The Price of a New York Dream Life

We all know that New York is painfully expensive. A “starter” home starts at over a million dollars, half the households that live here simply can’t afford to, and it’s impossible to walk out the door without $40 (or $60 or $80) vanishing. If you’re a young person who wants to stay in the city, your mind likely fluctuates between two states: (1) willful ignorance on how much your ideal adult life is actually going to cost, and (2) desperate curiosity about it, too. In our new issue, we asked a range of young New Yorkers to play the game of M.A.S.H. and describe their aspirational adult lives, and then we found older New Yorkers who currently have aspects of those lives and asked them how much they spent on literally everything. We drove ourselves into the ground pricing out not only the big stuff (mortgages, home repairs, the whopping child-care bill) but also the small, random costs of adulthood that somehow pile up (Amazon orders, spontaneous snacks and Ubers home, berries and obligatory cat litter). By the end, we all needed lobotomies, but our hope is that these numbers can provide clarity and concreteness — which, although perhaps horrifying, is (maybe) better than the vague dread of not knowing.

—Katy Schneider, Choire Sicha, Joy Shan, and Alexis Swerdloff, editors, New York

How Much Does It Cost to Live Like This? We asked young New Yorkers about their dream futures. Then we calculated exactly how much each would cost.

Photo: Hugo Yu

Read the full story
Enjoying One Great Story?
Subscribe now for unlimited access to everything New York.

More From Today

What happens when millions of people lose their jobs to computers? Kevin T. Dugan outlines the many ways in which the AI revolution could reshape our economy, and how unprepared Congress is for the shift.
Vulture ranks the 100 hardest video-game levels of all time, from dizzying shooters to agonizing puzzles to water stages (ugh) that raise the question: Continue?
Ahead of next week’s Succession finale, Roxana Hadadi has some predictions and musings about what lies ahead for our very bad-for-America, very good-for-TV friends.
Introducing The City Desk, a weekly newsletter about New York. Sign up to get it every Thursday.
Get The Newsletter

Categories: Lifestyle

Leave a Reply