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What Does it Really Cost to Live Like Your Favorite TV Characters?

TV characters can live some pretty fabulous lives—with some not so deep pockets. We're drawing the line between fact and fiction by calculating what their enviable lifestyles really cost.

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Carrie Bradshaw's life is famously fabulous—but one that fabulous is difficult to maintain. A spacious alcove studio with two bathroom doors coupled with a Manolo-a-month shopping habit doesn't make for a frugal lifestyle. Add in her distaste for the subway and a penchant for $15 drinks at New York City's culinary hotspots, and you've got a lifestyle that could never be supported by one newspaper column or freelance magazine work. We all know Carrie has zero in the savings department, but how she's not in serious debt is an eternal mystery.

Cost of Living
Rent: $2,800 per month
Manolo’s: $700 (at least!) per month
Barney's addiction: $2000
Cab Fare: $500 per month
Social Life: $1000 per month
Total per year: $84,000

No one made it through ten seasons of Friends without lusting over Monica Gellar and Rachel Green’s bright and airy—not to mention enormous—West Village NYC apartment. And thanks to the always convenient excuse of rent control, their possession of that gorgeous apartment is (somewhat) justified. But on a waitress’s budget, Rachel's spending habits were none too realistic. Lucky for her, she goes through a steady income increase throughout the show. The real kicker: none of the Friends actually seem to work.

Cost of Living
Rent: $5,000 per month (*sans rent control)
Countless Coffees: $300 per month
Rachel's Shopping Budget: $1,000 per month
Monica's Grocery and Cleaning Supplies Shopping: $600 per month
Total per year: $94,800 

HBO's Girls has gotten kudos for realistically portraying post-grad life for a reason. Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath lives in Brooklyn, not pricey Manhattan, is rarely seen at NYC hot spots and her clothes never fit her just right. While paying her Brooklyn rent is questionable in seasons one and two due to her flux in work—and lack of financial support coming from Mom and Dad—her new job in season three may allow Hannah to, in her words, make it rain. 

Cost of Living
Rent: $2,400 per month
Dive Bar Drinks: $150 per month
Ill-Fitting Wardrobe: $200 per month
Total per year: $33,000

With a name like 2 Broke Girls, you'd expect the two main characters, Max Black and Caroline Channing, to be low on funds. And while their professional lives reflect this name—they work a low-wage job as a waitress, their spacious and well-decorated apartment in Brooklyn's trendy Williamsburg neighborhood does not. Neither does their goal of $25,000 needed to start their cupcake business. Commercial real estate in New York doesn’t come that cheap. Neither does pastry school, which Max is enrolled in on the show. For 2 Broke Girls, they sure dream big.

Cost of Living
Rent: $2,800 per month
Horse maintenance: $300 per month
Total per month: $10,500
Pastry school tuition: $20,000 per year
Total per year: $85,200

 


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