Cost-of-Living: NYC vs. Siberia

For the past few weeks I have been trying to decide what I want to do this summer. After some thinking I pared it down to two options. The first is to stay in NYC and continue to freelance and look for a full-time job. The second is to sell a bunch of stuff, put stuff in storage, buy tickets to Siberia and go live there for three months. To help me decide, I built a cost matrix that displays side-by-side how much it would cost me for both options.

  New York City Krasnoyarsk, Siberia
Plane Tickets/Airport Transfer N/A $1100
Plane Ticket to CA $300 $1200
Rent ($850/mo) $2550 ($150/mo) $450
Sec. Deposit $850 $75
Living Exenses (Food) $500 (for 2 ppl) $500
Public Transportation (Subway/Cabs) $150 (Buses) $75
Utilities ($100/mo) $300 ($30/mo) $90
Internet Access (Broadband) $150 (250 hours dial-up) $200
Cell Phone ($60/mo) $180 ($20/mo) $60
Entertainment $300 $150
Credit Cards Interest ($200/mo) $600 ($200/mo) $600
NYC’s $-fly-out-of-wallet Fee $450 N/A
Mini-storage N/A ($60/mo) $180
Total $6330 $4680

Some things to keep in mind:

  • I have a strong job lead in California that I may need to interview for sometime in July. Add an extra $1200 in plane tickets cost for that.
  • Being in Siberia for three months does not make me available for job interviews.
  • Freelance work in NYC is harder to acquire if I am overseas since I wouldn’t be able to meet for interviews with new potential clients.
  • Living in Siberia would give me the time and peace and quiet to focus on my personal web projects, away from the distractions of NYC. Some of these projects have potentially strong income possibilites in the future.

The NYC “$-fly-out-of-wallet fee” refers to a saying that most New Yorkers tell their visiting friends and relatives, “When you get here be ready to watch $20 bills fly out of your wallet” and “In NYC, everything costs $20.”

At this point I am leaning towards staying in NYC for the summer since it seems like the more repsonsible thing to do even though it costs me more financially.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at May 28, 2003 02:42 AM

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