NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

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bdubs
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby bdubs » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:30 pm

bk1 wrote:These threads are always insufferable and the formula used by NALP is stupid for reasons stated ITT. I don't get why anybody would give enough of a shit to post the article except as a joke (though OP seems srs).


Agree that COL calculators are not helpful and the NALP table is a joke. COL did, however, play a major role in deciding between markets for me and is one of the biggest reasons I am not going to NYC. I found it helpful to hear people debate the COL in different cities because it gives you more insight than can be gained by looking at pretty useless indices or trying to browse craigslist for rental postings, shopping for odds & ends during a visit, etc... Also, lots of people bring up valid QOL points that wouldn't have come to mind if i were considering absent TLS.

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XxSpyKEx
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby XxSpyKEx » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:40 pm

dingbat wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:
dingbat wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:I do see your point re: not needing a car in Manhattan. But if it were cheaper and you wanted to leave NYC ever so often (say, e.g., twice a month),
why would you need (or want) to leave that often?


Hiking, camping, boating, jet-ski'ing, kayaking, dirt-biking, fishing, drag racing, road racing, shooting range, and the rest of the plethora of things you typically can't do in a large congested city. I don't know, as much as I enjoy living in a big city, I get claustrophobic and find myself needing to get away often.
Don't ever move to NY
That being said, boating and jet skiing can be done from the docks, fishing from the bridges, and there's at least one shooting range in the city. Cycling and hiking can be done in the park. During the winter there are plenty if organized ski trips and camping in thè summer.


I'm kind of surprised by how much non-big city type stuff you're able to do in NYC. I'm really surprised that there's a gun range in NYC. How do you transport your guns to the shooting range? (I assume you wouldn't drive, since no one in NYC drives, so can you really bring those on the subway?) Where do you store a boat/jet-ski in Manhattan? I suspect even if you were willing to pay outrageous parking fees at a garage in Manhattan, they still wouldn't let you store something like that.. Are there storage units in Manhattan large enough for a boat or jetski?

dingbat wrote:I don't know about motorized sports, but, this isn't NASCAR cuntry.


Nascar blows. But real motorized sports are a lot of fun.

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dingbat
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:58 pm

XxSpyKEx wrote:I'm kind of surprised by how much non-big city type stuff you're able to do in NYC. I'm really surprised that there's a gun range in NYC. How do you transport your guns to the shooting range? (I assume you wouldn't drive, since no one in NYC drives, so can you really bring those on the subway?) Where do you store a boat/jet-ski in Manhattan? I suspect even if you were willing to pay outrageous parking fees at a garage in Manhattan, they still wouldn't let you store something like that.. Are there storage units in Manhattan large enough for a boat or jetski?

I don't know anything about gun laws in New York, except that they're really strict. Boats are docked at the Marina / boat basin on 79th st, though it's cheaper in Jersey City (take the PATH). I've gone Kayaking there a few times (for free). I don't know about jet skis, but I've seen them up and down the hudson. They took down the climbing wall in the Atrium (65th st?) but I'm sure there are other places where it's possible. The northern part of central park is really wild, not quite a forest, but not what yo'd expect in a city - though most people don't know about it. A run around the reservoir is one and a half miles and the long route around central park six and change. When it snows, people go cross-country skiing there too. There's a skating park (halfpipes and shit) in riverside park,or you can take the subway to brighton beach or the train to long beach. Hell, there's even parkour and urban spelunking, for the really hardcore. And that's just the stuff I know about, and I'm not particularly outdoorsy. New York has (almost) everything you could want

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:20 pm

dingbat wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:I'm kind of surprised by how much non-big city type stuff you're able to do in NYC. I'm really surprised that there's a gun range in NYC. How do you transport your guns to the shooting range? (I assume you wouldn't drive, since no one in NYC drives, so can you really bring those on the subway?) Where do you store a boat/jet-ski in Manhattan? I suspect even if you were willing to pay outrageous parking fees at a garage in Manhattan, they still wouldn't let you store something like that.. Are there storage units in Manhattan large enough for a boat or jetski?

