Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Part 2: Loans Suck!

Welcome to Part 2 of my research on living in NYC! If you have been following thus far you know that this post and the previous post contain my research on what it will be like to live in New York City, and if you haven't been following and have no idea what I am talking about, go back to the beginning and re-read this sentence. Without further ado:

Transportation: There seem to be many ways of getting around in New York City: Driving, Subway’s, Taxi’s, ferries, bikes, buses. As I will not be taking my car with me, that eliminates the first option of driving everywhere. Plus, if you take a car, your going to end up paying more just trying to park it somewhere than you would on any other option.  The most accessible option seems to by the Metrocard. If you pay $104 you get an unlimited number of rides on both subways and buses for 30 days. Considering a fare for a typical subway or bus ride is $2.25 you would spend $135 dollars riding the subway or bus at a minimum of twice a day so you end up saving $31 dollars. Cab’s are a more expensive option to chose while traveling. Here is the info taken from the New York City Taxi and Limousine commison website:
Standard City Rate (Rate Code 1)
$2.50 upon entry
$0.40 for each additional unit
The unit fare is:
  • one-fifth of a mile, when the taxicab is traveling at 6 miles an hour or more; or 
  • 60 seconds when not in motion or traveling at less than 6 miles per hour. 
  • The taximeter shall combine fractional measures of distance and time in accruing a unit of fare. Any combination of distance or time shall be computed by the taximeter in accordance with the National Institute of Standards and Technology Handbook 44. 
  • The fare shall include pre-assessment of the unit currently being accrued; the amount due may therefore include a full unit charge for a final, fractional unit. 
  • Night surcharge of $.50 after 8:00 PM & before 6:00 AM 
  • Peak hour Weekday Surcharge of $1.00 Monday - Friday after 4:00 PM & before 8:00 PM 
  • New York State Tax Surcharge of $.50 per ride.
Blah blah, basically you’re going to end up paying all that, plus and tolls you might incur while trying to get to your destination. So only use it if you have money to blow, or if it is the safest option. There are also many smaller-scale forms of transportation including, but not limited to, Pedicabs, dollare vans, Jitnesys, Chinese vans, and the Aerial Tramway. Additionally there is a brand new Bikeshare program that NYC is introducing in July co-sponderd by Citibank. At first glance it seems pretty cool, you pay a fixed amount per day/week/year, and you can pick up a bike at any of 600 locations and traverse across NYC. Where they get you is that the first 30 minutes of your ride is free, but they start charging you after that. So a 4 hour bike ride with this program could end up costing $86.95.... at that rate you are better off just buying a bike.


Phone: I am beginning to think it is time to get off my parents phone plan. My plan is to sign up with Sprint when I get there and get an iphone- quadruple-g-berry-galaxy for two reasons: One is that sprint offers the best price when it comes to unlimited data. For only 79.99 a month you get unlimited text email data and 450 talk min. Not to shabby! Two, it is rumored that Sprint will be the only carrier to have the next gen of iphone, and typically carriers offer reduced priced upgrades to the newest phones, so I could get a Iphone4gs and upgrade when the iphone 5 comes out at a reduced cost! If the next phone doesn’t suck that is (Google: odd-even iphone rule) Win-Win.

Health: I am beginning to think it’s a good time to stay on my parent’s health insurance plan. Yeah I’ll still be leeching, but here is some advice I got: “I’d stay on your parent’s health insurance until you turn 27, even if you pay them. It’s too expensive in NYC right now, and too hard to find full time work in the arts right away.” Plus, by the time I am 27 hopefully I will have done enough to become an Equity stage manager, so by then I can pay Equity dues and they will provide health insurance.

Student Loans: Student loans suck. Its not secret. They are easy to ignore during college, but once you graduate they get harder to ignore, especially when the loan companies begin stalking you like a fat kid stalks cake. So how does a poor college graduate attempt to pay off a massive mountain of debt? Here is what my friend James had to say:
             One word: deferral. 
                I am broke as a joke. And living in NYC is not easy, by no means. I took Econ and AP Econ in high school. My teacher was the village president. His advice: take as long as possible to pay off your student loans. Because if they are student loans (and not general loans from a bank) they don't get passed on to your family members when you die. Haha. I know it seems ridiculous but paying off student loans seems even more ridiculous.
So there you have it. If you can prove to be in “economic hardship” you can have your loans deferred for up to three years. To that my dad says, “The banks are not going to go out of their way to help you; you have to put forth the effort”. So if you are like me and are seriously considering deferral, YOU got to make it happen.

Banking: There are a ton of options when it comes to banking, and it seems that all of the have their pros and cons. Online banking like ING Direct and HBSC comes recommended if you are wanting to put your money somewhere where you can always access it and are interested in the interest rate game, but otherwise it can be a hassle for someone who is looking for a place to dump their money and use it occasionally and impulsively. Because of long transfer/wait-times and lack of physical location, sometimes getting money from it can be a hassle (this can be a positive and a negative). From what I have found this seems to be the best option for me because I will be able to access my money anywhere and it is tied to my primary account back home. Credit unions are a good choice because of higher interest and less “evilness” than big banks, but they have stricter limitations on who can join and it will be hard to join one upon arrival. So maybe in a year or two, once I have found some firm ground to stand on, I can transfer everything to a Credit union in New York... Until then, I’m going to go with ING Direct because of the great reviews they have received, and also because they are orange.

So there you have it! The summary of my research on NYC. I hope it was as good for you as it was for me :D
"So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life's A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you'll move mountains."
-Dr. Suess, Oh, the Places You'll Go!

1 comment:

  1. Taking the metro/subway is totally worth it. Good choice.