Thursday, May 29, 2008

Maybe Living In DC Isn't So Bad After All

After reading this recent New York Times article: Starting Salaries but New York Tastes, I've realized that compared to the high living costs of New York City, maybe DC isn't so bad. According to the article:

“Every year around this time, tens of thousands of post-collegiate people in their 20s flood the city despite its soaring expenses. They are high on ambition, meager of budget and endlessly creative when it comes to making ends meet.

Some tactics have long been chronicled: sharing tiny apartments with strangers. Sharing those apartments with eight strangers. Eating cheap lunches and skipping dinners — not just to save money, but so that drinks pack more of a punch and fewer need be consumed.
But there are smaller measures, no less ingenious, that round out the lifestyle. These young people sneak flasks of vodka into bars, flirt their way into clubs, sublet their walk-in closets, finagle their way into open-bar parties and put off haircuts until they visit their hometowns, even if those hometowns are thousands of miles away.”
I admit, I still daydream about living in Manhattan like Carrie in Sex and the City and having a really nice apartment and a fabulous job. I would also be able to take advantage of all of the arts and culture the city has to offer that were at my feet, but I just can’t bring myself to sacrifice my standard of living as many people my age who live in NYC are obviously willing to do. I am all for cutting corners, but I am not skipping meals, just to keep up with appearances and live in a city that I can’t afford. My money goes much farther in DC than it does in New York and I can actually afford to save money and invest in my retirement. There are many up and coming cities that have many job opportunities for young professionals but for some reason, many of us are drawn into the glitz of glamour that is associated with living in New York.

DC is by no means a New York City, but there are plenty of reasonably priced socializing opportunities not to mention cheaper housing than New York City. Yes, you may still have to have roommates, but you won’t be paying 1,000 for a room the size of a closet (if you do your research at least). Now that the summer is here there are even more options of reasonably priced things to do in DC such as:

-Several Free Museums
-Free Festivals on the National Mall in the Spring, Summer and Early Fall
-An Abundance of Restaurants and Bars That Have Happy Hours
-Theatre shows will be cheaper than NYC Broadway shows

Or better yet, enjoy NYC as a visitor and take a day trip (via the bus because gas prices are crazy). Boy have I changed my tune, I had a different view on this a few years ago BEFORE I started paying all of my bills…what a difference a few years makes.