Here's how Carrie would REALLY shop if she were on a journo salary in NY

Champers life on a prosecco budget?

carrie sex and the city

Champers life on a prosecco budget?

Don’t get me wrong, I love Sex And The City. I really do. Designer shoes, fab careers and amazing friends, Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha had it all.

But there was always one little, tiny part of me that couldn't help but wonder... Just how the hell could Carrie afford her lifestyle?

If you're only writing one newspaper column a week, you're not going to be earning the big bucks, so I don’t think Carrie could afford all those Manolos and New York rend IRL.

Let’s look at the flat for starters. Carrie lives on the Upper East Side, on East 73rd Street, between Park and Madison (though die hard fans will know it was actually filmed in Greenwich village). She’s got a one bed flat, which currently costs about $3,000/mth in rent.

Now the show started airing in 1998, so we’ll knock off a few hundred dollars, just to be nice. But still.

Even if Carrie did avoid doing a weekly Ocado shop so she could afford her magazine subscription, because it ‘fed her more’ (which we don’t recommend FYI, Nando’s all the way here), she would still need another approximate $135,507 to afford designer gear and rent in New York.

So I thought I’d break down a more realistic version…

She would never pay full price for designer shoes. Instead, she would sign up to every sample sale going.

  1. She’d be a pro at spotting high street designer knock offs. Hello Prada Primark mules.
  2. She’d drink her Cosmos for free at every work event going. Or prosecco, whatever the free booze du jour was.
  3. She’d start off the month on tall caramel macchiatos at Starbucks, and end it on espressos because that’s all she’d be able to afford.
  4. Forget Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. Her go-to treat would be a classic glazed Krispy Kreme.
  5. She’d be the first person queuing up at SAKS on Black Friday.
  6. She’d be on first term basis with the staff at Bloomingdale’s, and they’d give her first dibs on the good stuff in the sale.
  7. She’d get all her jeans from Gap.
  8. She'd shop at Zara like everyone else but would be super good at finding THE top no one else had.
  9. She’d probably shop at J. Crew if she fancied a splurge.
  10. She’d be all over those designer collaborations at Target. In fact, she’d probably be the first person to buy a VB top.
  11. She wouldn't walk into Dior like she owned the place.
  12. She’d be that person who splits a shop between three credit cards because one of them is bound to be rejected.
  13. She’d spend weekends scouring vintage shops for that bargain designer buy.
  14. She’d get the bus or subway instead of getting taxis everywhere. Which, incidentally, is impossible. Try hailing from the Upper East Side during rush hour.
  15. She’d have to use her oven for actual food instead of storing sweaters, because she couldn’t afford to eat out every day.
  16. She’d probably get one of the girls to pay for her brunch.
  17. And let’s face it, she’d probably raid Charlotte’s closet for the good stuff.
Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.