I've already put my apartment on the market for sale, I'm going over all my expenses, I'm prepared for the long hours, and while I understand the low pay ... I can't seem to get prepared for it.
I'll put it in perspective, this might help anyone else in my situation.
After school you'll make about $25,000.
Living in NYC making $25,000 year ... how? For A $700/month apartment in NYC you will be living in squalor. With a $25,000 salary you will bring home, after taxes, $1,563 each month, that's $360/week in your pocket. On top of your $700 month rent add another $800, this will be $500 food, $300 utilities/public transportation/laundry. That's $1500/month in expenses ... $63/month left over or $15/week savings.
$15 a week left over to splurge on whatever you want. 1 beer at happy hour ... $4 ... do you smoke? You get the point.
Oh and I forgot ... your culinary school loans. And don't cut yourself too bad in the kitchen ... your health insurance won't help you out here, because you won't be able to afford it.
Even with all this, I'm still looking for a way to make cooking a reality. But passion and emotion WILL NOT pay bills, or stop the eviction, or get you out of debt. If you can't afford the subway pass to get to work something is wrong with this picture.
If my tone is angry, I apologize, It's just very frustrating. I'm writing this in hope that someone can offer some advice on how to make this work.
(Disclaimer: I'm born and raised in NYC. Just in case anyone is questioning my expense figures and assumptions.)