hiro86 wrote:I have a strange fear of going to Columbia and being overwhelmed with the cost-of-living. It seems like even the Columbia run buildings have really high rent, like so high that what Columiba sets the COL at would barely cover the rent, let alone food, etc. Am I completely wrong about this? Also, do you feel like you have based on the COL allowance enough money to go out and have some drinks/eat moderate priced food once in a while? I know this isn't an issue unique to Columbia, but as a suburb followed by very cheap urban area dweller my entire life I really have no grasp of how to think about finances in places with high COL.
New York isn't cheap, but living within the COL budget is doable, particularly if you do a lot of cooking for yourself and generally take the subway instead of cabs.
The rent estimate actually seems pretty good. I'm in nicer than average non-Lenfest housing, and my rent is $100 cheaper per month than the COL allotment for rent.
The board estimate also looks pretty reasonable if you cook for yourself most of the time, and occasionally order delivery or go out with friends. However, if you always order delivery or eat out, that food budget might be pretty darn impossible to stay within.
Earlier in the thread, imchuckbass 58 said, "I spend about $2250 per month in living costs, but I live a bit less frugally than I should. You could get by on a good deal less." That sounds like a fair assessment. The 9-month CLS budget allots $2200 per month for 9 months.
2 things to note:
-The COL estimate only covers 9 months. If you have a Summer Associate position, the other three months will be easy to cover. If you do public interest, CLS gives you $4,200, which is really awesome and more than covers rent, but you'll almost certainly spend more than $4,200 over the course of the summer.
-It's easy to blow through cash quickly when going out at night. Drinks and cabs are not cheap. However, the subway is a cheap alternative to cabs, and some local bars have awesome drink specials. Also, we have Bar Review once a week. Bar Review is a weekly CLS get together with drink specials. It's always at a different bar, it's a lot of fun, and drink specials are always a nice perk.