How Much Does It Really Cost To Live Like Carrie Bradshaw From ‘Sex And The City’? Here’s The Breakdown

In 2023, it’s probably safe to say that more American women have watched “Sex and the City” than haven’t.

By Meghan Dillon2 min read
Screen Shot 2023-02-10 at 9.48.38 AM
Sex And The City

Just yesterday, Sarah Jessica Parker shared an Instagram post fueling rumors that Sex And The City is making a return and that her love interest will be Aidan once again. It doesn't matter if you're Team Big or Team Aidan, the speculation that Carrie Bradshaw will be back on our big screen soon is definitely a reason to celebrate for all SATC fans.

Whether you’re a Carrie, a Samantha, a Miranda, or a Charlotte (most of us Evie girls are Charlottes), multiple generations of women love SATC. One of the craziest parts of the show is Carrie Bradshaw’s fabulous lifestyle on a writer’s salary, but how realistic is it? And how much debt would Carrie be in? Spoiler alert: A LOT!

How Much Carrie Makes vs. How Much Carrie Spends


According to Buzzfeed, Carrie likely made around $4,000 to $5,000 a month for her weekly sex column, meaning she made around $48,000 to $60,000 a year before taxes. Being generous, we’ll take 30% off for taxes, meaning Carrie made between $33,600 to $42,000 a year.

Rent and Utilities

Knowing the economy was better when SATC aired, let’s assume that Carrie’s New York City apartment was $2,000 (again, being generous) a month and that she spent $160 on utilities. This adds up to Carrie spending $25,920 a year on rent and utilities alone, a huge chunk of her paycheck.


Since Carrie is seemingly too fabulous for public transportation (which is fair, mainly because she is fabulous and public transit in Manhattan is infamous for being gross), she takes taxis everywhere. So let’s say she spends $900 a month on taxis, which adds up to $10,800 a year.

Food and Nightlife

Similar to Emily in Emily In Paris, Carrie doesn’t seem to know how to cook. According to Buzzfeed’s reporting, it’s estimated that Carrie spends $1,700 a month on food and drinks, and an extra $196 on cigarettes, adding another $22,752 to her annual budget.


As if Carrie weren’t in enough debt already, this is where things really get out of control. According to Elle, Carrie’s season four wardrobe is estimated to be worth $175,000, so we think that’s a good estimate for how much she spends in a year on clothes. With outfits including a $50,000 Givenchy gown and a pearl necklace worth $18,000, are we really all that surprised that her wardrobe costs that much?

This means Carrie spends a grand total of $234,472 a year while making around $33,600 to $42,000 a year after taxes, leaving her in debt for at least $192,000 to $200,800. Given the fact that she’d still be in debt if you cut her wardrobe out of her budget, it’s safe to say that Carrie is living well above her means.

How Much Do Carrie’s Clothes and Shoes Cost Today?

We all know how much the economy has changed since SATC first aired, making us sure that Carrie would be in even more debt today. For fun, we looked at some modern clothing items that Carrie would likely buy.

Let’s start with one of her favorites: Manolo Blahnik shoes. After scouring their website, we found shoes that were Carrie’s style were worth anything from $665 to $1,425. Other designers Carrie wore, like Badgley Mishka and Dolce & Gabbana, have price tags from $399 to $11,995. Phew, that's a lot of debt, Carrie.

Aspirational, Financially Irresponsible, or Both?

It’s no secret that Carrie is financially irresponsible. In one episode, she famously says, “I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes, and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes!” But this show is also meant to be glamorous and not meant to be taken too seriously (it is a comedy-drama, after all), so we shouldn’t be surprised that the show is utterly unrealistic when it comes to money. As long as we know that Carrie is living on a tv production company budget and not a real-life one, then there’s no harm in having fun and living vicariously through her.

Closing Thoughts

Sex and the City is known for its fashion, drama, and the scandalous yet fabulous lives of Carrie Bradshaw and her friends. It’s escapist entertainment at its core, so should we really be surprised that Carrie lives well beyond her means? For us SATC fans, it's safe to say that we’ll be drooling over her Manolos until the end of time.

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