The women of Sex and the City seemingly have it all: the apartments, the shoes, the ladies-only poker nights—everything but true, lasting love.
It may take the four women six seasons sorting through all kinds of eligible (and less-than eligible) men, and even more wardrobe changes, but from Samantha to Miranda, they eventually each find love.
Sex and love is the focus of the show, of course, it’s right there in the title. But the other, just as important part of the their lives is also right there in the title – city.
Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha each have their own relationship with the show’s other main character, New York City herself. She’s a big, beautiful, well-heeled and endlessly interesting partner, but it sure takes a lot of money to keep you and her together.
So what is a millennial to do?
Believe it or not, there are a few money lessons hidden behind Carrie’s Manolo collection and rent controlled West Village apartment.
The first, and most important Sex and the City money lesson is to keep hustling.
Take a break from your Netflix and chill dates and get out to events!
When you live in the city that never sleeps, there is always an opportunity to meet new people and network your way into a better gig.
I might run an online business, but my best opportunities come from relationships I build face to face.
In what is one of Carrie’s darkest financial reckonings, she is confronted with her lack of income and closet full of designer shoes. Instead of becoming the little old lady who lives in a Manolo pump, she begins freelancing with Vogue in order to grow her bank account and her career.
Of course, you might need more than one freelance gig to make ends meet, even if it is Vogue.
In another episode, Carrie considers donating her eggs (which in today’s market can make you a solid $8,000). Fortunately, there are lots of less intrusive money making options now available, from driving for a ride-share company to bartending on weekends.
Madly in love with the man of her dreams, Trey, Charlotte is shocked to be presented with a prenuptial agreement that offers her 500,000 dollars in the case of divorce.
Advised by her lawyer to negotiate, Charlotte replies, “negotiate? I can’t even buy things on sale.”
After a little encouragement from her friends, she plays hardball and doubles her settlement amount to a cool million. Get it!
Twice, Carrie lets her romantic partner pay for an apartment she can’t afford on her own.
First, with Aiden, she lets him buy her apartment when her building becomes a co-op. When they breakup shortly after, Carrie has no choice but to buy him out or leave her beloved home.
Then, in the first Sex and the City movie, when Big and Carrie stumble on a beautiful apartment that is way out of their budget, she says, “can we afford this?” to which he replies, “I got it.”
Huh? The subsequent breakup has Carrie homeless…again.
Lesson learned? Don’t be like Carrie!
Always be prepared to be your OWN money plan.
Learn how by joining the FREE Cash Confidence challenge!
We all remember the infamous moment when Carrie calculates the cost of all the shoes she has in her closet, and realizes she’s spent $40,000 on shoes…which is exactly how much she would need for a down payment on an apartment.
Living in the city makes it tempting to say yes to every opportunity – meals, excursions, events, concerts, shows…and yes, shoes.
But remember, those little expenses add up and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up with a closet full of shoes in an apartment you can’t afford to buy.
When asked about the inspiration behind the show, Sex and the City creator Michael Patrick King said, “It wasn’t about…choosing a man or choosing a bag or choosing a life. It was about, choose yourself.”
Throughout the seasons, the four women learn that respecting themselves means taking career risks, being willing to speak up, and taking financial responsibility for themselves.
One of the more entertaining parts of the show is the fact that Carrie can afford that adorable apartment, oodles and oodles of shoes and lots of eating out, on the budget of a freelance writer.
This writer does the math, and even by generous standards, Carrie is spending thousands more than she’s earning. I think Carrie would be a perfect participant in the Cash Confidence Challenge because sooner or later, all that spending is gonna’ catch up to her.
Last but not least…
Whether he’s offering a weekend in France or a free dinner uptown, don’t let a man come between you and your money.
The Sex and the City ladies were nothing if not independent.
Living your best life in the city is hard, but the beauty and opportunity it offers is worth it.
When your hope falters, or your side gig falls through, remember what Carrie told us: “Eventually all the pieces fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.”