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  1. #21
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    You know. I really am enjoying this thread. I love to budget my money, and it's interesting to see how others break down theirs. I thought I'd go into absolute detail about my bills as of Jan, 2007.

    East Houston 1 bedroom economy Apt: $570 a month.
    Electricity: Average of $150 a month. (That was the last month my boyfriend lived there.. the cost went down considerably once I was alone, as I'd rather throw on a jacket than turn the heater on..)
    Water/Trash services: $30 a month
    Rental Washer/Dryer: $30 a month (much cheaper than trying to fiddle with the gay laundry mat in the apt. complex that never worked. ALWAYS rent a washer and dryer if you ask my opinion. The convenience and time you save.. Plus, I once had all my undergarments stolen from the laundry mat. Never again.)
    Renter's Insurance: $250 for the year via USAA. Covered theft too.
    Car Insurance: $140 a month (I had a ticket on my record then Lol.)
    Gas: $50 a week (but I commuted to downtown every day, and drove back everyday in traffic at 5pm. And I drove a lot outside of that, going across town at least twice a week. It costed me $25 a tank.)
    Health Insurance and Dental Insurance: $75 a month via Tricare.
    Household Needs: $50 a month. (Toilet paper, paper towels, Oh crap this broke, cleaning supplies, I have to go to the doc's for this headache, my socks have holes in them.. etc. I had an allowance I put aside each month and when I needed something I just took from the envelope.)
    Groceries: $400 a month for 2 people. (I cooked a lot of my own meals, and bought a lot of fresh ingredients to use and eat, but I wasn't being very meager at all with groceries then.)
    Car expenses: $20 a month (Again an allotment system.. Putting that aside, when registrations, oil changes, etc. came along, I just took from the envelope.)
    Internet: $30 a month (When Roadrunner was still around, and when it didn't entirely suck.)
    Phone: $60 a month for low plan and unlimited texting.

    Overall Cost of Living: approx. 1,776$ a month to live very comfortably with everything appropriately paid for as of Jan, 2007. Anything made outside of that money was entertainment, savings, etc. And I did have a savings account with 3 months of expenses incase I lost my jobs for some reason (it turned into being used to replace my stolen car.)

    When I lived meagerly on my own, that cost dropped to about $1,000 a month for nearly everything mentioned. And it helps to pay any insurances by the year, honestly.

    I had been too lazy to break things down earlier, but here it is in it's entirety for ya.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  2. #22
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Jesus, the cost of living in the US is insanely high
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Jesus, the cost of living in the US is insanely high
    Not in all places. Where I live it's not. It depends on if you're near a major city or a coast. The cost of living in my area is decent compared to some other places I've lived.

    Also take into consideration that some Americans consider "living comfortably" a thing above and beyond what others would simply deem "comfortable." For some people to be "comfortable" they have to own a car for each person in the house, have full cable television, plasma tvs, etc. That isn't "comfortable" it's upper-middle class.

  4. #24
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Not in all places. Where I live it's not. It depends on if you're near a major city or a coast. The cost of living in my area is decent compared to some other places I've lived.

    Also take into consideration that some Americans consider "living comfortably" a thing above and beyond what others would simply deem "comfortable." For some people to be "comfortable" they have to own a car for each person in the house, have full cable television, plasma tvs, etc. That isn't "comfortable" it's upper-middle class.
    Ah, allright, yeah, here only the very richest (top 1% perhaps) have more than 2 car in one household
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  5. #25
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    After expenses, an apartment owner will have a certain amount of money left over. How much would you feel comfortable having around? Below what level wouldn't you go? For fun spending, for emergencies, for saving, etc.
    Would you say "I'd like to have $500 of wiggle room," or $200, or $800? Say what you think.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  6. #26
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    I think the percentage estimate is 25%-33% of your income should go towards rent (not sure if that includes utilities)

    In some cities, that's almost impossible to manage (I'm thinkng NYC or San Francisco). The cost to buy a house is astronomical in most Silicon Valley neighborhoods.

    Percentage wise, I'd like to be able to stick to that 25-33% of my income (before taxes?) to go towards rent and utilities.

    'Course that's not gonna happen. :wistful look:
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  7. #27
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Jesus, the cost of living in the US is insanely high
    I went back to school in Rolla, MO to finish my engineering degree last fall. My expenses, including food, were under $500/month and I wasn't living in dorms.

    A good statistical site for American cities is: Stats about all US cities - real estate, relocation info, house prices, home value estimator, recent sales, cost of living, crime, race, income, photos, education, maps, weather, houses, schools, neighborhoods, and more
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  8. #28
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    I know someone looking for apartments here, also, and she's said one trap they sometimes use is to require your salary to be three times the rate of rent. Any other traps like this?
    Trap? Landlords need some way to determine whether or not a potential tenant can afford a lease. Evictions are EXPENSIVE.

    It seems the denser the population, the higher the cost of living. Fairly accurate formula? Looking around, though, I see some cities being cheaper than I'd expect.
    That's a pretty good rule of thumb, but government regulations (like zoning) have something to do with it as well. Cities like Houston are really cheap to live in because the government doesn't limit rents (like NY) or have extensive zoning (like SF).
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #29
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    After expenses, an apartment owner will have a certain amount of money left over. How much would you feel comfortable having around? Below what level wouldn't you go? For fun spending, for emergencies, for saving, etc.
    Would you say "I'd like to have $500 of wiggle room," or $200, or $800? Say what you think.
    I was required to show I made 3x the rent a month. It's a pretty good rule of thumb in all honesty (If you only make 1200 a month, you don't want 600 of it going toward rent..), but it's a pain in the ass to display and maintain.

    I honestly could get by with 200 a month for fun stuff and little expenses. That's enough for a meal outside the house a week and a movie with friends a week, with some to spare for a pair of shoes on clearance or something.

    I've gotten away with that before, and it isn't so bad. I wouldn't underestimate the "Miscellaneous" expense though. Not having money set aside for that will zap you quick.. If your luck is anything remotely close to mine, if it can go wrong, it generally will.

    When it comes to savings I add to it when I'm capable of it (imo, I'm only capable when I'm not in debt.. so since I have a car payment, most of my money goes toward that), but outside of that I have a set amount of savings for emergency money that I maintain incase of anything.. If I dip into that money, it gets replenished asap and overrides other priorities.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

  10. #30
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Cities like Houston are really cheap to live in because the government doesn't limit rents (like NY) or have extensive zoning (like SF).
    I thank God everyday for this fact
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
    Halla74: Think your way through the world. Feel your way through life.

    Cimarron: maybe Prpl will be your girl-bud
    prplchknz: i don't like it

    In Search Of... ... Kiwi Sketch Art ... Dream Journal ... Kyuuei's Cook book ... Kyu's Tiny House Blog ... Minimalist Challenge ... Kyu's Savings Challenge

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