I'm starting at NYU in the fall and I'm trying to negotiate a budget with my parents. I need to figure out how much I might spend on going out, eating out, clothes, and transportation. I don't want to ask for too much, but I also don't want to put too much pressure on myself to live on a shoestring. Without asking about your personal finances, what do you think would be reasonable to ask of my parents? Thanks for your help!
While the topic of budgeting is quite subjective, here’s what we suggest:
- Going out - This varies from person to person, but chances are you’ll only find time to go out Thursday through Saturday. New York can be quite expensive, but if you’re smart about, you can have an enjoyable time without spending too much money. Taking into account what you like to do, explore the various venues that New York has to offer and their prices. Also, Ticket Central offers a number of discounts to attractions all across the city.
- Eating out - Don’t. Food in New York can get quite expensive. If you have a meal plan, definitely use it. Nonetheless, there are a number of places for cheap eats, especially on MacDougal Street. Check out Long’s $5 Challenge for some suggestions.
- Clothes - The cost of clothing depends on where you like to shop. If you like to to thrift shop, there are many options within the city. If you have more expensive taste, you probably know better than anyone what your shopping habits are like. Budget accordingly.
- Transportation - While on a day-to-day basis you shouldn’t need to spend money on transportation, as most of your classes will be in the Washington Square area, should you need to travel elsewhere within the university, the NYU buses are free to use with your NYU ID. If you feel that you will be venturing into other parts of the city, consider the various MetroCard options made available by the New York City MTA.
Thus, any additional money you may need from your parents depends solely on your lifestyle. A great way to allow yourself more spending money without asking too much of your parents is to get an on-campus job. The Wasserman Career Center is a great place to look!