Author Topic: New budget case study - living in the city!  (Read 5786 times)

SpendyMcSpend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
New budget case study - living in the city!
« on: June 01, 2012, 12:54:16 PM »
I can now walk (or bike) to work!  I will be living 1.2 miles from my office.  The ranges are what I expect to spend in each category.

Income monthly from now to December:  $3600-4800 per month
Income monthly from January 2013 on: $3100-3200

Rent: $1300
Internet:  $60
iPhone:  $103 (might ditch this)
Student loan payments start in January: $435
Food/stuff for disabled brother: $150
Food for me:  $120
Entertainment: $25-75
Travel/vacations:  $50-100
Occasional train/subway rides:  $80
Drop off laundry/dry cleaning: $45 (no laundromat nearby)
401k: $0-1000 per month (not sure yet)
Gym: $40-90
CPA applications/exam review:  $100

I feel like I'm down to the bare bones.  The student loan payments are the minimum so I want to pay more but also need to save money.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 01:03:56 PM by Meadow »

AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Oregon
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2012, 01:26:56 PM »
What's your goal? Its easy to point out things like you could drop gym membership, etc. but without knowing what you are trying for, its hard to know what direction to look in...

SpendyMcSpend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2012, 01:30:20 PM »
Early retirement!

eldub

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
    • 4hutches.blogspot.ca
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2012, 01:31:12 PM »
At $1300, your rent is anywhere from 27%-42% of your income based on the ranges you given.

It sounds as if you are paying the entire rent and living with your brother, is that correct?   Please take this respectfully: if he is living with you, does he have the ability to contribute to rent?  I don't know your or his situation, or what kind of social safety net there is where you live.  Perhaps a disability pension or remuneration for caregivers (if you are one for him). If he has the ability to contribute something, that ostensibly frees you up a bit to start creating a 'stash to take care of both of you in the future.

SpendyMcSpend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2012, 01:34:08 PM »
No, I'm not living with him.  I just send him grocery cards and pay for a little meds because he only gets a little bit in food stamps.  He can't work and has been turned down twice for SSD but will be applying again.  He's definitely not a lazy bum if that is what you are asking :)

$1300 to live in Manhattan is pretty sweet.  A roommate situation would be the same amount but I found a sublet in a rent-subsidized building.  Most apartments like this go for $1900-2000 a month.

eldub

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 54
    • 4hutches.blogspot.ca
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2012, 01:47:28 PM »
I'm absolutely not implying that he is lazy.  Only if had the ability to contribute to rent (I was under the assumption you two were living together - $1300 sounds like the kind of rent two people would pay in my area).  I don't live in the US so don't know what kind of social programs there are for people in his situation, or even what exactly is his situation.

The fact that you live in Manhattan certainly explains the high-ish rent though.

Good luck!

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2012, 01:48:19 PM »
Nice score on the apartment. How long is the sublet?

One thought: in college, many people have roommates, that is, they share a single room. If the lease allowed it, would you consider getting a roommate?

Can you refine your "Early retirement!" goal? If you want it ASAP, you could wash your clothes in the sink, skip the gym, walk everywhere, never travel, only use the library and free events for entertainment, use internet at the library, eat lentils always, ditch the iPhone, and get a roommate.

What are the rates on your student loans?

Have you considered starting a journal so you can keep track of this over the long term?

SpendyMcSpend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2012, 02:35:44 PM »
My student loans are:

$13000ish 6.8%
$15,500ish 2.75%
$25,000ish 3.15% variable

I'd love to start a journal and even make it a bit crafty, such as putting stubs of things that were free and taking photos of my journey.

I am really considering going full-speed, eating lentils, bare bones etc. but I'm afraid this could lead to burn out?

I have a boyfriend who has his own place who will be crashing a lot (and I at his place) and it's a tiny one-bedroom so unlikely I can have a roommate.  The guy I'm subletting from is leaving most of his stuff, so I will have two small closets for my clothes and not much room for anyone else or their stuff. 

Sublet is at least till February, likely to next August.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 02:38:43 PM by Meadow »

SpendyMcSpend

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 320
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2012, 03:13:51 PM »
$57,962.46  Assets
$54,875.79  Debts
$3,086.67  Net Worth

KittyWrestler

  • Guest
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 04:07:46 PM »
Entertainment for $75 is pretty high. I have family of 4 and make well over 6 figures in a big city. Our entertainment budget is $25 a month.

AJ

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 906
  • Age: 35
  • Location: Oregon
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2012, 04:33:04 PM »
I am really considering going full-speed, eating lentils, bare bones etc. but I'm afraid this could lead to burn out?

Yay! That is waaaayyyy more fun than folks who say "here is my budget, I don't want to give up anything, what should I do? Please validate my belief that there is nothing more to do." ;)

If you want to go full steam ahead, but worry about burn out, I would start with just one thing at a time. Maybe ditch the gym and get a set of weights and try to learn a bunch of new exercises with those for a month. Once that feels like an old hat, start trying new lentil recipes, or doing laundry in your apartment, etc. If you can make something a habit, it won't feel so much like a sacrifice.

The trick (which I am still working on myself) is to get it out of your higher brain and into your lower brain. Meaning: if it requires self-discipline, it can lead to burn out if you do too much too fast. If you do it without thinking (habit) that means it has moved into your lower brain and is no longer contributing to burn-out, and you can move on to another task. I am trying to move my healthy tasks (eating at home and giving up soda, in my case) from my higher brain down to my lower brain as fast as I can.

I'm interested to see your journey. Keep us updated :)

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2363
  • Location: NZ
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2012, 04:05:31 AM »
You have a few places you can cut down expenses, and the 6.8% student loan needs paying down ASAP.

How much do you use your iphone? $100 a month is heaps. Sell it/get out of your contract. Buy a used iphone 3GS outright for $250, and go pre pay.

Drop the gym membership, and walk more/exercise in your room.

Do something about the washing expense. Something like this is a little over oner months laundry expenses:
http://www.amazon.com/Unknown-Wonder-Washer/dp/B000BTDNEK

All up a goal of cutting monthly expenses by $200 seems reasonable.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4732
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2012, 07:41:30 AM »
Likewise, you may want to think about how occasional your train/subway rides are if they're costing you just under $1000 a year. Are you buying them one at a time as you need them? Is there a cheaper way?

velocistar237

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1422
  • Location: Metro Boston
Re: New budget case study - living in the city!
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 08:28:32 AM »
I am really considering going full-speed, eating lentils, bare bones etc. but I'm afraid this could lead to burn out?

I second the experiments. Usually, burn-out comes from the social pressures. Since you're already living a pretty bare-bones lifestyle, I wouldn't think that one more level would push you over the edge.

For exercise, lay a foundation of working out alone using body-weight exercises. On top of that, see if you can create something social, like doing yoga with friends or getting a running partner.

For laundry, you can go the bucket/plunger route and hang dry. If you're worried about it never drying, you can try a spin dryer, which should cut down on drying time.

I second the phone part, just make sure to compare cancelling vs. letting your contract run out and then switching to pre-paid/Skype.

These don't seem particularly difficult, but if you try them, and they are difficult, then you can always switch back.