Author Topic: Live like a broke just graduated student  (Read 10380 times)

Tripcode

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Live like a broke just graduated student
« on: January 17, 2013, 10:44:34 PM »
- you have 1400 a month, after taxes to spend.

-600 of that will go towards your student debt(or your investments)
-300-500 on living expenses, including utility.
-150-200 on food.
-115 for a monthly metropass(lucky bikers)
-25 for spending money
-everthing else in the bank.

Let's say.... Live like this for 6 months?
Alternatively, pick one thing you can do feasibly, and beat the numbers there. Then someone else try to beat your numbers for that category!

( ps how do I get started with investing in vanguard etfs in Canada)

I'll post what I've done and am currently doing to achieve this budget at the moment. When I have more time tomorrow!
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 10:55:58 PM by Tripcode »

marty998

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 12:10:56 AM »
Not many can do it, because we are normal people and have things like rent and mortgages

I can, however, beat the food budget ($137/month for me).


sol

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2013, 12:18:23 AM »
Pshaw, this is a piece of cake; I did it every year between the ages of 18 and 31.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2013, 01:08:25 AM »
Already [kinda] doing it. ($1355/mo).

Donovan

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2013, 06:32:16 AM »
Is it cheating if we actually are a broke college student :P ? (Well ok, broke as compared to where I will be in about a year. I'm doing a hell of a lot better than most of my friends.)

arebelspy

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2013, 08:54:51 AM »
Should be pretty doable for any single person aside from those living in very specific places (NYC, for example), and even then possible on the outskirts.  Anyone with a roommate should meet this fairly easily.

Tougher for a family, but not impossible, depending on what their setup is now.

This is why setting personal goals is more important.  My buddy set a goal to live on $500/mo this year (250 for rent, 250 for food and everything else).  The goal for my wife and me is different.  YMMV, so challenge yourself.  Maybe the challenge in the OP will apply to a few here, or inspire their own.  :)
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Sunflower

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2013, 09:24:57 AM »
- you have 1400 a month, after taxes to spend.

-600 of that will go towards your student debt(or your investments)
-300-500 on living expenses, including utility.
-150-200 on food.
-115 for a monthly metropass(lucky bikers)
-25 for spending money
-everthing else in the bank.


It's still early here so maybe my math skills are rusty but I'm getting a net of -$40 from that budget.

I'm living a very extravagant graduate student lifestyle but here are my numbers for comparison:

Take home Graduate Stipend: $2110
Rent + utilities: $750 (yes that's with roommates in the cheapest place we could find, probably why the stipend is so high)
Student loans: $300
Investments: $150
Car Insurance/Registration/Repairs Fund: $100
Health Insurance: $100
Vacation Slush Fund: $50
Everything else (food, gas, spending money etc.) :  < $660 with anything leftover going to savings

Clearly I'm not the most Mustachian person here as I usually spend $500-660 in that last category but I'm really good about not going over it and the $50 vacation fund hasn't been tapped into ever so I guess that could be counted towards savings. Anyway, just thought I'd add my own numbers since I'm actually a graduate student. :-)

kolorado

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2013, 10:14:17 AM »
If my hubby and I were both broke JGS can I double the money? We pretty much already live like this but without the deprivation it seems to imply.

"you have 1400 a month, after taxes to spend.

-600 of that will go towards your student debt(or your investments)
-300-500 on living expenses, including utility.
-150-200 on food.
-115 for a monthly metropass(lucky bikers)
-25 for spending money
-everthing else in the bank."

How about our current actual spending as a family of five but removing specific kid expenses for comparison:
-No debt but the mortgage/insurance/taxes of $950mo(no problem at all downsizing if we didn't have the kids)
-$700 on living expenses not including health insurance/co-pays/kids' education/vacation(again would drastically reduce without kids)
-$300 for food(did not reduce to remove kids' portions to allow for a few meals out as a couple in this scenario)
-$225 to own/insure/maintain/drive two vehicles(but we wouldn't need the second car without kids)
-$100 for spending money
=$27300/33600 but really more like $21,000 if I reduced every category for no kids in the picture

My budget in 2013 for everything including vacation and ridiculous health insurance is $37500 so not bad for three kids to raise. ;)
Beating your own numbers is a very motivating and fun game to play though. Last year my grocery average was $325 month so I'm challenging myself to spend just $300 a month this year. Every little bit helps. :)
I do wonder why health expenses are not in your scenario? I know my siblings struggled the most in this area after college. They couldn't afford health insurance and had to pay astronomical fees in cash for necessary health services. Is that not a common issue anymore for JGS?

Herbert Derp

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2013, 02:02:38 PM »
Challenge accepted. I'm currently at spending of $1500/month, hoping to lower it to $1000/month when I get a roommate.

sheepstache

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2013, 03:20:52 PM »
Not many can do it, because we are normal people and have things like rent and mortgages


That's included in the living expenses category.