I don't know anything about gun laws in New York, except that they're really strict. Boats are docked at the Marina / boat basin on 79th st, though it's cheaper in Jersey City (take the PATH). I've gone Kayaking there a few times (for free). I don't know about jet skis, but I've seen them up and down the hudson. They took down the climbing wall in the Atrium (65th st?) but I'm sure there are other places where it's possible. The northern part of central park is really wild, not quite a forest, but not what yo'd expect in a city - though most people don't know about it. A run around the reservoir is one and a half miles and the long route around central park six and change. When it snows, people go cross-country skiing there too. There's a skating park (halfpipes and shit) in riverside park,or you can take the subway to brighton beach or the train to long beach. Hell, there's even parkour and urban spelunking, for the really hardcore. And that's just the stuff I know about, and I'm not particularly outdoorsy. New York has (almost) everything you could want

Pretty sure you can bring a handgun on the subway if it's unloaded and in a locked case. There was a NYT piece on this recently.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby keg411 » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:51 am

XxSpyKEx wrote:
dingbat wrote:
XxSpyKEx wrote:I do see your point re: not needing a car in Manhattan. But if it were cheaper and you wanted to leave NYC ever so often (say, e.g., twice a month),
why would you need (or want) to leave that often?


Hiking, camping, boating, jet-ski'ing, kayaking, dirt-biking, fishing, drag racing, road racing, shooting range, and the rest of the plethora of things you typically can't do in a large congested city. I don't know, as much as I enjoy living in a big city, I get claustrophobic and find myself needing to get away often.


You can also live in NJ/CT/Long Island/Westchester/etc and commute into NYC. But that's more for families and not young, single associates (although JC/Hoboken are pretty fun/popular, are cheaper than NYC and are still easily commutable; although I think the PATH is still kind of screwed up from Sandy).

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dingbat
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:46 am

keg411 wrote:You can also live in NJ/CT/Long Island/Westchester/etc and commute into NYC. But that's more for families and not young, single associates (although JC/Hoboken are pretty fun/popular, are cheaper than NYC and are still easily commutable; although I think the PATH is still kind of screwed up from Sandy).

Jersey City if you're poor, Hoboken if you've got some semblance of dignity

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby b33eazy » Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:47 am

Blessedassurance wrote:
b33eazy wrote:Also, I have family who work in NYC, but they just live outside of NYC and just commute to work there. That cuts costs drastically.


your family works biglaw?


Yes.


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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby arizonairish » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:03 pm

This really comes down to individuals. For some people, especially K-JDs who are in the early/mid twenties, there is a non-monetary utility on being in "the big apple," over home market big/midlaw that may have been more cost effective.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:22 pm

Graduating 3L, looking to pay off 100k in loans while working BigLaw in NY. Here's my budget. Would be interesting to see how things change if I was in a different major city.

Post-tax income: 102k-ish (How much higher would it be in SF, Palo Alto, DC or Dallas if also starting at 160k?) + 4kish post-tax bonus = 106k

Schedule of expenses:

internet - $40 (same everywhere)

phone - $0 (paid for by firm) (same everywhere)

food - $400 (dinner billed to clients) (more bang for the buck elsewhere, but how much more? restaurants in NY can range from typical $15/entree to $30/entree for a good meal. food is more expensive, but as a proportion of my bills, not a big deal).

transportation - $100 (car service home) (definitely don't need a car in NY so would be for subway)

utilities - $60 (same as everywhere?)

misc - $300 (entertainment, expenses I'm forgetting) (perhaps a bit more bang for buck elsewhere?)

rent - $1800 (obviously the biggest differentiator vs. other cities. I'll get a pretty crappy place for $1800, but is that a big deal when I'm rarely there except to sleep? I'd otherwise hang back at the office or be out with friends/SO. also not sure how much better SF, DC, Palo Alto or LA rent would be to be honest).

