Got my current full-size bed from my girlfriend's friend. Her roommate was moving out and we got it for 2 bottles of wine, a Zipcar van for 2 hours, and plastic wrap + rope from Home Depot (it was raining). I was then able to sell our previous full-size bed on CraigsList for $60 (after posting it for $100). Anything to get it out. That bed was originally purchased new (& likely stolen) from a UES unlabled truck, wrapped in plastic.
I would have read about this trip for 10 pages. Crazy.
I was 22, working in publishing for 29k which gave me much less than the take-home $2,022 you describe here (it took years to get above 2k a month), and I lived with two roommates in the small bedroom of our Astoria apartment. Commuting from a free room in the burbs wasn't an option for me and while I did not save a lot of money (and 6 years in, still have yet to), it's worked for me. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much it takes to live here. New York is what you make of it - end of story - but I do appreciate you sharing this straddling-two-worlds situation that most will have to survive in their 20s.
My parents never really bought me anything growing up, but I was given an allowance for chores that I would then be able to spend - but not before presenting my buying decisions to my parents as to why I wanted said new thing. I had to make the case for ANYTHING from a soda to a video game and I think that's driven me to go the other way now that I'm spending my own money on my own - I click and buy in a carefree manner that I rarely justify to myself.
I proposed to my girlfriend the Saturday night of this movie's opening weekend and then we went and saw it at Cobble Hill Cinemas (down the street! we're lucky!) and paid with a Groupon (soon to expire!) so we really did well. It was a sweet and earnest movie that endeared itself to us during our special week. FYI - the $7 a ticket is on Tuesdays only (or matinees) but just $10 the rest of the week (which really is a real deal). And walk in on a Friday night - there's no lines - which makes it the perfect theater. Then two days later I went to a 10:30am showing of The Avengers in IMAX 3D (really, the only way to see it) in Times Square on opening weekend and we got there 45 mins early to walk right into the theater, get great seats, and only paid $12 a ticket with Fandango! So, my advice is to see matinee IMAX 3D at that price.
I am definitely interested in hearing more about what does and what doesn't affect your credit score. Every time I talk about closing down a credit card people say NO! but I do it anyway, because I want less cards, not more.