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Carrie Bradshaw Has $1 Million Worth Of Debt And Now I Feel Better About My Spending Habits

"I like my money where I can see it, hanging in my closet."

If you're a fashion lover like me, Sex And The City wasn't just about learning how the New York woman juggles work and life, but also about what she WEARS. If there was one person (ok, two if you count Fran Fine) we could count on to serve us designer looks every episode, it was Carrie Bradshaw.

I wasn't allowed to watch SATC as a child, so imagine my fascination when I became an adult and binge-watched this beloved show. I couldn't think of a single girl in fashion who didn't want Carrie Bradshaw's life.
HBO

I wasn't allowed to watch SATC as a child, so imagine my fascination when I became an adult and binge-watched this beloved show. I couldn't think of a single girl in fashion who didn't want Carrie Bradshaw's life.

However, after living in New York for over two years, I've seen just how expensive things really are, and Carrie's spending habits raise some red flags for me. To see just how unrealistic Carrie's budget was, I decided to do a deep dive to break down the numbers.

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With one column a week at a top pay rate, Carrie was probably bringing home around $4,000 pre-tax a month.

Carrie Bradshaw is based off journalist (and SATC creator) Candace Bushnell, who, according to an article from The Washington Post, was paid $1,000 per column in the mid '90s. So if we take those same numbers and apply it to Carrie, we'll say that she made $4,000 a month off her weekly column.
HBO

Carrie Bradshaw is based off journalist (and SATC creator) Candace Bushnell, who, according to an article from The Washington Post, was paid $1,000 per column in the mid '90s. So if we take those same numbers and apply it to Carrie, we'll say that she made $4,000 a month off her weekly column.

After receiving her check, Carrie has some things to pay. Feeling gracious, I deduced only 30% of her check for taxes, which left us with $2,800.

Okay, let's get down to business.
HBO

Okay, let's get down to business.

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One of the hardest come-ups for New Yorkers definitely is real estate, and somehow Carrie's apartment had a walk-through closet, a large bedroom, and a spacious kitchen/living room. That alone would cost her over $2,000 a month.

@everyoutfitonsatc / Via Instagram: @everyoutfitonsatc

MSN reports that the average rent for a studio apartment on the Upper East Side in 2018 would be around $2,116 a month. EVEN if we just assume a flat rate of $2,000 a month for her apartment, Carrie would only have about $800 after rent. Take $100 for gas, water, and electricity, and $60 for Internet access. Now, Carrie's got $640.

The nitty gritty comes when we assess Carrie's shoe problem: Those Manolo Blahniks, yes, THOSE $40,000 worth of Manolo Blahniks in her closet.

To break down this $40,000 bill, I'll space it out over a 10-year period. Broken down, Carrie would have spent around $4,000 a year on shoes, which then evens out to $333 a month. So with $640 minus the $333 on her shoes, Carrie's now working with $307.
HBO

To break down this $40,000 bill, I'll space it out over a 10-year period. Broken down, Carrie would have spent around $4,000 a year on shoes, which then evens out to $333 a month. So with $640 minus the $333 on her shoes, Carrie's now working with $307.

Next, we have to address the fact Carrie doesn't cook at all. So we need to count up the costs of three meals and a TON of alcohol.

If she ordered breakfast, lunch, and dinner fives day a week, we can easily assume she was spending between $40-50 daily. For brunch dates with the girls, I think $75 would be very feasible, and then top that with a weekly bill of $100 for alcohol (hey, the girl loved her Cosmos and martinis). Grand total? $425 a week and $1,700 a month. So deduct food and drink from Carrie's budget, and she's already in the red with -$1,293. Just so we're clear, this means that Carrie is ALREADY in debt.
HBO

If she ordered breakfast, lunch, and dinner fives day a week, we can easily assume she was spending between $40-50 daily. For brunch dates with the girls, I think $75 would be very feasible, and then top that with a weekly bill of $100 for alcohol (hey, the girl loved her Cosmos and martinis). Grand total? $425 a week and $1,700 a month. So deduct food and drink from Carrie's budget, and she's already in the red with -$1,293. Just so we're clear, this means that Carrie is ALREADY in debt.

Moving forward, Carrie's smoking habits were no joke — at $7 a pack (which was the NY cost back in '02), Carrie would be spending around $196 a month on cigarettes alone.

Yes, I do believe that Carrie smoked a pack a day because she ALWAYS had a cig in her hand. After cigarettes, she's at -$1,489.
HBO

Yes, I do believe that Carrie smoked a pack a day because she ALWAYS had a cig in her hand. After cigarettes, she's at -$1,489.

