Snarky Behavior

Polynomial Function for Money Spent in New York by Time Spent Out

September 8, 2007 · Leave a Comment

If you’re ever planning on spending a night out on the town in Manhattan, it’s ALWAYS best to pre-game. Even the diviest of dive bars (aka Karaoke bars on Canal Street) charge $6 for Corona’s and $8 for Whiskey Jameson…and if you go the straight liquor route you’ll always wake up the next morning with nothing more than a painful hangover and a wallet full of ATM receipts.

New York is definitely a cash city, and certainly there is lose aversion associated with every instance in which you’re forking over a Jackson and getting a Hamilton and two Washingtons in return.

In light of my new mathlete status, I’ve posited the following polynomial function to help one estimate the amount of cash they will undoubtedly spend on any given night in Manhattan:

f(x) = x^2 + 5x + 20, where f(x) = Money spent and x = hours out

There are certain features of this equation to take note of: first, that it is a quadratic equation, meaning the longer you are out, the more rapidly you will start to spend. Of course, as you’re getting drunker, your loss aversion to handing over money decreases (especially after you’ve just had your student loans dispursed… hey-yo!!!)

Second, there is a linear component: for every hour you spend in Manhattan, some wallet tickler taxes you $5. He’s quick, with small hands, so you never really see him, but he’s paying Bloomberg’s salary.

Third, the constant number $20 is a fee you pay everytime you leave the apartment. It is impossible NOT to spend $20 just stepping outside for fresh air.

I gotta run to class, see you $20 later.

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