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Decisions, decisions

May 3rd, 2009 at 04:58 pm

So my boyfriend and I looked at another apartment today.

It is a beautiful apartment also with a wood burning fireplace. This one looks at a lot better than the one we saw the other day. Better location too.

But it comes at a price. Rent is $675/month, no utilities paid. Not even sewage and trash. And we also have to have renter's insurance ($13/month is the cheapest).

I love that apartment but all utilities and rent would be about $900/month. Waaaaay out of our price range, considering we also have to pay for food and gas. Very unfortunate as I loved that place.

It is hard trying to figure out what we can afford, and what we can't. And it is very disappointing to learn we can't afford a certain place.

I'm going to list a budget for when we move out and I would like some input on it.

Monthly income: $500/month
Other income: $500/month from dad
Total: $1,000/month

Rent: $600 (highest we can go)
Gas/Electric: $80
Water: $40
Internet/Phone/Cable: $50
Food: $200/month
Gas: $150/month
Total: $1,120

We'd be losing almost $200/month...

Our monthly income will probably be higher than $500/month. But our income does vary month by month and $500 would be a good average to use. I was hoping I wasn't going to have to rely on my dad but it looks like we might have to.

1. Find a cheaper apartment. We have found a nice studio for $550/month (mentioned in a previous post). Hopefully we can find more apartments in that price range. If need be we could rent a 2 bedroom with a roommate, but that will be a last resort.

2. Internet/Phone/Cable: We need internet for school but don't need a phone or cable. We'd be just find without cable and a landline (we have cell phones on our parents' plan). I haven't done a lot of shopping around for the price of internet service so hopefully this will be lower.

3. Food: I'm including cat food/litter and toiletries and household supplies in this category. I don't want to eat cheap, junk food just because it is cheap. But I'm pretty sure I can find a way to get all of this for less than $200/month. Just have to be creative.

4. Gas: If we stay near school we can walk or ride our bike to school. Unfortunately we both have to drive to work.

5. Gas/Electric: Do the obvious: energy efficient light bulbs, keep things off... We're not going to have a lot of appliances though. Laptops, microwave, TV, toaster, and a fridge. Everything but the fridge will be unplugged when not in use.

This summer we're really going to have to buff up our savings. But that will be difficult because we have summer tuition, I have car insurance and registration next month, textbooks...

Welcome to the real world, right?

I'm very glad we both have good savings. Boyfriend has more than I do (won't say how much because it is not my savings to share). If we have to dip into savings to make ends met, then we have to. Each summer we'll jut build up the savings again. And we're only two years from graduating.

2 Responses to “Decisions, decisions”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    For healthy, cheap groceries, buy whole grains and beans in bulk, and take advantage of farmer's markets during the warm months. Don't buy bottled beverages--those are a killer! Drink water, tea and coffe or, if you must, juice from concentrate.

    Here's a blog by a woman who ate for 30 days on less than $30. I wouldn't recommend going that extreme, but it does show how cheap you can find the basics if you go looking!

    When my girlfriend was in college and I was supporting us both on a meager salary, my dad sent me $100 per month to help with student loans, and some days we would have rice with BBQ sauce, or spaghetti 5 nights a week. LOL!

  2. L Saver Says:

    It's too bad that the beautiful apartment is out of your price range Frown But any apartment will begin to feel like home once you get settled in, and it's so much less stressful if the rent is something affordable. My husband and I had to live in this tiny studio with cinderblock walls and industrial tile floors for awhile, because it was all we could afford. At first I thought I would be miserable, but once we got everything set up and hung some things on the wall, it became cozy instead! Good luck!

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