Carrie Bradshaw's Spending Habits In "Sex And The City" Stressed Me Out! Let's Talk About Her Finances In The Reboot

1 year ago 164

And just like that, Carrie is cooking asparagus.

*This article contains spoilers from episodes 16*

HBO’s And Just Like That, the anticipated Sex and the City reboot, invites TV’s iconic cosmo-drinking, designer shoe-wearing Manhattanites back into our lives.

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In the first episode (“Hello It’s Me”), which premiered Dec. 9, we are brought into a Samantha-less universe where COVID happened but miraculously disappeared, where Carrie Bradshaw is now a podcast co-host, and where riding a Peloton is a dangerously catastrophic pastime.

Back in November, I did a full rewatch of the original series and recapped some of Carrie's biggest financial fails (ICYMI, she had, like, $40,000 in shoes and $0 in savings, for starters). So, when And Just Like That... aired a month later, I couldn’t help but wonder: Would our favorite fashionista still be charging Manolo Blahniks to her AmEx?

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The truth is we aren’t given any concrete answers as to where Carrie’s finances stand during the first six episodes of the new installment. We can, however, infer a few similarities and differences between the original series and the new:

1. Carrie is living a comfortably lavish life in the reboot.

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It simply wouldn’t be within the Sex and the City realm for Carrie Bradshaw to be living anything other than a lavish life. It’s part of who she is: the bold hats and the spacious walk-in closet — which makes sense considering her marriage to wealthy entrepreneur Mr. Big.

At least until the end of the first episode. 

While AJLT opens with Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte living settled, stable, and comfortable lives in New York City, it quickly becomes obvious that this series is set to explore Carrie’s return to independence as she navigates life after being widowed from Mr. Big.

Financially, we aren’t quite sure what this entails. We know that Big has chosen to leave $1 million to his ex-wife Natasha (which Carrie determines is a monetary apology), but we aren’t told just how much money was left in his will for Carrie. It’s probably safe to assume he’s left her something, as her podcast gig is unlikely to pay all her bills (see #6). 

Whatever numbers are in her bank account these days, there's no sign of financial struggle: Carrie is comfortably rich. The original series was peppered with glimpses of financial despair behind the fancy lifestyle, but money isn't really talked about in the reboot. It's safe to assume Carrie has had access to a big portion of Mr. Big's fortune.

2. Carrie's fashion is still high-end and fabulous.

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Despite internet detectives incorrectly thinking that one of Carrie's dresses is from Forever 21 (it is, ironically, a secondhand dress), most of the fashion we see the writer wearing stays on brand with her classic Bradshaw style. 

Carrie might still have a closet full of designer pieces, but the biggest difference in the reboot is we hardly see her actively purchasing new items (something notoriously showcased in the original series). Yes, this doesn't mean she has changed her spending habits, but it does seem to be less of a priority in Carrie's life, especially given the circumstances.

If this change is intentional, it makes sense why we briefly see a pile of shoeboxes atop Carrie's kitchen counter at the beginning of Episode 4 ("Some of My Best Friends"). Perhaps Carrie momentarily stumbled back to the old comforts of designer-shoe retail therapy while grieving the loss of Big.

3. Carrie actually sort of cooks now!

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Here is one thing that is confirmed: Carrie Bradshaw no longer keeps sweaters inside her oven. Sure, one could argue that this is because she has upgraded to an even loftier home, but in the first episode of AJLT, Big and Carrie actually discuss preparing homecooked salmon. *gasp* 

In Episode 6 ("Diwali"), after moving into a new home, Carrie is seen in her kitchen, starting to prepare a salmon meal that involves asparagus. Fresh asparagus. This is not a false alarm.

Carrie is still making her rounds of wining and fine-dining with Charlotte and Miranda; but there's a chance that as she's settled into a routine over the years, she has also learned how to prepare a meal or two! She's come a long way from her days of endless takeout.

