How Three Men in New York Spend (and Save) Their Money

You can’t ask your friends these questions — so we did

By Shari Gab

How Three Men in New York Spend (and Save) Their Money
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23 March 2017

No one likes talking about money.

It’s taboo. It’s gauche. And it’s a source of boundless curiosity.

So today, we’re pulling back the curtain so you can see how other guys in your tax bracket — as well as outside of it — choose to spend their money.

Below, we ask three New York fellas at three different income levels to share their habits and thoughts: how they spend it, what they worry about and how life would be different if they had a little more.

 

Project Manager at a Law Firm, 30
“I’m happy with my income. I don’t think most New Yorkers are.”

Annual income: $85,000
Neighborhood: Bushwick
Marital status: Single
Rent or own?: Rent

Groceries: $75/month
Credit cards: 1
Investment plan: A 401(k)
Dining out: 5 nights/week

Overspends on: Travel
Hates overspending on: Clothing
Last ‘splurge’ purchase: “New drums. Very worth it.”
Dream purchase: “A vacation for my parents.”
Spender or saver? “Spender.”

 

What’s currently your biggest worry related to money?
“I’m in the throes of launching a new business with two others. I stress that I’ll be able to sufficiently contribute to the business for unforeseen expenses.”

If you made more money, how would your life be different?
“I would have more freedom obviously. And I would use that freedom to overspend more on my favorite thing to overspend on — travel.”

How do you think you compare to other New Yorkers in terms of income and happiness?
“I’m happy with my income. I don’t think most New Yorkers are.”

What financial advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
“Don’t get five credit cards when you are 20 years old. Get zero.”

 

Brand Strategy Consultant, 33
“Don’t, don’t, don’t accumulate STUFF.”

Annual income: $250,000+
Neighborhood: Willamsburg
Marital status: Married, no kids
Rent or own?: Own
Groceries: $500/month

Credit cards: 2
Investment plan: Real estate and retirement funds
Dining out: 3-4 nights/week
Overspends on: “Nothing. Why would anyone overspend on something?”
Hates overspending on: Wasted groceries
Last ‘splurge’ purchase: Upgraded accommodations in Tulum for New Year’s Eve.
Dream purchase: A new home
Spender or saver? “Very much both.”

 

What’s currently your biggest worry related to money?
“I left a high paying job to consult while I figure out what to do next, and I no longer have consistency.”

Any financial regrets in the past five years?
“I wish I had bought another apartment or house after my initial purchase in 2008.”

If you made more money, how would your life be different?
“I’d have a bigger and nicer house and likely a nicer car. It would all be the same, but nicer.”

How do you think you compare to other New Yorkers in terms of income and happiness?
“Higher on both fronts.”

What financial advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
“Max out that 401(k). Buy a home ASAP. Understand tax and retirement strategies; they are absolutely life changing. And don’t don’t don’t accumulate STUFF.”

 

Investor, 40
“I’m pretty darn happy.”

Annual income: $4,000,000+
Neighborhood: Chelsea
Marital status: Single
Rent or own: “I own multiple homes.”
Groceries: $100/week
Credit cards: 2
Investment plan: “The only one there is: real estate.”
Dining out: 5 nights/week
Overspends on: “Nothing.”
Hates overspending on: “Everything.”
Last ‘splurge’ purchase: “Vacation. It’s always a vacation.”
Spender or saver? “Neither. I’m an investor.”

 

What's one thing you want to purchase right now that's out of your means?
“A Vanquish VQ50 yacht. Or hey, while we’re at it, an Arcadia Tortoise.”

What’s currently your biggest worry related to money?
“Losing it.”

Any financial regrets in the past five years?
“I’ve been too conservative.”

If you made more money, do you think your life would be different?
“I’d have that Arcadia.”

How do you think you compare to other New Yorkers in terms of income and happiness?
“I’m pretty darn happy.”

What financial advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
“Take more risks. Don’t play it safe. And always bet on yourself.”

 

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