NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
User avatar
mr_toad
Posts: 669
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 9:08 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby mr_toad » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:43 pm

Yes. General rule of thumb is to have at least 3 months liquid if no dependents, 6-12 months if dependents.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby shock259 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:09 pm

I don't want to hijack this, but does anyone have reliable take-home pay for DC? I used the calculator at paycheckcity and it listed NYC at $98k and DC at $103k. The numbers may be off, but is the trend right? Is take-home really higher in DC than in NYC?

Trying to decide between these markets and it may be a consideration if DC has a bigger take-home pay (in addition to its lower rent and lower cost of living).

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:10 pm

shock259 wrote:I don't want to hijack this, but does anyone have reliable take-home pay for DC? I used the calculator at paycheckcity and it listed NYC at $98k and DC at $103k. The numbers may be off, but is the trend right? Is take-home really higher in DC than in NYC?

Trying to decide between these markets and it may be a consideration if DC has a bigger take-home pay (in addition to its lower rent and lower cost of living).

Is $416/mo really a big factor in this decision?

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:16 pm

IAFG wrote:
shock259 wrote:I don't want to hijack this, but does anyone have reliable take-home pay for DC? I used the calculator at paycheckcity and it listed NYC at $98k and DC at $103k. The numbers may be off, but is the trend right? Is take-home really higher in DC than in NYC?

Trying to decide between these markets and it may be a consideration if DC has a bigger take-home pay (in addition to its lower rent and lower cost of living).

Is $416/mo really a big factor in this decision?



CHUMP CHANGE

User avatar
IAFG
Posts: 6665
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby IAFG » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:18 pm

Big Shrimpin wrote:CHUMP CHANGE

:roll: DC and NYC are such different places, with such different practices in the short and long term, the relatively small difference in pay doesn't seem like the thing to focus on.

Frankly, though, the COL differences are over-stated. Rent and COL in DC are expensive as fuck.

shock259
Posts: 1737
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2010 2:30 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby shock259 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:21 pm

I've been playing with a spreadsheet.

I've got the data for a 5 year period for each city. I used the take-home pay, then reduced it for rent and living expenses each year. For NYC, I did $2k for rent and $2k for living expenses. For DC, I did $1500 for rent and $1500 for living expenses (I've lived in DC before and I lived comfortably on these #'s). I then calculated out the "left over" money, or anything that isn't used by rent and living expenses. I used the standard associate salary scaling (160, 170, 185, 210, 230).

For NYC after 5 years it was a total of $336k "left over." For DC after 5 years it was a total of $421.6k "left over."

There's a lot of assumptions in the spreadsheet and it is incredibly simplistic, but the different tax rates, rent expenses, and living expenses can make a pretty big difference over the years.

Edit: this isn't a primary consideration. Just a thought.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Big Shrimpin » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:27 pm

IAFG wrote:
Big Shrimpin wrote:CHUMP CHANGE

:roll: DC and NYC are such different places, with such different practices in the short and long term, the relatively small difference in pay doesn't seem like the thing to focus on.

Frankly, though, the COL differences are over-stated. Rent and COL in DC are expensive as fuck.



Yeah, I'm on your side, I'm just trying to be a sarcastic braj. As a 3yr DC resident and current NYC resident, I know exactly how expensive each can be. For me, choosing NYC over other low COL markets was a mix of DAT prestige-pursuit and a thirst to live in a bustling city, however lame that sounds.

09042014
Posts: 18282
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 10:47 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby 09042014 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 7:22 pm

shock259 wrote:I don't want to hijack this, but does anyone have reliable take-home pay for DC? I used the calculator at paycheckcity and it listed NYC at $98k and DC at $103k. The numbers may be off, but is the trend right? Is take-home really higher in DC than in NYC?

Trying to decide between these markets and it may be a consideration if DC has a bigger take-home pay (in addition to its lower rent and lower cost of living).


Even cheaper if you cop dat Arlington apartment.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:29 pm

Bumping this thread for some specific advice.

Will be to new to NYC and want to know if my budget is possible. Will have minimum 10.5k/month after taxes. Would like to spend some some combination of 7k/month on loans, rent, utilities (including cable and net). Is it possible to live on 3.5k/month for all other expenses?

Thanks!

Note, that I posted anon only because I gave specific finanical details that I would like to keep private.

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:24 pm

Anyone?