4. Carrie quit smoking for a while.

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One reoccurring expense removed from Carrie's budget during the years between SATC and AJLT is her frequently purchased Marlboro Lights. Smoking was a habit that was off and on (but mostly on) for Carrie during the original series, even though she tried to quit numerous times. 

During the first episodes of the reboot, there is not a cigarette in sight. After befriending her real estate agent Seema, however, in Episode 4 ("Some of My Best Friends), she decides to have "just one" since Seema smokes too. 

We also see her smoking again at the end of the episode but haven't seen a cigarette in her hand since. Only time will tell if this is a habit that Carrie has nixed for good. 

5. Carrie still avoids the subway — but possibly orders Ubers!

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One shift I've noticed in AJLT is that Miranda now takes the subway to and from school. This lifestyle change hasn't quite made its way to Carrie and Charlotte, which isn't surprising. Miranda, while still well-off and prone to enjoy fancy brunches, seems to care less about extravagance, which we see conveyed even through the way that she decorates her home.

It's still Carrie's signature thing to effortlessly hail down a cab, but years have passed so she may also have expanded her modes of transport to Uber (or Lyft or another fictional ride service company).

After Che's comedy show in Episode 3 ("When in Rome..."), we see Carrie tracking her ride from her phone, saying, "It says Hector is approaching," followed by "Hector, you really brought it; I did not order this big car," upon her driver's arrival.

It's unlikely that there was a drastic price difference between Ubers and taxis, considering surged prices after a show in the city, but it looks like Carrie is, at the least, evolving with the times.

6. Carrie has made a career change.

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One of the biggest examples of Carrie shifting in order to evolve with the modern day is her new career as a podcast co-host. Column writing was where she shone, but with print on its last limb, the writer is tackling a new gig in a booming industry.

While there's a little less magic without those scenes where Carrie voiceovers what she's typing on her laptop, we have to commend her for taking her skills to an industry that's up and coming. 

According to ZipRecruiter, the average podcast host in New York makes $85,000 a year. Meanwhile, the average journalist in New York currently makes an annual salary of $41,000. 

We can still assume most of Carrie's lavish lifestyle is funded by Mr. Big's money, but whether it's age or the pandemic that pushed Carrie to try something new, AJLT wants us to see that Bradshaw is embarking on a fresh new chapter.

7. For some reason, Carrie kept her old apartment.

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After Big's death, Carrie returns to her old brownstone apartment. Besides some redecorating and using it as a place to store clothes and shoes, we're not entirely sure why this place is still around.

Financially, it doesn't quite make sense. Is she still paying it off? Did Mr. Big help her buy it downright? What about building fees and utilities? There is clearly a lot of sentimental value, but why hasn't she been subletting it out to a renter for added income over the years? 

We can't be sure why Carrie and Mr. Big would decide on this money move, but it certainly showcases their obscene amount of wealth. Fortunately for Carrie, keeping the place around means she has somewhere to stay while she hunts for a new home (she no longer wishes to stay in her house shared with Big, rightfully so). 

The latest episode chronicles Carrie's journey of buying what must be a very expensive high-end high-rise located downtown. She can't seem to shake the gut feeling that she's in the wrong place, as the modern, floor-to-ceiling window ambiance is just too characterless for her taste. 

I think it's safe to say we might be seeing a lot more of Carrie's nostalgic Upper East Side brownstone in episodes to come.

8. Ultimately, Carrie (and the show itself) has shifted focus as a whole.

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The bombshell at the end of Episode 1 sets up AJLT to tackle deeper issues than a group of single gals shopping and sleeping around. In this chapter, Carrie is grieving, Miranda is dealing with an identity crisis, and Charlotte is trying to learn how to best support her young daughter Rose, who shares that they don't feel like a girl.  

Whether you love or hate this reboot, And Just Like That... has shifted its focus from petty drama and materialism in an attempt to tackle real-life issues that transcend financial status.  

Do you think Carrie Bradshaw's spending habits have changed from her Sex and the City days? Tell us in the comments below!

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