Hidden Fees

Welcome to Hidden Fees, a segment by Blush Magazine where we will begin to uncover the added costs of living, working and educating yourself in New York City one day at a time. Each spending log will follow one NYC college student as they live their busiest day of the week through the eyes of their credit cards.

Today we will follow a freshman photo major at the Fashion Institute of Technology whose slight addiction to coffee makes up majority of her daily expenses!


AGE: 18

SCHOOL: Fashion Institute of Technology (SUNY)

TUITION + FEES: $19,000 (annual out-of-state)

MAJOR: Photography

BOROUGH: Brooklyn

RENT: $2,700/mo split between 3 people ($900 a room)

UTILITIES: $50/mo per person


Nanny- 20 hours a week at $18/hr

Freelance Photography- 1 booking a week, $200/hr

Rents her room on Airbnb- (she sleeps with her BF in his room), $900/mo pays for rent

Small business making art subscription boxes-  $20 a box makes her $250/mo


* before monthly expenses


Wednesday, October 19th

8:00 AM – This Wednesday I woke up at 8 AM after setting 4 different alarms. Which was COMPLETELY necessary after only getting to bed at 2 AM following a late night of writing assignments. After getting dressed in the dark, I packed myself a gluten-free donut ($1.50) (no it’s not a choice, I really am gluten allergen) and packed a box of Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese ($3.99) for later.

8:30 AM – After rushing out of the house to make my 9 AM class I arrived at the train station just in time. I swiped myself in ($2.75/$32.00 weekly) and made it to school just on time.

9:00 AM – I was dying from drowsiness by the time I got to class but lucky for me my friend Cat “owed” me for coffee so she had picked up a cup for me at Starbucks ($2.99), thanks Cat!

4:00 PM – Classes let out for me around 4 PM and I needed something to survive the rest of my ridiculously long day. I stopped at Cafe Matto, the “$2 cafe” with a friend for a late lunch. I ordered coffee to survive and a cup of granola for each of us. The total was ($6.00), I love this place!

4:45 PM – Lunch has ended and it was now time for me to start the second part of my day:  a nannying shift from 5-11 PM. I rode the subway to my nanny families house ($2.75).

5:00 PM – When I arrived at the families house the parents asked me to purchase a few items for them at their local grocer. I bought: Potatoes, Medicine and Nail Polish Remover.

11:00 PM – Every Wednesday after my shift, the family sends me home in an Uber ($35.00). It’s one of the best perks of the job.

12:00 AM – By midnight, I am at home snuggled up with a cup of tea ($0.50) silently crying at how busy my day was. Just kidding—but I am officially over it. Sleep time!



This is a spending log of a relatively frugal college student. If our diarest was to spend that same amount of money every day for a WEEK she would end up spending ($122.43/weekly) if she were to spend this much for the majority of the MONTH she would spend around ($450/ mo).

College life isn’t easy. It may be most broke time of your life as you try to navigate the adult world on a student salary. HIDDEN FEES is not intended to shame or ridicule anyone for their spending habits but to give light to the hardships of attending college in the city and showcasing tricks and tactics other students are using to succeed. HIDDEN FEES spending logs are meant to reflect individual college students experiences and do not necessarily reflect Blush Magazine’s point of view. Blush Magazine in no way encourages illegal or harmful behavior.

For more HIDDEN FEES, click here.

Have a spending log you’d like to share? Right now, in addition to our ongoing logs, we’re looking for potential students along the following theme:

Students that live on campus

Students that live at home

Students currently participating in an internship both paid or unpaid

Students with a full-time job

Students with pets

Students with high incomes

Students with trust funds

International Students

If you or someone you know fit any of these descriptions send an inquiry email to kaylanicholsonbuckh@fitnyc.edu.

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