health insurance - $100/mo (optimistic, but doubt it would differ much across regions)

total = ~2.8k/mo = ~34k/yr

72k left over for both 401(k) contribution and paying off loans. how much better would it be in another major city? obviously rent is the biggest factor, but I definitely don't need a car in NY, which isn't true for any other city except perhaps SF or DC (which both have nearly the same rent as NY to be honest -- I've lived in both). so add on $300/mo for car in other places + $120/mo gas + $50/mo insurance for an additional ~500/mo for car. That's a big factor at the lower end, which I save by being in NY.

bottom line: what am I missing that leads to such greater buying power in other markets, aside from rent? is rent all that important in the first couple years while paying off loans? if it is, wouldn't that be partly offset by the cost of requiring a car in the lower-rent areas? once debt is paid off, in years 3 or 4, i'm also probably earning 20-30k post-tax more than my counter-parts elsewhere including bonus and salary increases. That's an additional ~$2000/mo. Wouldn't an additional ~$2000/mo offset the difference in rent elsewhere by a good degree? At least enough for the benefit of living in NY (which of course is different for everyone)?
Last edited by Anonymous User on Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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dingbat
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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:26 pm

Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dr123 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:30 pm

Surprised Seattle isn't higher since there's no income tax.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:31 pm

dingbat wrote:Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


I get a subsidized metro card, and I think taxi rides (which I won't be using much since I intend to use car service all the time at night) would be covered under misc. expenses.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:33 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


I get a subsidized metro card, and I think taxi rides (which I won't be using much since I intend to use car service all the time at night) would be covered under misc. expenses.

dingbat wrote:you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:34 pm

dingbat wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


I get a subsidized metro card, and I think taxi rides (which I won't be using much since I intend to use car service all the time at night) would be covered under misc. expenses.

dingbat wrote:you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


examples then? only time i'll be using taxis is on the weekend, which I doubt I will since the subway system is so good in midtown.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:39 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


I get a subsidized metro card, and I think taxi rides (which I won't be using much since I intend to use car service all the time at night) would be covered under misc. expenses.


Which firm subsidizes metro cards? If you mean you can get them lee-tax, they'll still be $100+.

And also, "intend to use car service." You can intend all you want, but if you don't have work, you won't bill enough to be allowed to bill it to the client.

Also, working hours to the point where you can use car service all the time sucks.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Old Gregg » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:42 pm

food - $300 (dinner billed to clients) (more


This is not happening in NYC.

I haven't met a single 3L who stuck to their budget their first year. Even the one person who I know is sacrificing everything to get rid of their loans will have to take an extra year or two than initially calculated.

In your calculations, you should be realistic, not aggressive.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:43 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:Lol at $50 for transportation.

A monthly unlimited is over a hundred bucks, and you'll spend more on taxis than you ever thought possible (even excluding times your company pays for it)


I get a subsidized metro card, and I think taxi rides (which I won't be using much since I intend to use car service all the time at night) would be covered under misc. expenses.


Which firm subsidizes metro cards? If you mean you can get them lee-tax, they'll still be $100+.

And also, "intend to use car service." You can intend all you want, but if you don't have work, you won't bill enough to be allowed to bill it to the client.

Also, working hours to the point where you can use car service all the time sucks.


true, if i can't bill it then I can't use it, but I intend to use my unlimited metro card then. and i'm not 100% sure they subsidize it to that level, but I'll happily up the transportation cost to $100 if that is more realistic.

also, I'm not sure if you know how corporate law works, but unpredictable hours might mean I have nothing to do from 12 to 4 and then working from 4 to 11. that's just how it works.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:45 pm

Fresh Prince wrote:
food - $300 (dinner billed to clients) (more


This is not happening in NYC.

I haven't met a single 3L who stuck to their budget their first year. Even the one person who I know is sacrificing everything to get rid of their loans will have to take an extra year or two than initially calculated.

