Every so often, I’ll be checking my bank statement and think to myself, DAMN, why I am I so over budget? Well, this week, I realized that I’m spending way too much money eating out; if I had a theme song, it’d play the “Anoooother Hidden cost of Moving to NYC” theme song right now.

I realized that because I live further away from the center of my city, on nights that I see friends, I invariably have to eat out. This occurs because of a a couple of reasons. I work in Manhattan where there are few inexpensive resources to be found. In my last city, Chicago, I worked in the suburbs where I had many better and cheaper options. Also, I often passed my apartment en route to meeting up with friends, so I could pop by and make a sandwich or mac & cheese before heading out for the night’s activity.

If you’re thinking, whatever, it can’t be THAT much, think about how many nights you hang out with friends. For me, it really is about 3-4. What’s the difference between Kraft’s finest box of Mac & Cheese and dinner out? Try a whopping $13 in NYC(assuming dinner is $15 with tip) at an actual restaurant, but it could be as much as $5 more even if you’re just getting two slices of pizza! That’s $15-$52 a WEEK. Or, it could be as much as $200 a month. With numbers like that, the issue of eating out/eating in needs to factor into your apartment shopping decisions.

As for me, I think it was good to see as many as people as possible when I first moved here, so as to feel like I had a home here. But, as I’ve been here a few months now, I’ve been winding down on the social engagements to help my budget. Rather, I’ve been watching NetFlix. A lot. For anyone moving to a new city, I’d really recommend it as it’s a cheap and fun way to spend an evening. They just started this program where you don’t even have to wait for the dvds, but rather you can just download movies/tv episodes to your computer.

Who needs friends?!

Well, as I’m having a housewarming party this weekend, um, me. Definitely me. But, for the rest of your evenings, it is possible to be entertained on the cheap.

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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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