Herbert Derp

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2013, 08:29:45 PM »
- you have 1400 a month, after taxes to spend.

-600 of that will go towards your student debt(or your investments)
-300-500 on living expenses, including utility.
-150-200 on food.
-115 for a monthly metropass(lucky bikers)
-25 for spending money
-everthing else in the bank.

Actually I don't think I can match you. I don't have any debt so that $600 you are spending does not apply to me. With that taken into account, your budget is $800/month while my proposed budget is $1000/month...

$500 rent
$75 utilities
$55 phone + internet
$150 food
~$200 recreation

I need my recreation budget in order to stay sane.

Tripcode

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2013, 09:43:25 PM »
Toronto's pretty expensive, and unfortunately, I can't bike from where I live to where I work(I could, but it's like 20kms away, totally not happening in the winter, at least)
Totally surprised by the amount of replys!

My minimum monthly payment on my OSAP is 548, I try to pay 600 or more a month so I don't suffer that shitty interest.

Of the 800 left, my rent is 450 utilities included.

Metropass is 115 so that leaves me with around 235 for food and everything else.

Tripcode

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2013, 10:20:15 PM »
Kinda luckyi live in socialist Canada- where health is partially covered for!

Food. My god I love food.
Our kitchen is stocked with cheap living eats.

Rice(white not brown, can't stand brown) restocked once every~2-3 months, $20, 25 pounds
Potatos(sweet or otherwise)- restocked once every 2 months $12, 8 pounds
Flour(make things!)-~3 months, $2, 5 pounds
Oats-~2 months, $5, 5 pounds

Greens, set up cost: $20, pretty much just cost of seeds, and time. It takes for you to grow em.
My inspiration:
http://www.ted.com/talks/britta_riley_a_garden_in_my_apartment.html

Frozen veggies: around $5 for a 5 pound pack, frigging awesome for everything. Lasts approx 2 weeks.
Seasonings( vanilla extract,salt pepper, soy sauce, vinegar, mixed Asian and carribean spices)- 6 months, $40-50

Peanut butter, smooth, chosen by highest calorie against lowest price- 1 month, $5
Nutella: see above

Eggs-36 pack $8-13 depending on coupons/ where I shop

Yogurt(plain!).around 3 for a large tub, lasts a week.

Frozen berries, 5lb bag, 1 month, $ 8

Multivitamins(180 pills), $24, 3-4 months

The highest costing part of groceries are meats,  everthing else is pretty negligible...
Also, I probably should eat fruits more.

Chicken(rotiserrie, whole) 2x month, 16-30
Beef or pork(grounded or cheap cuts like liver) $16-30 2x month


Total: usually around $120-150 a month( after factoring in the ones that spread across multiple months)


Leaves me with about 50-100 a month let over,

Of which 20 is deposited into tfsa( tax free savings) when I get my check.

Then I try to set aside my monthly budget of fun spending (25) and put the rest into tfsa.

Ill post recipes if people are interested!



Tripcode

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2013, 10:28:31 PM »
For fun- I volunteer at a muay Thai gym, I help clean and do odd jobs( ie fixing the flooring), teach some classes when an actual instructor is sick, etc, and I get access to the gym for free, it's sweet.

Otherwise, I usually go out like twice a month to watch small indie concerts at a bar with buddies, pitch in for a pitcher of beer, probably btw $10-25 a month.

Sometimes, if I don't spend much, I'll buy a cheap red( not more than $9) and the cheapest largest cut of steak( usually ends up being flank or top round) from a local butcher that I can afford. Usually i just tell him, hey i've got 10 bucks, what do you have for me?

It's a real treat, a nicely medium rare steak in red ine sauce with a glass f red or beer!

Kriegsspiel

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2013, 11:14:48 PM »
Broke students live with roommates.

Tripcode

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #15 on: January 18, 2013, 11:26:41 PM »
Ya, hence rent s only 450 , including utilities

marty998

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2013, 04:13:08 AM »
Not many can do it, because we are normal people and have things like rent and mortgages


That's included in the living expenses category.

So you're saying rent + utilities of $125 a week is reasonable for most people on this forum? Students sharehousing fine fair enough but come on, lets get real.

I suppose with a mortgage paid of it would be easy, but still, $125 a week gets you a broom closet doesn't it?


madgeylou

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2013, 06:05:26 AM »
So you're saying rent + utilities of $125 a week is reasonable for most people on this forum? Students sharehousing fine fair enough but come on, lets get real.

I suppose with a mortgage paid of it would be easy, but still, $125 a week gets you a broom closet doesn't it?

Depends where you live. My mortgage is $450/month. Add taxes and utilities and you are still looking at like a $800/month spot to live (for 2 people). There are lots of deals like this in my part of the world ...

