Freedom from Manhattan rent is a beautiful thing!!

I moved out of Manhattan on April 15th (and it was pretty hellish both emotionally & logistically) and into my new digs in Boulder on April 25th. This morning I transferred $2500 into my saving account leaving nearly the same amount still in my checking account. Boy did that feel good!

Manhattan v. Boulder Expenses

I was paying $2125/month with utilities included for my 500sf studio in Manhattan, and they were very adamant that I would be raised to $2200 if I renewed. Here in Boulder I’m paying $830/month plus utilities (average is $55 for my unit) for a 600sf one-bedroom. So that just liberated $1240. With my coupon and eating habits, my food/toiletry/etc costs remain pretty much the same, and to my surprise public transportation has the same price tag as The Big Apple. In fact, the pizza place up the road charges 50 cents more for a plain slice of pizza than most places in Manhattan – and I’m quite sure it won’t be up to par.

Manhattan v. Boulder Income

But my income has taken a hit because I’m no longer doing massage therapy – for the moment (more on that in another post). Was I making more than $1240/month at it? Yes – but my $4oo goal was a close call every week and it was stressing me out. A big factor was my appearance…I put on a lot of weight between May 2008 and Aug 2010, and I felt very anxious about having a door slammed in my face. It has happened. You can say they were interested in something else but that doesn’t stop it from smarting. My last massage appointment in NYC was 2 days before I moved out. He looked through the peephole in his hotel room door and didn’t answer the door or my text or the call from the bell desk. I took it as the most definite sign from the powers that be that I was meant to get the hell out of the city for a while*.

The new pad

I’m going to put my bed in the “dining room” (5’x6′ bed in a 7.5’x7.5′ space) because there’s only one a/c in the apartment and it’s not going to help me sleep. So in essence, I’m going to live in a studio again lol. But the bedroom has a purpose – it’s going to be my massage room. I’ll be setting up my student practice (read: can’t charge market prices) when I return from two trips this month (post about those is pending). Now if only I could get my city-hating electrician brother-in-law to come put a ceiling fan in the massage room…

I can travel again!!!

Travel has been sooo important to me since my teen years, and with that huge Manhattan rent bill combined with the NYC hotel-instigated law that you can’t sublet for less than 30 days (plus my building’s rule about such things), my vacation-renting habits were no longer viable. Of course I couldn’t afford tickets to Delhi or Nairobi anymore so it wasn’t a big deal. However…I’ve had two domestic travel opportunities arise for this month alone and I feel free to take them because there’s no longer this thought:

10 days away = $750 wasted on rent and cable/internet/phone and NO massage income to offset that.

So…do you see what I mean by “freedom”?

* I’ve dropped 23 lbs in the last 37 days on a very unusual and questionably healthy diet.

6 Responses

  1. The rent differences from NYC to Colorado are crazy! One of my best friends lives in Denver and I just couldn’t believe how much cheaper it was than San Diego…let alone NYC now that I’m here. (Btw – massive sticker shock, esp when it comes to groceries!)

    • My tip for groceries: take the path over to Jersey City and walk 10 mins to ShopRite. When they’re having a fantastic week (and they double coupons!), do a huge shopping trip and bring a friend or a wheelie suitcase. It’s worth the path + subway fares in just a pack of chicken! Too much bother? I’d sometimes do my grocery shopping when visiting my old roomie in Astoria – 2 supermarkets that don’t double coupons but their prices on produce and meat were darn good 🙂

  2. I would think that it would be hard to make that change after living in NYC for so long. I can’t imagine having rent that high for an apartment. Keep us posted.

    • The change is…strange. But I’ve lived in big cities, small cities, crowded suburbs and other countries so I kind of roll with the scenery pretty well. They’re just “deodorant-lite” here and I don’t think they’d appreciate it if I handed them my free ones. Hehe.

  3. *clap* You’re back!!

    The sounds of that diet worries me, are you transitioning to something healthier now? If you haven’t, will you please?

    The finances now sound *amazing* and if you’re ever traveling over to the Bay Area, be sure to call me, ok?

    • Don’t worry about me and the diet – you do the “scary” part for 23-40 days and then you do something healthier for a few weeks. Lather rinse repeat until you’re skinny. I’m on a second round of the scary part right now. And I’m feeling way better than I did during the first one (easy to make stupid mistakes).

      You will ABSOLUTEY hear from me if I end up in SF for any reason. And while I don’t have plans to, you never know when that’ll change 🙂

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