We're up to our 10th New York Story! Here's someone who came to the city and succumbed to the usual temptations that make us overspend, but then she got it together and got out of debt!
I am a 28 y/o. originally from VA, moved to NY after graduating college in 2001 to work in fashion industry.Well done! I am impressed by several things here: first of all, she has obviously done well in her career and increased her income very quickly. But she didn't let her lifestyle expand too much as she did it-- instead she moved to lower her rent, and prioritized paying off debt. Over $6,000 paid off in 14 months, and this was back when she was only 2 years out of college! That is amazing. And now she is putting 12% of her income toward tithes and offerings, and still manages to save money! That nice low rent must really help! Congratulations to this debt-free New Yorker and best of luck in saving to buy your own home-- given your saving discipline, I'm sure you will manage it quite soon!
Career began making 37K a year. By the grace of God and hard work, now make 90K.
I graduated college with no student loan debt (on a full merit based scholarship, saving me 120k), but accrued credit card debt my first year in the city) by…shopping, eating out. Basically living beyond my means.
After a year of fearing my credit card bill every month, I realized the answer to my dilemma was not making more money, but being a good steward of the money that I already made. I cut out all ‘extras’ (cable, magazine subscriptions, hair appt, mani/pedicure, eating out) and put myself on a strict budget of living on $60 a week (for $21 weekly MetroCard, all food, laundry). I was able to pay off $6,249.41 in 14 months and became debt free in 2003!
Motivated to save aggressively, I moved out of the UES, got a roommate and now share a rent-stabilized apt in Harlem (only pay $550/ month) in order to save to purchase my own apt.
Breakdown of my current budget:
10% of gross income = tithe
2% of gross income = offering
10% of gross income = 401K contribution
30% of gross income = living expenses (rent, ConEd, basic cable, renter’s insurance, NYSC membership, food, allowance)
15% of gross income = esavings acct
Other posts in this series:
New York Stories #1: Bronx Chica
New York Stories #2: Orange
New York Stories #3: Bama Babe
New York Stories #4: K
New York Stories #5: Frugal Female
New York Stories #6: SandyVoice
New York Stories #7: Escape Brooklyn
New York Stories #8: Comfortable Couple
New York Stories #9: Upper West Sider
And I'm still accepting submissions, so feel free to email me your very own New York Story!