Author Topic: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed  (Read 3001 times)

BadWolf

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Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« on: June 19, 2016, 03:33:33 AM »
Dear Mustachians!

I am very excited to be writing my first ever message on this forum, after reading almost (I skipped most of the car/construction topics) all the posts on MMM's excellent blog.
I've been planning to write here for quite a while but was waiting for the real stress to kick in, and now that it has - here's my story.

In a month and a half, I will be leaving my home country and moving halfway across the world to get my MBA in New York. I've read a few posts here about getting an MBA and whether it's worth it - for me it is. It would give me a chance for a better life in a new country and an opportunity develop a career that doesn't make me suffer every day (until I reach FI, of course). Also I'm very fortunate to have been awarded a full tuition scholarship, which makes the financial investment (while still very significant) much less burdensome than I imagined. However, I'm still worried about the financial aspect of my little adventure.

I started learning about the whole idea of "mustachianism" only a few short months ago, when I was towards the end of my MBA application process, which means that unfortunately, I could've saved MUCH more money than I ended up saving (I was a dumb consumer. one of my biggest regrets is not getting my financial shit together earlier). So now I'll be arriving to New York with a little under 10k in savings, plus a 25k loan (which will probably be less than that after all the international wire transfer fees). Compared to other people I know my loan terms are relatively good (~2.6 interest with a 2-year grace period until I get my degree) and I WILL be attempting to live the most frugal life I can. I'm moving with my husband, who doesn't have any savings and for now doesn't have a job, which means my expenses will be double until he finds one. Hopefully that won't take more than a couple of months.

I guess relatively speaking I'm in a good place, though I expect I will have to take out at least one more 25k loan, which is frightening for someone like myself who has never had ANY debt. I believe that even if I don't get one of those crazy financially rewarding jobs at the end of my MBA, I'll still be able to repay my debts with a moderate-to-high-paying job.

I'd love to hear general advice/opinions from fellow mustachians, whether it's about frugal living in NYC, bank accounts, affordable mobile phone plans, or even just "take 5 deep breaths and calm the f down". Anything, really.

Looking forward to the next mustachian meetup in NYC, which I will finally be able to attend!

lizzzi

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2016, 04:55:49 AM »
Take 5 deep breaths and calm down. You will meet some of the nicest people you ever met in your life, and live in one of the most interesting places in the world...the capital of the world, in fact.

Can you give a tad more information, if you are comfortable with it? What country are you coming in from? (Your English is perfect.) Will your husband have a visa allowing him to work? What part of the city are you looking to live and work in? (Close to your school, I assume.)

Kaminoge

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2016, 05:41:05 AM »
I have no useful advice at all but I just wanted to say good luck. I love moving countries and all the excitement of being somewhere new (and lets be honest, there's some stress as well). You'll have an amazing time.

BadWolf

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2016, 05:51:56 AM »

Can you give a tad more information, if you are comfortable with it? What country are you coming in from? (Your English is perfect.) Will your husband have a visa allowing him to work? What part of the city are you looking to live and work in? (Close to your school, I assume.)

Sure! First of all thanks for the encouragement, I am excited but it's also quite scary.
I'm moving from Tel Aviv, Israel. We'll probably be looking around Brooklyn or Queens (honestly, I probably wouldn't mind commuting from Harlem either) as I'll be studying at NYU. Our budget is around $2000 for rent, so I'm not really expecting to find a decent place to live in lower Manhattan.

My husband will be able to work with his J2 visa but he has to apply for a work permit only once we get there, and that might take up to 3 months. He'll ultimately be looking for work in the film industry as a writer or a festival programmer/producer, though he might have to start out with teaching Hebrew or various administrative positions :)

BadWolf

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2016, 06:00:19 AM »
I have no useful advice at all but I just wanted to say good luck. I love moving countries and all the excitement of being somewhere new (and lets be honest, there's some stress as well). You'll have an amazing time.

Thank you! I come from an immigrant family (first moved to Israel from Russia in '91 and my dad later moved on to Canada as well) so the wanderlust and stress that comes with it are also somewhat genetic, I believe. But it's true, the excitement outlives the stress.

naners

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2016, 07:22:07 AM »
Welcome! There's a decently active MMM NYC group (which I don't attend because life). You will also meet lots of people through Stern, just be careful of high spending habits. That said, one of the main reasons to get an MBA is the networking so don't scrimp on that: you might have to get creative since most socializing in NYC involves eating/drinking at restaurants. But aside from rent and networking expenses, NYC can be as cheap or expensive as you like. Renting is a big hassle, you may have difficulty because you have no US credit history. See if you can  bring a copy of your Israeli credit report if such a thing exists. Be aware that you will also have to hand over huge amounts of money to sign a lease: first and last months rent plus usually a brokers fee of 12-15% of a years rent. That will need to be in the form of something called a cashiers check, which you will need to get from a bank, so open a bank account here and deposit money ASAP. Don't be afraid to live in Queens Brooklyn or Harlem. Just stay away from Williamsburg/Greenpoont right now because there is train construction on the horizon that will make it impossible to commute. Good luck and have fun!!

BadWolf

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2016, 08:03:39 AM »
Welcome! There's a decently active MMM NYC group (which I don't attend because life). You will also meet lots of people through Stern, just be careful of high spending habits. That said, one of the main reasons to get an MBA is the networking so don't scrimp on that: you might have to get creative since most socializing in NYC involves eating/drinking at restaurants. But aside from rent and networking expenses, NYC can be as cheap or expensive as you like. Renting is a big hassle, you may have difficulty because you have no US credit history. See if you can  bring a copy of your Israeli credit report if such a thing exists. Be aware that you will also have to hand over huge amounts of money to sign a lease: first and last months rent plus usually a brokers fee of 12-15% of a years rent. That will need to be in the form of something called a cashiers check, which you will need to get from a bank, so open a bank account here and deposit money ASAP. Don't be afraid to live in Queens Brooklyn or Harlem. Just stay away from Williamsburg/Greenpoont right now because there is train construction on the horizon that will make it impossible to commute. Good luck and have fun!!

