bullet or robbery knowing that repeat offenders are being let out, ruins it for me.
 

Stanley

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I'm not sure I agree with your pricing. Example:


Prime downtown one bedroom highrises. To me this is luxury, but I guess if you want exotic wooden hardfloors and expensive kitchens, prices will be higher. Friend of mine lived here, we used to spend a bunch of time there. Prepandemic the prices were maybe $300 less on average. I haven't looked at other places but I can't imagine places that were $1800-$2000 are now much higher.

As for Lori Lightfoot, not sure if you misread my post but I didn't like her either.

Don't get me wrong, I love Chicago. I've wanted to move back ever since I left. But the randomness of a stray bullet or robbery knowing that repeat offenders are being let out, ruins it for me.
The average cost of a 1br, 750sqft (somewhere decent) is $2,215 via RentCafe and Apartments.com. Chicago rents are up 1.7% month-over-month and up 5.2% year-over-year, But really we are just splitting hairs since it is subjective what nice is and the location has a massive effect on price. When compared to other cities our rent here isn't that 'bad'. We do get screwed in other ways though.

No I didn't think you liked Lightfoot lol, I was just saying we don't either. Chicago is great to visit, but I seldom tell people they should live there. Experiencing first hand some of the recent events I spend less and less time down there. I'm still in the city frequently, but I keep my wits about me.
 

itouchyou

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The average cost of a 1br, 750sqft (somewhere decent) is $2,215 via RentCafe and Apartments.com. Chicago rents are up 1.7% month-over-month and up 5.2% year-over-year, But really we are just splitting hairs since it is subjective what nice is and the location has a massive effect on price. When compared to other cities our rent here isn't that 'bad'. We do get screwed in other ways though.

No I didn't think you liked Lightfoot lol, I was just saying we don't either. Chicago is great to visit, but I seldom tell people they should live there. Experiencing first hand some of the recent events I spend less and less time down there. I'm still in the city frequently, but I keep my wits about me.
Ah, didn't realize. I've been checking rent prices at this place I linked above for the past few years. Only now have I seen it where nearly every place is > $2000. Streeterville is fairly pricey, I'd be surprised if places up north are higher but who knows. Either way, Chicago real estate is a bargain, even at these inflated prices. I've wanted to buy a condo there to rent out, but with HOA fees and taxes it's just not worth it.

Out of curiosity, if you've got the time, what events/things have you seen (I'm assuming with respect to crime)?
 

EyeBRollin

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Chicago is a nice city. I considered moving there before I ended up in NYC metro. Now I am glad I didn’t. NYC area is bigger, safer, more diverse, has real beaches, and better climate.
 

itouchyou

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Chicago is a nice city. I considered moving there before I ended up in NYC metro. Now I am glad I didn’t. NYC area is bigger, safer, more diverse, has real beaches, and better climate.
I was just looking at NYC area last night. Saw lots of supposed problems on subways and people getting randomly targeted by homeless people. Why do you say it is safer?

Also out of curiosity, how realistic is it to find a livable studio in Manhattan under $2500?
 

EyeBRollin

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I was just looking at NYC area last night. Saw lots of supposed problems on subways and people getting randomly targeted by homeless people. Why do you say it is safer?

Also out of curiosity, how realistic is it to find a livable studio in Manhattan under $2500?
Look at the per capita violent crime rates. NYC is one of the safest cities in North America. I don’t live in the city proper. Although I have spent late nights out partying. I never felt unsafe compared to how dreadful other big cities are (think Detroit, Chicago Baltimore, Philly, etc)

I don’t know about a studio in Manhattan for that price. You probably have to go way uptown for that. Or across the Hudson.
 

nicksaiz65

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I would say around 70k is the very minimum if you want to live in a downtown area with a decent apartment. Nothing less than that. Big cities have alot of cool stuff to do but everything costs money ofc.

If you want to be comfortable maybe 100-150k is more suitable. Ofc you don't need this much unless you like buying alot of stuff or going out quite alot and spending money.

NYC is not worth it though imo. Chicago is a better, cleaner version if NYC. It's also the 5th richest city in the world. It puts LA and NYC to shame.. 3rd biggest city in America too ..Yes there's crime in Chicago but unless you're hanging out casually on the streets somewhere on the west side or south side you're prob barely going to see it. Theres crime in every big metropolitan city though. Miami is actually worse than Chicago per population.

Austin is probably the best out of all of them when it comes to standard of living but-- I doubt they have as much stuff to do as Chicago.

You can get a nice luxury skyrise 1 bedroom apartment in Chicago for about $2800-3000.. Even less than that if you want something that's kinda small like 500-750 sq ft.
My goal is to be able to live comfortably, not have a car note, save each month, travel as I like(I don’t care if I have to fly Spirit lol) and have a rock solid emergency fund so I don’t have to worry about corporate layoffs or some random emergency.

Chicago is a good city for game. I’ve been there a couple times in my life.

I imagine I could do that rent if I wanted once I have the skills to switch jobs.
 
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