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In their reliably cringe-inducing Money Issue (uh, how is this week different from all other weeks, again?), New York Mag explores what life is like on both ends of the economic spectrum here — you know, the rich end and the insanely pornographically rich end. But they do make an effort to include an example of what life is like for the huddled masses who struggle to get by in this cutthroat town — take, for example, the "Spending Diary" of Brian, a 26 year old MFA candidate who scrapes by on $20,000 a year. Really, that's all, $20K. Oh, but wait, actually . . .

His parents pay his tuition as well as a $140-a-month gym membership at Equinox. The rent for his half of a West Village two-bedroom is $1,800 a month, most of it covered by his parents.

Poor Brian. Perhaps we should all pitch in to buy him some new pencils or something.

The Spending Diaries of Six New Yorkers [NYMag]