User avatar
A. Nony Mouse
Posts: 22835
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:51 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:28 pm

Are you really asking whether it's possible to live on $875 a week for food and whatever clothes/entertainment/travel you need?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:16 pm

Yes. Really asking that...have never lived in NYC and have only heard how high expenses are. Would like to know how much I should be able to save or no will have to spend on other expenses with my current debt-repayment strategy.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Yes. Really asking that...have never lived in NYC and have only heard how high expenses are. Would like to know how much I should be able to save or no will have to spend on other expenses with my current debt-repayment strategy.


Ok, I will bite. New York is expensive, not another planet. You will easily be able to spend less than $3.5k after housing per month. In fact, if you want, you can live pretty comfortably on under $2k. $3.5k per month is very high - that's almost $100 a day. Even if you buy lunch ($15) and dinner ($35) every day, you still have $50 a day left over for clothes, drinking, whatever. And keep in mind your firm will be paying for dinner fairly often.

If you're living comfortably, but not extravagantly, you should spend no more than (and some would argue, you can spend less than) $3k on rent and all other housing expenses, and $2k discretionary. That leaves you $5.5k for loan payments and savings.

User avatar
jawsthegreat
Posts: 792
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:51 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby jawsthegreat » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:01 pm

So from reading this thread can I assume that if I'm keeping my rent under 2k per month I'm doing well? I come from a place where 2k would rent a 5br house, so it seems like I'm pening way too much.

imchuckbass58
Posts: 1245
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:24 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby imchuckbass58 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:08 pm

jawsthegreat wrote:So from reading this thread can I assume that if I'm keeping my rent under 2k per month I'm doing well? I come from a place where 2k would rent a 5br house, so it seems like I'm pening way too much.


$2k is a very good rent for more or less any studio or 1BR if you're living in Manhattan below 96th street. In Harlem or the outer boroughs (depending on the exact neighborhood and apartment quality), $2k is probably more middle-of-the-road - not a bad deal, but not great.

User avatar
chem
Posts: 867
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:14 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby chem » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:25 pm

I didn't see this yet, but make sure to at least put the amount of money your employer matches into your 401k/QRP

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:43 pm

Thanks for the respones. No match for 401(k), so I plan to put more into loans. Just wanted to gauge the actual cost of living in the city--what would be left over for savings after non-housing and loan expenses. Thanks all.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:45 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:Are you really asking whether it's possible to live on $875 a week for food and whatever clothes/entertainment/travel you need?


I keep a 460/mo budget and do JUST FINE: go out few nights a week, take cabs, never pack lunches, etc.

Typical day breakdown: 5 coffee/fruit breakfast, 8 chopped salad lunch, 10-15 on dinner. M-F like 125ish on food. Throw dinner with LS two nights/wk that's another hundo. Leaves like 200ish a week to snack, drink, cab, etc.

I'm 1st year biglaw, btw, and have been doing this since September.

Also as 1st yr biglaw you have to work like a year before 401(k), right?

Edit: I also pay like 2k/mo (split living expenses with SO) and around 3.5k/mo to loans.

User avatar
Big Shrimpin
Posts: 2468
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Big Shrimpin » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Bumping this thread for some specific advice.

Will be to new to NYC and want to know if my budget is possible. Will have minimum 10.5k/month after taxes. Would like to spend some some combination of 7k/month on loans, rent, utilities (including cable and net). Is it possible to live on 3.5k/month for all other expenses?

Thanks!

Note, that I posted anon only because I gave specific finanical details that I would like to keep private.



How the fuck did you get 10.5k/mo after taxes? Midlevel?

Anonymous User
Posts: 273254
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 18, 2013 7:57 pm

"How the fuck did you get 10.5k/mo after taxes? Midlevel?"

I have an SO.

User avatar
bk1
Posts: 18418
Joined: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:06 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby bk1 » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:25 pm

chem wrote:I didn't see this yet, but make sure to at least put the amount of money your employer matches into your 401k/QRP

You're probably not getting matching as a biglaw associate.

User avatar
chem
Posts: 867
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 8:14 pm

Re: NYC biglaw with 150k+ debt: how to balance

Postby chem » Tue Jun 18, 2013 8:41 pm

bk1 wrote:
chem wrote:I didn't see this yet, but make sure to at least put the amount of money your employer matches into your 401k/QRP

You're probably not getting matching as a biglaw associate.


My firm in a secondary market does, was not sure if it was widespread




Return to “Legal Employment”

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.