For years, we’ve all been saying Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw wouldn’t have been able to afford her Upper East Side apartment on a writer’s salary, and there’s actually something to that! OneMain Financial did a study analyzing 16 of America’s favorite sitcom characters to find out who could afford to live their on-screen lifestyle and who needs to look at their budget and as it happens, Carrie would have racked up $199,821 worth of debt each year.
As a columnist making the average U.S. columnist salary of $33,444 a year, Carrie’s yearly estimated spend would be $233,256, meaning she’d be about $200,000 in debt every year she spent like this, according to the study.
Those fab shoes, the incredible apartment, trips to the Hamptons and classy brunches out add up!
“The columnist spends well over her means, earning only $33,444 as a columnist and spending an estimated $233,256. This leaves Carrie with -$199,821 each year, and is a great example of why budgeting is so important,” the company states. “It enables you to prioritize your spending, allowing you to put money aside to enjoy your hobbies, but also to ensure you have enough money to cover your living costs. Carrie’s apartment on the Upper East Side was revealed to be her biggest expense—maybe this fashionista needs to consider moving to a more affordable location!”
Can you imagine Carrie anywhere other than Manhattan?
A few other fictional characters based in NYC made it to the list of seriously-in-debt: Valentina from How I Met Your Father (almost $100,000 in debt each year) and the show’s Sophie Tompkins (over $95,000 in debt), Monica Geller ($86,000 in the red) and Chandler Bing ($64,000 in the red, too) from Friends, and Captain Raymond Holt from Brooklyn 99 (at just over $77,000 in debt yearly).
The company looked at salary, housing costs, clothes, hobbies and food and drink, alongside the average U.S. monthly spend to come up with whether these characters would make it in the real world.
OneMain Financial broke down the most expensive purchases from each character, including Carrie’s 100 pairs of shoes and Monica’s boots:
All of these characters are living beyond their means and should have really created and stuck to a budget, the company says.
“If you ever feel bad that you can’t afford to spend half your salary on shoes, know that Carrie Bradshaw couldn’t afford it either and the real victory is living within your means,” it states. “These characters highlight the importance of spending within our means, budgeting and thinking whether we can afford something before we buy it.”
Then again, they’re just TV characters.