In your calculations, you should be realistic, not aggressive.


Probably right. Probably need another $100.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:00 pm

Time for you to understand something:

When you're working crazy hours all the time, then it'll happen quite often where you just can't be bothered to take the train. When you're trying to meet someone on the other side of town, you'll probably take a taxi. When you're running late, you'll take a taxi. When it's 20 degrees outside in winter you'll take a taxi. When it's hot and humid in the summer you'll take a taxi. When it's pouring buckets you'll wish you could take a taxi. You can have the best intention about only taking the subway unless the firm springs for car service, but in reality you'll take a taxi quite often.

Food wise, you can't bill the client for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But if you're putting in crazy days, you're not preparing bagged lunches every day. Quite often, you'll grab a bagel and coffee from the food cart on your way to work. You're gonna go out for a soup&salad, or a sandwich, or something, for lunch, because, well, you'd like to see daylight. You'll be ordering dinner if you eat at your desk or plan on working at home, even on days where you can't bill the client for it. When you do have time, you'll probably go to a restaurant for dinner more often than not, because, believe it or not, going to a restaurant is not much more expensive than buying the food and preparing it yourself, and you're gonna discover enough phenomenal restaurants.
If you can keep your food budget to under $30/day, you're doing amazingly well.

These are two things everyone who isn't a NY professional underestimates

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:03 pm

dr123 wrote:Surprised Seattle isn't higher since there's no income tax.


It ignores the fact that very few people live in downtown Seattle. There are expensive parts of Seattle (I had a friend paying ~600 for a closet in the U district and another living in a literal closet in Capitol Hill or some other "hip" neighborhood, I forget) but it's the hippies, college types, and 20-somethings experiencing an existential crisis that get sucked into that. Normally, in Seattle, the wealthier you get, the farther you move from the city center. The city center is gritty (homeless people like to move to Seattle and San Francisco). A 1000 bucks will get you a 180 place in Kirkland or Bellevue (1500 will get you a 2-bedroom townhouse with a garage). Many people also live in the wealthier parts of Renton (Highlands...golf courses nearby etc). Seattle also has a pretty good public transportation system, actually (all the way up to Lynnwood) not to mention the light rail. The buses even used to be free within downtown (I think they may have stopped this). Seattle is liberal but not communist and they consistently vote down proposals to tax more (you can bring shit down by putting it on a ballot). Also, regarding the broader PNW, Oregon has no sales tax (it has state income tax though).

The "cons" of Seattle mainly relate to the weather. It's grey on a lot of days and it drizzles (you don't need an umbrella)...a lot. It rains more in a lot of places than Seattle... it just drizzles constantly in Seattle. The winters are surprisingly mild. In summer, it really is heaven on earth. Also, it rarely snows, relatively.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Anonymous User » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:12 pm

dingbat wrote:Time for you to understand something:

When you're working crazy hours all the time, then it'll happen quite often where you just can't be bothered to take the train. When you're trying to meet someone on the other side of town, you'll probably take a taxi. When you're running late, you'll take a taxi. When it's 20 degrees outside in winter you'll take a taxi. When it's hot and humid in the summer you'll take a taxi. When it's pouring buckets you'll wish you could take a taxi. You can have the best intention about only taking the subway unless the firm springs for car service, but in reality you'll take a taxi quite often.

Food wise, you can't bill the client for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But if you're putting in crazy days, you're not preparing bagged lunches every day. Quite often, you'll grab a bagel and coffee from the food cart on your way to work. You're gonna go out for a soup&salad, or a sandwich, or something, for lunch, because, well, you'd like to see daylight. You'll be ordering dinner if you eat at your desk or plan on working at home, even on days where you can't bill the client for it. When you do have time, you'll probably go to a restaurant for dinner more often than not, because, believe it or not, going to a restaurant is not much more expensive than buying the food and preparing it yourself, and you're gonna discover enough phenomenal restaurants.
If you can keep your food budget to under $30/day, you're doing amazingly well.

