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How Much Spending Money?

How Much Spending Money?

Old Jan 9th 2010, 9:20 am
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Default How Much Spending Money?

Hi,

I'm planning a trip from New Zealand to New York for a friend's wedding and have no idea what the cost of living in the States is like?

I plan to be in NYC for 3-4 days during which time I'll be eating out, doing a few touristy things and sight seeing and probably some shopping. Shopping aside roughly how much spending money a day would I need? Any ideas please?
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 11:25 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Hi,

I'm planning a trip from New Zealand to New York for a friend's wedding and have no idea what the cost of living in the States is like?

I plan to be in NYC for 3-4 days during which time I'll be eating out, doing a few touristy things and sight seeing and probably some shopping. Shopping aside roughly how much spending money a day would I need? Any ideas please?
I'd say with accommodation taken care of I'd budget somewhere between $30 - $1000 a day, depending on where you'll be eating, what touristy/sight-seeing things you want to do and what you want to buy... Of course you could spend less if you tried or more if you weren't careful but I wanted to provide at least a starting point.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 11:53 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
I'd say with accommodation taken care of I'd budget somewhere between $30 - $1000 a day, depending on where you'll be eating, what touristy/sight-seeing things you want to do and what you want to buy... Of course you could spend less if you tried or more if you weren't careful but I wanted to provide at least a starting point.
I'm obviously a bit less fiscally restrained than you, so I'd say your range isn't really very realistic for New York.

When I'm feeling cheap, I can get by on $25 per day, and I've been known to splurge on some really good food and wine.

$25 - $2500 per day sounds about right for me.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by dbj1000 View Post
I'm obviously a bit less fiscally restrained than you, so I'd say your range isn't really very realistic for New York.

When I'm feeling cheap, I can get by on $25 per day, and I've been known to splurge on some really good food and wine.

$25 - $2500 per day sounds about right for me.
I was going to put $10 - $10,000 but worried OP would think I was taking the piss...

In all seriousness, my range came from my best guesstimate of the minimum and maximums I have actually spent in NYC per day on my various visits there.

OP - For reference I live about 3 hours drive from NYC and have visited 2-3 times per year for long weekends (3-4 days) for the last 5 years. Coupled with older trips I have probably spent about 30-40 days in NYC, all as a visitor. You ask an impossible question because there is no average that can be drawn. Half of it depends on you (who you are, how much money you have, your attitude towards spending money and what you like in general) and the other half on where you go (in NYC you can spend very little and you can spend a lot).

You can basically choose your budget and then plan accordingly. Would suggest buying a Lonely Planet guide to NYC and burying your head in that - it will give you good overview. IMO it's the best way to start planning.

Edit: An interesting, and possibly more useful, question to ask would be: "I'll be visiting NYC and I would like to spend roughly between $X and $Y per day on food and sightseeing. For those of you who know NYC, what would you do on that budget?"

Last edited by tonrob; Jan 9th 2010 at 12:09 pm.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

If you are placing your purchases on a credit card then ready spending cash should be $1,000. You can place most dinners and lunches on credit cards. But unless you are planning on treating yourselves to dinner at the Four Seasons or Brassierie <sp?>, most meals can be had for $100 and upwards for a couple.

For instance, if you wanted a white glove Chinese luncheon, you can go to Mr. K's on 51st and Lexington (I'm right next door btw) and enjoy their $25 full course lunch. If you want a nice dinner and want to keep it moderate enjoy one of the pre fixe dinners on restaurant row before show time. I've enjoyed both with hubby and friends. Look up restaurant row online for restaurants, pre fixe menus, etc.

You'll pay a fee to visit some of the sites, i.e. Statute of Liberty (pay for the ferry), but then there is so much to do that's free. A stroll through SoHo or Greenwich Village. Central Park and Rockefeller Center and across the street St. Patrick's.

And you can call me and have lunch with me.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 3:08 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Agree with Rete $1000 cash should be good for 3-4 days with a credit card for shopping or emergencies. For 2 people breakfast could be $30, Lunch $40, Dinner $100 - it all depends whether you want to eat well or eat McDonalds . And if you want to eat anywhere really fancy with wine etc take a lot more !!

Theatre tickets can be pricey but I believe you can find deals, then I guess it's down to transport - a trip from the airport to your hotel in a taxi could be $$$ - I would check out your hotels website to see if they run a shuttle etc. For the city itself - when we were there we walked (a lot!!!) but you could get taxis or there is the underground. But for short trip I find it takes me so long to figure out a transport system I stick to walking/taxis.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 5:10 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Hi,

I'm planning a trip from New Zealand to New York for a friend's wedding and have no idea what the cost of living in the States is like?
Yay! You're coming over!

