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Sex and the City Salaries: How Money Are You?

Like most women on this planet, I am anxiously awaiting the premiere of Sex and the City. There's a certain amount of glitz and glamour that's gone hand-in-hand with the series from the start: From the fashion (ohhh the shoes!), restaurants, trips, and seemingly endless fabulous bags. We all know it's just a show (or in this case, movie), but that doesn't stop some people from thinking the series is a bad influence on women and consumers. In the spirit of being completely realistic, I've investigated what the characters from the show might make in their respective fields based on national averages. How money are you?

Photo courtesy of New Line

Sex and the City Salaries: How Money Are You?

Sarah Jessica Parker's character Carrie is a newspaper columnist, book author, and freelancer for Vogue. Most of her jobs would be paid on contract, but what do you think is the national average salary for a newspaper reporter?

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onetwoeight onetwoeight 9 years
When people say Carrie didn't make enough to buy what she bought, I totally disagree! I know lots of people my age (aka students) who blow money on Manolos and Dior glasses by subsisting on Ramen noodles and hitching rides instead of buying gas and their yearly income is half what Carrie makes! And especially, Carrie's mishmash of expensive and vintage is definitely how I shop myself... so I say it can be done, especially as she said in one ep, that her rent was less than $1200/mo? Not as impossible as it sounds. :)
mo_ri_ah mo_ri_ah 9 years
Yikes :( I'm chalking up this mishap to Happy Hour booze!
RaCheer RaCheer 9 years
Realistically...I always thought Carrie didn't make enough to live the lifestyle she did.
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
Huh, I make about what Carrie makes and I work part time and freelance the rest of the time. Granted, I live in Toronto and I do not buy Manolos on a weekly basis. Tory Burch - yes, mostly because I walk everywhere and take the TTC. Plus I don't want to ruin my feet, thanks.
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
I work at a law firm and it's one of the top firms for IP litigation, but I pretty much take lunch everyday unless I have an imminent deadline or don't feel like eating. Of course, at my firm, regularly working overtime is pretty much a norm.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
Haha...maybe the real question should be, okay we get that Miranda made some bank, probably even more than the $350k here, but would she actually have had as much time to go to lunch with her friends very often..I work in a law firm and NEVER take lunches! That is the unrealistic part! Tho I am not an avid watcher of the show, so maybe they addressed that!
shanimalcracker shanimalcracker 9 years
Haha, I guess my decision to go to an East Coast law school this fall (which consequently means more probability of me staying back East) might be a good one. ;) Now I'll just have to sell all my time and rake up tons of billable hours while managing a family and social life so I can be considered for partner. Thank goodness I'll have a while before I have to learn to make those sacrifices! I guess the pay-off isn't anything miserly!
sfbutterfly24 sfbutterfly24 9 years
darkangel its called rent control which I thought every city had but I have learned from a friend that I every city does not!
lawchick lawchick 9 years
maybe it's because I'm goofing off on the Sugar Network
lawchick lawchick 9 years
341 k for a lawyer. wow, I make less than a quarter of that as a lawyer. I need to move!
hmcmcd hmcmcd 9 years
I under guessed Carrie too, but this was just for newspaper reported, she also got paid for her freelance stuff and her book. so she probably had royalties coming in every month plus whatever she was was getting for her freelance.I would guess that her total annual salary was probably around 100k. Still not nearly enough for all her jimmy's.
runningesq runningesq 9 years
If only assistant state's attorneys made as much as partners in nyc big law ;)
darkangel2305 darkangel2305 9 years
This quiz is actually very silly and poorly researched. New York salaries DO NOT compare to national averages. They are MUCH higher, but so is cost of living - $300k is actually not very much over there. Samantha had her own PR firm and represented celebrities and socialites; I highly doubt she made less than a million (or a person like her in real life), which is not even that much in NYC standards – especially hers. The same goes for Miranda as a partner of a NYC firm. Carrie's, I believe, is the most unrealistic character because free-lance reporters and columnist don't tend to make much (anything under $100k is not enough for Manhattan living FYI), but I do recall her having the kind of rent that didn’t go up or whatever that's called in NYC, which it saves tons of real people from having to move out of the city. And she did so tons of extra things like appear in modeling things, get royalties from her book, etc – so you never know. Also, in my eyes Charlotte always seems to come from a wealthy family, so maybe she had money to begin with... Another point people never make. The girls DON’T discuss their financial lives on the show. I know plenty of people that shop and live well BEYOND their means using credit cards or not spending any money on other necessities in order to live it up or whatever. & finally the show was fun and great in all ways – who cares if it was realistic or not – if I wanted to see real, I would have watched a documentary instead… lol ok this was wayyyy longer than anticipated… I ramble a lot
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i guess i know a bit more about this stuff than i thought. i always think that i know what people should be making in their industries, but i guess this goes to show that i have a decent sense of what the national average is. things are always so skewed here in NYC since the cost of living is so i had to remember that and guess lower $$
bessa bessa 9 years
Maj, I totally agree. An NYC partner (or a partner anywhere in the US at a major law firm) would make *way* more than $350k.
gigill gigill 9 years
Wow, I'm surprised how much Samantha could make as top PR exec. I'm surprised at how low the lawyer figure was. The reporter one sounds about right.
lily8206 lily8206 9 years
These numbers are very interesting. Carrie spent way too much money but at least they addressed that in the show (sometimes). And just to nit-pick... Samantha owned her PR firm, no?
bengalspice bengalspice 9 years
I guessed the least amount on all of them ... and the least amount for Carrie is still a HELL OF A LOT more than what I make ... I'm so jealous.
Jessamae22 Jessamae22 9 years
I worked in NYC for a consumer mag and definitely didn't get her salary....or have a closet like hers! While the freebies were great, I definitely didn't have the amazing clothes/shoes/apartment she has!
PBarranco PBarranco 9 years
Life (rent!) tends to be more expensive in NYC, but salaries also tend to be higher than national average.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
3/4 -- I thought Carrie made less. She makes more than I do. Ohh wow.
freegracefrom freegracefrom 9 years
I under-guessed for all of the salaries! I need to move the hell out of the South...
maggieleigh maggieleigh 9 years
So if I make more than Carrie, maybe I should start buying more Manolos and Jimmy Choos! :P (I think my hubby would disagree!)
looseseal looseseal 9 years
I undershot for reporter and PR (which I know can pay crap unless you're seriously at the top, which is only true for a very select few) and overshot for lawyer (which admittedly I don't know very well and just assume they make a hell of a lot of money). And apparently a small part of my brain is still storing the useless trivia that Charlotte was a gallery manager. Oy, if only I have a nickel for every TV "factoid" I know.
tiff58 tiff58 9 years
Maj, I was definitely thinking that Miranda made more than that (if it were real). I guess that's just a top lawyer salary nationwide, so NYC would def. be higher.
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