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Living on $10 an Hour, America's Income Gap, New Yorker Spending, and More

What does it like to live on $10 an hour? Is America’s income gap good or bad? How much is a dollar worth in Manhattan? This month, New York Magazine has written a provocative series on money in the Big Apple.

What does it like to live on $10 an hour? Is America’s income gap good or bad? How much is a dollar worth in Manhattan? This month, New York Magazine has written a provocative series on money in New York.

A Hard Earned Life, my favorite article, tells the story of a security guard’s struggle to support himself and his two children on $10 an hour.

The Spending Diaries is a voyeuristic look at the weekly spending of six New Yorkers from different income brackets, ranging from $20,000 a year to over $1 million.

Interesting as this is, the magazine could’ve found better candidates on the low end. The grad student they profile has parents paying his rent, and the “junior professional” already making $54k at 25 is hardly an example of somebody watching pennies.

I don’t know about you, but I think Money Under 30 readers, and other personal finance bloggers out there, could teach all six of these guys a thing or two about spending habits!

The Value of a New York Dollar (76.2 cents) is an interesting look at New York’s high cost of living. Even if you’re not in New York, this analysis helps one understand the factors influencing cost of living.

The series also includes coverage of the city’s income gap (NYC’s wealthiest denizen David Koch is worth $12 billion while over one fifth of the city’s inhabitants have a net worth of zero or less), dealing with friends with money, and a survey of money habits of 100 service workers, teachers, and midtown suits.

The bottom line? New York provides a thoughtful glance into the personal finances of a modern city. A must read for anybody interested in money.

About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 30. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.