But, the cost of living in the States has nothing to do with how much it is in New York.
Wave when you fly over!
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

On the theatre ticket end, being a regular theatre goer in Manhattan myself, I would tell Am Loofah to go off-broadway. The shows are cheaper but the productions are wonderful. We've seen just great musicals, comedies and serious theater at $25 and $35 a ticket. In fact she can probably buy on-line for pickup at the box office. A use www.theatermania.com for picking out shows and buying tickets.

And seriously, I'm up for lunch while you are here or just a drink. I'm mid-town so meeting you anywhere is not a problem.

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
Agree with Rete $1000 cash should be good for 3-4 days with a credit card for shopping or emergencies. For 2 people breakfast could be $30, Lunch $40, Dinner $100 - it all depends whether you want to eat well or eat McDonalds . And if you want to eat anywhere really fancy with wine etc take a lot more !!

Theatre tickets can be pricey but I believe you can find deals, then I guess it's down to transport - a trip from the airport to your hotel in a taxi could be $$$ - I would check out your hotels website to see if they run a shuttle etc. For the city itself - when we were there we walked (a lot!!!) but you could get taxis or there is the underground. But for short trip I find it takes me so long to figure out a transport system I stick to walking/taxis.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Yay! You're coming over!

But, the cost of living in the States has nothing to do with how much it is in New York.
Wave when you fly over!

Unless she is talking about the size of the money gift to put in the envelope. In the Big Apple we don't do presents. We do cash.

Roughly, a full size wedding with cocktail hour, sit down dinner, dancing would mean at minimum $400 in the envelope. A small affair might be $200. Normally one tries to give at minimum the cost of the affair for one person times two if they go with a partner.
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 8:19 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
Theatre tickets can be pricey but I believe you can find deals
Yes, the 1/2 price ticket booth for Broadway shows was a great deal. You have to go with what they have available, but we had fantastic seats to "Next to Normal" which we both enjoyed for about $60/each I believe.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 2:01 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

I hadn't thought about taking in a show - but that's a great idea.

I appreciate it's a very subjective question, but I'll aim for around $1,000 plus credit card based on your comments. If I run out of money I'll come tap on your doors ...

Thank you all.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 2:01 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
On the theatre ticket end, being a regular theatre goer in Manhattan myself, I would tell Am Loofah to go off-broadway. The shows are cheaper but the productions are wonderful. We've seen just great musicals, comedies and serious theater at $25 and $35 a ticket. In fact she can probably buy on-line for pickup at the box office. A use www.theatermania.com for picking out shows and buying tickets.

And seriously, I'm up for lunch while you are here or just a drink. I'm mid-town so meeting you anywhere is not a problem.
Thanks Rete - when I know my exact dates I'll let you know.
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 7:12 pm
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by Am Loolah View Post
Thanks Rete - when I know my exact dates I'll let you know.
Ann,

I think $1000 per day (exuding accommodation) would allow you to have a very nice time... by no means champagne and caviar but also far far above fast food for every meal... Remember all hotels are hurting right now, try to get breaky included.
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Old Jan 12th 2010, 3:01 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Originally Posted by ChocolateBabz View Post
Theatre tickets can be pricey but I believe you can find deals, then I guess it's down to transport - a trip from the airport to your hotel in a taxi could be $$$ - I would check out your hotels website to see if they run a shuttle etc.
To the OP: I agree with the others that $1000 for 3-4 days should be sufficient unless you're looking to splurge. We had some fantastic dinners for about $15-$20/entree but those were 4 star places of course.

Regarding the taxi from the airport. I believe the fixed rate from JFK to Manhattan was $65 when I went a few weeks ago.

Just stay away from Bank of America ATMs, that's where my cards were skimmed. (I'm sure I'm just leary of their system right now ... but with so many other options, why take a chance?) Also, generic tip of the day, make sure your savings account isn't linked to your ATM as a safety measure.
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Old Jan 12th 2010, 11:41 am
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Default Re: How Much Spending Money?

Imagine what your budget was in the UK in £s and then just figure that in $s. The same number (don't do the conversion). That doesn't really apply for big ticket items (i.e. if you are buying a computer or something) but will help if you are getting a soda $1 v £1 or a newspaper or a $3 v £3 hamburger or other little sundry expenses.
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