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

nicksaiz65

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How close to downtown are you aiming for?
I’d prefer to be as close to downtown as possible for game purposes. However, I’m willing to do a cost benefit analysis if that isn’t worth the extra money at a certain point.
 

RazorRambo24

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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.
There's so many good things about Chicago I can write a whole list of them if I really wanted to.

I think you can be fine with even 60k. It doesn't sound like you're trying to go out and hit fine dining spots every night and buy a buncha nice clothes all the time and expensive sht, get bottle service/vip tables at clubs and whatnot.. Don't really need a car in Chicago too we have one of the best public transportation systems.

Starting out you might not even want to get a place that costs $2800-3000.. for myself I always wanted a real nice place. The type of place I have now, I pay even more than that but it's.. practically a dream apartment. I've had girls tell me "this is the type of places you see on pinterest boards" and sht lol.

You can get something that is like $1800-2200 and be fine as long as you're okay with a studio apartment. Or an apartment thats similar to a studio apartment but with a separate bedroom. IT'll be prob 500-650 sq ft max though. The appliances and stuff will still be new/semi luxury though.

If you want something cheaper, you can find like a $1400-1500 but a bit further out from downtown -- maybe 10 mins away driving in an older style building but still kinda small and studio style.

There's something for everyone in Chicago --its all about just hunting them out-- most of the good stuff is gone fast so you have to constantly be on the lookout. You can find a non realtor listing for ap lace on the northside thats actually got a nice size and all that, older building but maybe 15-20 min drive from downtown for around $1400-1500 but without it having to be a tiny studio..

So as you see, these are 4 diff options I listed, with varying sizes, varying age of the building/newer/older appliances , luxury/semi luxury vs non luxury, studio vs non studio, 500-650 sq ft vs maybe something 750-900 sq ft with a separate bedroom vs studio.

And all still relatively close to downtown.
 

nicksaiz65

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I was reading some more Dave Ramsey yesterday, and he had a good formula that I think you could use as a rule of thumb. He says that to not spend outside your means and be comfortable, your rent shouldn’t take up more than 25% of your income.

So let’s use the Chicago spot as an example.

$2000 * 4 = $8000

$8000 * 12 = $96000

Then we assume that the government takes 1/4 of everything I make, so add that in.

$96000 * .25 = $24000

$96000 + 24000 = $120,000

So, just north of six figures. I can do that for sure with one promotion and then a job jump. Maybe a side hustle.

Ideally, I take out all of my student debt and credit card debt before I move so my paycheck isn’t nerfed every month.

The same math works in Miami, but with a roommate/roommates.

Tbh, this doesn’t seem undoable. It could even done still living in my small town and traveling two weekends a month. The rent cost comes out to about the same.
 

nicksaiz65

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Realistically, for a spot as expensive as NYC or Miami, I would definitely need a roommate or roommates as mentioned earlier.

Now that I think about it, all of my friends who live in Miami have roommates. This is all starting to make sense to me.
 

nicksaiz65

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There's so many good things about Chicago I can write a whole list of them if I really wanted to.

I think you can be fine with even 60k. It doesn't sound like you're trying to go out and hit fine dining spots every night and buy a buncha nice clothes all the time and expensive sht, get bottle service/vip tables at clubs and whatnot.. Don't really need a car in Chicago too we have one of the best public transportation systems.

Starting out you might not even want to get a place that costs $2800-3000.. for myself I always wanted a real nice place. The type of place I have now, I pay even more than that but it's.. practically a dream apartment. I've had girls tell me "this is the type of places you see on pinterest boards" and sht lol.

You can get something that is like $1800-2200 and be fine as long as you're okay with a studio apartment. Or an apartment thats similar to a studio apartment but with a separate bedroom. IT'll be prob 500-650 sq ft max though. The appliances and stuff will still be new/semi luxury though.

If you want something cheaper, you can find like a $1400-1500 but a bit further out from downtown -- maybe 10 mins away driving in an older style building but still kinda small and studio style.