These are two things everyone who isn't a NY professional underestimates


I worked in NY for my 2L summer and spent, perhaps 500/mo at most on food. I was pretty wasteful because I could be, but $400/mo is definitely doable. I can make breakfast at home for $2. Lunch costs me $8-9 at the office, or $3-4 at home on the weekends. Dinner can be similar (cheaper food in cafeteria) if not already billed to clients.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby IAFG » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:34 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
dingbat wrote:Time for you to understand something:

When you're working crazy hours all the time, then it'll happen quite often where you just can't be bothered to take the train. When you're trying to meet someone on the other side of town, you'll probably take a taxi. When you're running late, you'll take a taxi. When it's 20 degrees outside in winter you'll take a taxi. When it's hot and humid in the summer you'll take a taxi. When it's pouring buckets you'll wish you could take a taxi. You can have the best intention about only taking the subway unless the firm springs for car service, but in reality you'll take a taxi quite often.

Food wise, you can't bill the client for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But if you're putting in crazy days, you're not preparing bagged lunches every day. Quite often, you'll grab a bagel and coffee from the food cart on your way to work. You're gonna go out for a soup&salad, or a sandwich, or something, for lunch, because, well, you'd like to see daylight. You'll be ordering dinner if you eat at your desk or plan on working at home, even on days where you can't bill the client for it. When you do have time, you'll probably go to a restaurant for dinner more often than not, because, believe it or not, going to a restaurant is not much more expensive than buying the food and preparing it yourself, and you're gonna discover enough phenomenal restaurants.
If you can keep your food budget to under $30/day, you're doing amazingly well.

These are two things everyone who isn't a NY professional underestimates


I worked in NY for my 2L summer and spent, perhaps 500/mo at most on food. I was pretty wasteful because I could be, but $400/mo is definitely doable. I can make breakfast at home for $2. Lunch costs me $8-9 at the office, or $3-4 at home on the weekends. Dinner can be similar (cheaper food in cafeteria) if not already billed to clients.


When you're working crazy hours all the time

But if you're putting in crazy days


Your summer experience is not relevant, and I don't know how dingbat could have been more explicit.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:35 pm

Anonymous User wrote: I worked in NY for my 2L summer and spent, perhaps 500/mo at most on food. I was pretty wasteful because I could be, but $400/mo is definitely doable. I can make breakfast at home for $2. Lunch costs me $8-9 at the office, or $3-4 at home on the weekends. Dinner can be similar (cheaper food in cafeteria) if not already billed to clients.


being a summer and associate are two different things.

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Re: NALP Buying Power Index 2011, or, Why New York is Overrated

Postby dingbat » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:58 pm

IAFG wrote:Your summer experience is not relevant, and I don't know how dingbat could have been more explicit.

Blessedassurance wrote:being a summer and associate are two different things.

Thanks.

I always love it when I hear how people think they'll pretty much be acting the same way when they're working 100 hour weeks as they do when they're in college.

Until you actually experience the kind of hours that these jobs demand for an extended period of time, you have no idea what it's like, whether you can handle it long term (most people can't handle the grind) and what your lifestyle is like.

When you're working 80-90 hours/week for 2 months straight, you're not gonna sit home and watch TV when you finally have a weekend off. You're gonna take some of that big fat paycheck, and blow it. Whether it's buying the entire criterion collection, going to a show, or a fancy meal, you're gonna end up spending money. When my brother and I went to DC for the weekend, I sprung for Acela tickets for both of us, because there was no way I was gonna ride the bus or waste time on a local train. I've gone to the opera and fuck it if I'm sitting in the back. I took my wife out for a $400+ dinner and ballroom dancing - I barely spend any time with her because of work, so we're not going to Ruby Tuesdays for her birthday.

The list goes on, but, when you're making stupid money and have no life, you end up spending money doing the things you like, and you're not sitting in the cheap seats




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