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We can't forget the insane amount of transportation costs she likely billed at the end of each month given the fact she was ALWAYS taking cabs.

Even if she spent only $30 a day (which is completely arguable if you're taking cabs around the city), that would still come up to $900 a month. So adding that to her other insane costs, and Carrie's plummeting into her money hole at -$2,389.
HBO

Even if she spent only $30 a day (which is completely arguable if you're taking cabs around the city), that would still come up to $900 a month. So adding that to her other insane costs, and Carrie's plummeting into her money hole at -$2,389.

Oh, but if y'all are ready for the REAL tea, let's get into Carrie's outfits.

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Given what we already know about Carrie's finances, I'm going to show you just how much her clothes cost. Example A:

Since Carrie is wearing all designer (because, of course): Her shirt is a pink-and-white striped Ralph Lauren top, which retails for $145. The two-piece cream suit, also from the brand, retails for $119, and her tie is around $215. Take into account her Manolo Blahnik shoes which come in around $775, and her Verdura Target Brooch that retails at $23,500, and you've got a grand total of an outfit not conducive to anythinggggg Carrie has.
HBO

Since Carrie is wearing all designer (because, of course):

Her shirt is a pink-and-white striped Ralph Lauren top, which retails for $145. The two-piece cream suit, also from the brand, retails for $119, and her tie is around $215. Take into account her Manolo Blahnik shoes which come in around $775, and her Verdura Target Brooch that retails at $23,500, and you've got a grand total of an outfit not conducive to anythinggggg Carrie has.

Then Carrie wore this John Galliano for Christian Dior newsprint dress, which definitely caused a stir, but not for the reason you'd think.

@everyoutfitonsatc / Via instagram.com

The dress, which was so iconic that Carrie wore it TWICE, came from Galliano's 2000 Spring Collection at a cost of $1,500. Her Louboutins were $3,325, and her Bea Valdes bag cost $4,340. Oh, but it's the necklace that's the kicker: This Chahan Minassian necklace costs $20,000.

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And this dress that I absolutely loved when Carrie went on a McDonalds date with The Russian, was one where she went the ~inexpensive~ route, which in Carrie's world, is still painful in mine.

Pink dress? A $525 Tibi number. Her sandals? A $1440 pair of Via Spigas. She also wore a black bolero in the episode (not shown) that was Oscar de la Renta and only cost $890. So a grand total under $1,600? Not too bad for Carrie.
HBO

Pink dress? A $525 Tibi number. Her sandals? A $1440 pair of Via Spigas. She also wore a black bolero in the episode (not shown) that was Oscar de la Renta and only cost $890. So a grand total under $1,600? Not too bad for Carrie.

But honeeey, Carrie is living well above her means — in season four ALONE, the grand total of Carrie's outfits — not including unaccountable vintage pieces — came out to just under $175,000.

HBO

Among many things, she wore a $50,000 Givenchy couture gown, pearls worth $18,000, a $25,000 engagement ring, and a $2,500 Judith Leiber clutch. See more of the financial rundown that Elle magazine wrote up.

Even though this is certainly not the best way, I'll take her $175,000 and allot that over the course of a year (realistically, her wardrobe would be WAY more since she has more than just one season's worth of clothes) and aside from a few things, we never saw her re-wear outfits. On average, that would amount to $14,583 a month in shopping.

So yes, Carrie's amassing a MINIMUM of $17,000 worth of debt a month and a grand total of over $200,000 in debt a year. Yikes.

With six seasons of SATC, at her rate of debt, Carrie would have ended that blessed season six finale with a total debt of $1,221,984. Oh, and I'm not even counting trips and vacations, so, yep.
HBO

With six seasons of SATC, at her rate of debt, Carrie would have ended that blessed season six finale with a total debt of $1,221,984. Oh, and I'm not even counting trips and vacations, so, yep.

Don't think that I don't like Carrie Bradshaw or that I am in any way shunning her for her style. Trust me, I wish I had a CB-esque wardrobe.

@everyoutfitonsatc / Via instagram.com
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And that Vivienne Westwood dress she wore for her wedding day (the first one)? Honey, my imaginary wig was snatched and out the window.

@everyoutfitonsatc / Via Instagram: @everyoutfitonsatc

All I'm saying is that there seems to be a bit of an issue between Carrie's luxurious living and her meager earnings, but whatever. We can still enjoy all the fashion and hope for our own personal Mr. Big.

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What do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below, and heck, tag me on IG so we can keep this discussion going!

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