There's something for everyone in Chicago --its all about just hunting them out-- most of the good stuff is gone fast so you have to constantly be on the lookout. You can find a non realtor listing for ap lace on the northside thats actually got a nice size and all that, older building but maybe 15-20 min drive from downtown for around $1400-1500 but without it having to be a tiny studio..

So as you see, these are 4 diff options I listed, with varying sizes, varying age of the building/newer/older appliances , luxury/semi luxury vs non luxury, studio vs non studio, 500-650 sq ft vs maybe something 750-900 sq ft with a separate bedroom vs studio.

And all still relatively close to downtown.
I’ve always considered myself somewhat of a minimalist. I don’t need a bunch of fancy sh*t. And as a generalization, it fvcking blows my mind how much money most people spend lol. That being said, I do like to go out as much as I can.

You know what, I’ll have to go out to Chicago in some of the upcoming months and see how I like it.
 

2rings

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A lot of these “sanctuary” cities like NYC have a blurry picture of living expenses. Half of the people are in lower rent situations you just do not see it. You only see the prices transplants pay. The transplants pay astronomical prices found at any rental advertisements.

But people who have lived in NYC a long time typically settle for less expensive living arrangements like with rent stabilization, or they have had government programs paying their rent, or they live in tiny studios with better prices than you usually find online on rental advertisements.

Most of what a transplant knows about the rents are the transplant rates that are higher, and their measure of living is higher. Once a broker does a financial check on a client and sees they have tons of money in their account then the fees become astronomical. The whole brokerage industry of NYC is designed to fleece transplants and foreign investors.

Most low income people are not fleeced in the same manner especially if they are poor or established in a neighborhood over decades. Look at NYCHA residents on the tax payers dime. Look at the migrants living large for free on the tax payers dime. Look at how foreigners who have no legal justification for even being in NYC and they get free housing placement before even our own legal citizens in need. Look how homeless are housed (often in bad living situations but still they are given a place for free).

These sanctuary cities basically keep two rental platforms in economic sidestep. One for the transplants and rich foreigners who pay the highest rates imaginable, and then another platform for the Lebowski’s who are low income and finding living situations for less.
 
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MatureDJ

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I'd classify Buffalo & Pittsburgh as "big cities", and they are quite inexpensive.
 

MatureDJ

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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.
Chicago has a lot of Polish-heritage folks. And I guarantee that Warsaw is a far better city for game. :cool:
 

MatureDJ

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A lot of these “sanctuary” cities like NYC have a blurry picture of living expenses. Half of the people are in lower rent situations you just do not see it. You only see the prices transplants pay. The transplants pay astronomical prices found at any rental advertisements.

But people who have lived in NYC a long time typically settle for less expensive living arrangements like with rent stabilization, or they have had government programs paying their rent, or they live in tiny studios with better prices than you usually find online on rental advertisements.
My understanding is that NYC has a ton of illegal basement apartments that have no windows, and are subject to deathly flooding; these are where the poor immigrants are living.
 

Ricky

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I loved living in Chicago. Still love visiting.
I should probably get another girlfriend up there just for that purpose.
Area codes
 

2rings

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My understanding is that NYC has a ton of illegal basement apartments that have no windows, and are subject to deathly flooding; these are where the poor immigrants are living.
Kinda sorta, but I am a legal immigrant here that has struggled and lived in various illegal basement dwellings in NY.
And let’s not conflate legal immigrants with illegal aliens, they are much different.

A lot of the new illegal people here are living in free hotels across the entire city including expensive and historic hotel properties that cost a fortune and are located in prime city districts where rents are sky high and career professionals worked their lives to afford.
It is a total economic disaster having them here.

That is what I am saying. You can be paying $7,000 per month rent and your neighbor can be a bum freeloader from a third world crap hole paying zilch and mucking the thing up.

There is a dual economy with transplants on one side who pay taxes and high rents while working long honest hours, and on the other side is the Lebowski economy sitting around smoking weed in pajamas all day long doing practically nothing.
 
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