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10 times you realize you’ll never, ever have enough money for NYC

Written by
Lauren Rothman

They say it’s a dog-eat-dog world, but nowhere does the tired dictum seem truer than in New York. Every year (strike that, every day), our fair city seems to get more and more expensive, and if you break the bank and are forced to move somewhere else (such as, shudder, Jersey), you can bet there’s a freshly Ivy-graduated trust fund baby just itching to move into your recently-vacated pad.

With the ever-soaring cost of living here, the average New Yorker is reminded of her poverty, oh, about 20 times a day. It seems that every time we take out our wallets to pay for something...we can’t. Or just barely.

The thing is—as all true New Yorkers know—living here is so worth it. So deposit all those holiday checks from grandma in your savings account, heat up a Cup o’ Noodles, and check out our list of sad-but-true moments in the life of a city-dweller’s bank account.

1. When your morning bacon, egg and cheese costs, like, $8.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Derek Lo

Sure, you asked for the cruelty-free eggs and the organic bacon...BUT STILL. 

2. When you bust out your Metrocard and realize that your round-trip commute is going to cost $5.50, aka almost the entire cost of aforementioned bacon, egg and cheese.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Mr. TinDC

Oh yeah, and the fare is going up again in 2017

3. When you pop into a bodega before work and realize that your crappy cup of joe costs almost as much as a Starbucks brew.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/kl 801

Really, Joey the bodega guy, this costs three dollars?

4. When you decide to get your culture on and stop by the stunning Frank Lloyd Wright-designed gem that is the Guggenheim.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Sharon Mollerus

 That shit costs $25, son.

5. When you decide to do lunch "on the cheap" and hit up a Pain Quotidien for a mediocre sandwich that ends up costing $15 once you add a hard boiled egg and some pickled onions.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Yuichi Sakuraba

 That really was pricy...but I think I want one of those chocolate croissants for dessert, too.

6. When you decide to finally get in shape, but realize that a basic membership at Crunch goes for $88, plus a $130 start-up fee and a $30 initiation fee.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Health Gauge

I guess I'll just stay fat.

7. When you go to renew your lease and your landlord jacks up your rent by a cool thousand.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/ClatieK

And that's in spite of the broken faucet, the temperamental hot water, and the on-again/off-again cockroadh infestation. 

8. When you step out for a few pre-dinner beers with your buds, only to run up a $36 tab in the space of an hour.

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Matt Brown

And that's before even setting foot in the restaurant.

9. When you decide to try that new haute-Mexican spot. It's in Bushwick and the chef cooks on a hotplate so it's bound to be cheap. 

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Alexandra Moss

Turns out the guac alone costs $12, so yeah, not so cheap after all. (Tasty though!)

10. When you and your friends decide to split an Uber home—it'll only be like $3 a person, the same cost as a subway ride!

Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Alexander Russy

Except it's surge pricing and one friend bails and you get stuck paying $19 for your share. And that could have gotten you, like, two breakfast sandwiches.

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