Financial planner in NYC due to a new job
November 3, 2013 1:19 PM   Subscribe

I'm about to start a job where I make around a 55k salary. I am wondering how much this will affect my life compared to the approximately 40k salary I've been getting (due to things at my job trying to play with my salary... I can't really comment on this.)

I'm trying to find a place in the 5 boroughs where I will feel comfortable rent-wise. My housing conditions are terrible at the moment and even the kitchen which is shared... is filthy and there are bugs, etc... it's just really terrible ($400 rent is just bad). Other than working full time, I go to class two times a week in the late evening.

So since I'm starting a new job, I'd like to know (which is the real root of the problem) where I can find a financial planner that fits my situation. Are there any recommendations that can be made? I feel that my finances are what bring me down, especially with what I have to deal with on a daily basis.
posted by antgly to Work & Money (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
First of all, mad props for your accomplishments, based on your past questions you've come a heck of a long way in just the past couple of years.

Second, I'm not super-certain that this is something financial planners are generally equipped to help you with. I guess they'll tell you to budget wisely, save up for an emergency, avoid unnecessary expenses and luxuries, and save more. I don't know how far 55K goes in NYC, I don't think it's very far. You're not exactly looking at diversifying your portfolio and exploiting tax loopholes.

Third, I think this is a task your non-filthy friends, acquaintances, and coworkers can help with. Where do they live? How much do they spend? In most places, the rule of thumb is to shoot for rent being about a third of your gross monthly pay. From what I've heard, in NYC most people shoot a bit higher. You don't need a planner to tell you this. You need to find someone in your approximate financial position, who you can get along with, and who needs a roommate.
posted by Nomyte at 1:38 PM on November 3, 2013 [3 favorites]

What about something like the NYC Office of Financial Empowerment?

I went to a place like this once and gained a ton of knowledge and comfort.
posted by mamabear at 1:55 PM on November 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

A 30% increase in salary is freaking awesome - congrats. However, in NYC I suspect that will not leave you with a lot of money to invest. You should be able to get what you need from reading some of the 1000 personal finance questions asked here, or spending some time poking around
posted by COD at 2:09 PM on November 3, 2013

$400 rent is just bad

Questions: are you saying you pay $400 in rent? Is part of your question about getting a better place, and what you can afford, and where?
posted by ulfberht at 2:12 PM on November 3, 2013

"... Are there any recommendations that can be made? I feel that my finances are what bring me down, especially with what I have to deal with on a daily basis."
posted by antgly to work & money

I think you'd really benefit by taking at least an introductory course in Personal Finance. You can find them for free in many places on the Web, or at local community colleges. You don't specify what kind of class you attend two nights a week, but if it is some kind of college, you might inquire what, if any, Personal Finance courses are offered there.

The basic ones, usually targeted to high school seniors and college freshman, talk about topics like cash management, using bank accounts, budgeting, understanding and using credit, and basic tax planning. More advanced courses introduce topics like insurance, investment management, estate planning, and long term retirement planning. You need a basic understanding of all these topics, at least, to function sensibly as an individual in a market economy, and you need to begin securing your future, now, as a young person, with proper insurance protection, a savings program and sound retirement planning, to which you contribute some of your current income, to avoid current taxes, and provide for your future security. The good thing about learning about these topics in a structured setting like a college course, as opposed to trying to do it yourself, is that you'll get a balanced view of the topics, for the time you give them, in course study, and you'll be in the company of others learning these topics, too, which can extend your own learning with concrete examples from the lives of other students.

Beyond Personal Finance topics, it would also be good if you took some courses in Economics, to understand a bit about economic theory, market and non-market economies, the operation of money and various financial instruments like stocks, bonds, and derivatives. Higher level Economics courses deal with the roles of banks, central banks, and other financial institutions in larger economies, and the role political institutions and governments in Economics. Having some education about these topics will help you understand financial news, and be an educated voter.
posted by paulsc at 2:17 PM on November 3, 2013

Rather than consulting a financial planner, I think you would be better off reading a good personal finance book. I highly recommend All Your Worth, by Elizabeth Warren.
posted by merejane at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

Good for you!!

You can invest and save on that salary in NYC if you can keep your rent low. I can't let that stand. I have friends who make that kind of money but are barely treading water because they love in expensive neighborhoods and don't watch their budget. Don't start out with excuses not to save.

I found a lot of help from archives of Michelle Singletary's Washington Post chats and from reading Suze Orman and other personal finance websites.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:57 PM on November 3, 2013

antgly, how do you feel financially at the present, with $40k income and $400 rent? Do you have debt? Do you feel squeezed, or reasonably comfortable except for your living situation?

If you're comfortable now, you could devote nearly all your raise to finding a better living space, and indeed it might make you much happier. $1400/mo in rent would come to about 30% of your new income, which is a reasonable percentage. As Nomyte said, people in NYC tend to spend even higher percentages than that on housing and do okay.

You have to decide for yourself what your comfort level is, but if you are willing to go up to $1200 or 1400/mo, you should be able to find a decent small space on your own or a fairly nice place if you're going to continue having a roommate. Check listings in Long Island City and Astoria, some of which are only a 10-20 minute train ride to midtown.
posted by torticat at 9:40 PM on November 3, 2013

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