@jamiekm "Get the retirement plan. Even if it's a teeny-tiny percentage of your paycheck. It's having something to dip into when a horrible car repair emergency comes up in eight months." Here is my advice to you: don't give people advice.
@Kristen Roupenian@facebook Exactly. I cashed my old 401(k) back in 2003 or something at some height of the market. Sure, I paid the penalty and the taxes, but I also paid my debts and made it through a spate of unemployment. All these people who claim to know about money said I did a stupid thing, something you never do. I laughed a bit in my mouth a few years later when their investments in the market melted, and they were all like "well, everyone lost". Not me! So, from that experience, my thinking is: save enough in cash to get you through about a year of unemployment, only after that start thinking about long term financial security. The problem is, when you live in NYC and have a family, that year worth of savings can be quite a lot. In short: retirement is a luxury. It's not for everyone. Some of us will always bee too poor to afford it, which is simply a fact of the system we live in in which there will be winners and and there will be losers no matter what, and it's completely useless to state "well, it's the losers fault for not being the winners". It's not, and we are not stupid, so just shut the fuck up, OK? And yes, I'm an immigrant, and I know other people have valid circumstances of their own.
@mishellie30 I lived in Chicago before I moved to New York, and here is all you need to know about Chicago apartment hunting: it's sane. Chicago has it's problems, but finding a place to live is not one of them.
@Jenna Sauers@twitter, @John Thompson@facebook: While we can have this conversation (for example, I live in Brooklyn and I have 1 stop to East Village, 1 to Lower East Side, 3 to Union Square, 2 to SoHo, 3 to West Village, 3 to City Hall, etc.), the point is that when you live in Harlem or the Heights you can't just say to someone who has never lived in the city "hey I live in Manhattan!". You make it sound like you don't even need to go anywhere, when you know you need to take quite a hike, especially on weekends (even if you can beat most of Brooklyn) to get to any of the places that people think of when they think of "life in Manhattan". In other words, if you live in Heights, say "hey, I live in Washington Heights, and it's cheap and not too far" and not "hey I live in Manhattan, and it's cheap!". It's misleading.
@Tricia Cannon@facebook And yes: if you are spending a lot of time in your apartment, you are doing New York wrong. The questions like "where is my kitchen going to be?" and "where am I going to study/work/read/relax?" refer to your neighborhood, not your apartment. Which is why the location is given a lot more of a priority than the apartment itself.
@Tricia Cannon@facebook Harlem and Washington Heights are Manhattan about as much as Staten Island is New York City, which is to say: geographically/administratively - yes, but for real-life purposes - not really. Good chunks of Brooklyn are more expensive than Harlem and Washington Heights because they are closer to the "relevant" areas of Manhattan, plus they have their own qualities that Harlem and Washington Heights lack. In short: you still get what you pay for, and nothing more.