Rent-wise I was thinking (or rather - I've read it might work) of offering a few months' rent upfront, or a significantly bigger deposit. I've heard that some people pay a full year's (!!!) rent in advance which will be more difficult for me, but I think I can manage 6 months. I've seen a bunch of affordable listings in Bed-Stuy and I'm wondering if I should pursue those despite the area's sketchy reputation...

re: networking - that is indeed an issue. I'm counting on my moderately small size and low alcohol tolerance to lower those "networking fees" just a bit. Definitely not planning to pass on any significant opportunities and social events, though, otherwise I really am wasting my time at B-school...

Thanks for the tips!

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2016, 08:39:51 AM »
Good luck, and pre-welcome! We can always use more people at the meetups.

I live in Queens, and on average it will be cheaper than Brooklyn. (Not LIC or Astoria.) Try to find a neighborhood that is not trendy, because second-order prices will go up. Groceries, restaurants, etc.

Changing my cell plan now, but I hear good things about Ting, Google fi, Republic Wireless, and Cricket.

Chase bank has the most branches and atm's in the city. Can't go wrong with signing up with them.

Also, calm the fuck down. :)

brooklynmoney

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2016, 10:29:18 AM »
Welcome to NYC! Um I wouldn't worry about the train shutdown another poster wrote about because it doesn't begin until 2019. That said you probably would be better off staying away from Williamsburg and greenpoint due to price. You might want to look along the 7 train.i like Sunnyside and Jackson Heights. Both are relatively affordable and the commute to Stern would be easy.

Mariposa

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2016, 11:44:40 AM »
Everything that naners said above, especially about renting.

People from elsewhere are sometimes shocked about the 12-15% of one year's rent broker fee. In your case, this would be 15%*2000*12=$3600 or so. This money isn't a deposit, and it doesn't go toward rent. It goes to the broker for helping you find a place to live, and, unfortunately, it's usually necessary in this city with a 95+% occupancy rate.

Bed-Stuy is getting totally gentrified these days and completely fine.

Would advise you to have funds / credit reports / etc prepared and immediately put in an application for a place you think you might want. Also, having a US-based guarantor might help if you have those kinds of connections.

Choices

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2016, 07:17:30 PM »
Good luck! You're going to be just fine.
I think that you'll find that a smile and kindness will get you the same in return. It's also good that you'll be in a program with other people who will likely become close friends. Enjoy this time and the experience, and welcome to the US!

BadWolf

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 12:13:38 AM »

Changing my cell plan now, but I hear good things about Ting, Google fi, Republic Wireless, and Cricket.

Chase bank has the most branches and atm's in the city. Can't go wrong with signing up with them.


Thanks for these suggestions. I have come across Ting and Cricket in the other NYC post that popped up here recently and will definitely be looking into those.

I'll remember to check out chase for their intl. student benefits if they have any. This is my first priority once I arrive.

Thanks everyone for the tips and warm welcome!

Dollar Slice

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 12:49:25 AM »
I use Chase Bank as well, and even got a $200 bonus for opening a checking account (check for offers before you sign up!).

I moved here in 2014 and New Yorkers have proven to be some of the friendliest and most outgoing people I've ever been around. And there's a big Jewish community and lots of expat Israelis.

If you'll be at NYU, there are tons of train lines that will take you there from Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn, etc. I think Brooklyn is overpriced right now - i would skip it unless unless you're hoping to spend a lot of time there. I live in the west part of Harlem on the B/C train and it's a nice area.

Bed Stuy is definitely nicer than it used to be, one of my favorite spots in the city is a bar there with great live music. And there are some beautiful old buildings and streets. But there are still some bad areas, so do your research on crime etc. before committing to anything.

Good luck with the move! :-)

sis

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Re: Moving to NYC - (mostly emotional) support needed
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 05:24:05 AM »
I use Chase Bank as well, and even got a $200 bonus for opening a checking account (check for offers before you sign up!).

I moved here in 2014 and New Yorkers have proven to be some of the friendliest and most outgoing people I've ever been around. And there's a big Jewish community and lots of expat Israelis.

If you'll be at NYU, there are tons of train lines that will take you there from Harlem, Queens, Brooklyn, etc. I think Brooklyn is overpriced right now - i would skip it unless unless you're hoping to spend a lot of time there. I live in the west part of Harlem on the B/C train and it's a nice area.

Bed Stuy is definitely nicer than it used to be, one of my favorite spots in the city is a bar there with great live music. And there are some beautiful old buildings and streets. But there are still some bad areas, so do your research on crime etc. before committing to anything.

Good luck with the move! :-)

I agree with this.  I have some friends who live in one part of Bed-Stuy and I'm afraid to visit them alone.  People are openly dealing drugs on the corners, etc.  There are other parts of Bed-Stuy that aren't too bad.  Definitely visit the neighborhood you are planning on moving to during all times of the day to get an idea.  You could also consider Jersey City or Astoria (you can probably still get a decent 1 bed there for under 1700/month).  DH lived with me in Astoria while going to NYU law and it didn't take too long for him to get down there.  I think the best thing I've found to look for rentals in NYC is streeteasy.com