Thursday, June 19, 2014

An Actress's Guide to Living in NYC on a Tight Budget

By Veronic Dagher

Stefanie O'Connell is pursuing her dreams on a limited income in New York City.

The 27-year-old actress and personal-finance writer not only makes rent each month but saves for retirement and enjoys life in the city because of her careful budgeting.

Between auditions, Ms. O'Connell, a specialist in musical theater, spends her time writing freelance personal-finance articles and for her blog, The Broke and Beautiful Life.

After graduating from New York University in 2008, she landed a year-long gig touring Asia with the show "Cinderella." She socked away some $12,000 from that tour, which ended about five months early due to the financial crisis.

She decided early on to live below her means. "You could be two inches too short for one role and two inches too tall for the next," she says. In some years, she has made as much as $31,000 from acting, in other years $5,000. To fill in the gaps, she has worked a variety of odd jobs: personal assistant, baby sitter, social-media manager. This year, her writing has brought in about $1,200 a month.

Ms. O'Connell shares a two-bedroom apartment with two roommates and pays about $800 a month in rent.

Read the rest here.

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