Skyn_Flynt

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2013, 07:56:15 AM »
Broke students live with roommates.
I'm single, and did share an apartment or house with boarders off and on until about 2 years ago.

Finally reached a point in my life in my 40s where I just want privacy and quiet. The extra cash is nice but I'm "set" well enough, that it doesn't seem as tempting anymore.

When I sit down in my 13 year old car however, it sometimes does bring back memories of being a college student driving a 15 year old beater.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 07:58:20 AM by Skyn_Flynt »

Nudelkopf

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2013, 07:22:59 PM »
Broke students live with roommates.
do, that's why my rent is only $750/month. I do know someone who has rent $140/mo, but her house is condemned, lol.

grantmeaname

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2013, 08:25:25 PM »
I actually do that, but like Donovan I actually am broke and a student.

$325/mo rent
$50/mo utilities
$100/mo groceries
$0/mo health insurance (thanks Dad! I promise I'll be 26 soon!)
$150ish/mo everything else
« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 08:27:46 PM by grantmeaname »

sheepstache

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2013, 03:59:14 PM »
Not many can do it, because we are normal people and have things like rent and mortgages


That's included in the living expenses category.

So you're saying rent + utilities of $125 a week is reasonable for most people on this forum? Students sharehousing fine fair enough but come on, lets get real.

I suppose with a mortgage paid of it would be easy, but still, $125 a week gets you a broom closet doesn't it?

I'm just surprised to see someone on this forum dismissing something for not being "real" or not "normal." It sounds the same to me as someone saying "Oh, but it's normal to have a 40-minute commute, that's what real adults do."

Personally I worked really hard a year and a half ago to get us into an apartment where my share of the rent is $400.  In an expensive city.  The rest of my budget looks similar to the challenge except it's investments, not loans, and I don't need transit money so that becomes fun money.

If the challenge inspires you to re-examine some of your assumptions about the cost of living, then it's done its job.  The point is not really for everybody to chime in with excuses why they can't do it.

c

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2013, 06:58:05 PM »

I suppose with a mortgage paid of it would be easy, but still, $125 a week gets you a broom closet doesn't it?


My BiL loves to tell the story about how when he lived in NYC he rented a closet. Literally a closet he put a foam mattress in.

I'm totally up for living like a broke just graduated student. I could do with a few months of getting drunk, eating bad food and taking home arrogant, affected acoustic guitar players. Oh to be young again ;)

marty998

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2013, 01:52:37 AM »
Sheepstache, I take your point and I'm quite happy to take on the rest of the gauntlet.

I just feel the housing part of the challenge is a bit like the "0-500k 2 year" challenge or the "retire at 21" one. Sure it is possible, sure it can be done, as many here have shown already, and well done to them and you for managing $400 a month housing & utility costs. But realistically it's in a totally different class of its own compared to cutting your grocery expenses or cutting cable.

Call me complainypants fair enough, in this case I'm happy to cop it.

Tripcode

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2013, 12:15:45 PM »
Of course,

Its completely unreasonable if you have a family, or are forced to live somewhere with extremely high rent due to your work, etc.

The main goal is to spend approx $1400 or less a person per month, which is ~16800, something that looks to be totally manageable ( I mean hey, MMM only spent ~23000 for his entire family in 2012!) for maximum badassity!

Does anyone have any beginner investment advice? I have no clue where to start, I'm just dumping my money in TFSA's but inflation will probably outgrow that. Should I save for 10 grand before I invest it into Vanguard or REIT's or even lending club?( I'm at like 1 grand)

sheepstache

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2013, 11:13:33 AM »
Sheepstache, I take your point and I'm quite happy to take on the rest of the gauntlet.

I just feel the housing part of the challenge is a bit like the "0-500k 2 year" challenge or the "retire at 21" one. Sure it is possible, sure it can be done, as many here have shown already, and well done to them and you for managing $400 a month housing & utility costs. But realistically it's in a totally different class of its own compared to cutting your grocery expenses or cutting cable.

Call me complainypants fair enough, in this case I'm happy to cop it.

I didn't mean to jump on you, btw :)  I think I just took exception to the "normal" and "real" word choices when you simply meant to say "most" people.  I laughed because I too took exception to that $500,000 one because most people can't do it unless they're in the same position as the OP and can be like, 'Oh, that's right, I do already own $300,000 in property to get me started, thanks for reminding me!'  But I don't see the harm in people throwing down whatever bold gauntlets they choose while the rest of us take them or leave them according to our situations without feeling bad about ourselves if our situation prevents it.

Also, while I meant to just defend the op by pointing out that the goal was possible, I effectively just chimed in to brag about how I had already done it which is also probably not the point of the challenge section.

KimAB

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2013, 09:15:35 AM »
My BiL loves to tell the story about how when he lived in NYC he rented a closet. Literally a closet he put a foam mattress in.

I apologize if I chose the wrong author for that quote!  I did childcare for a woman years ago who had a young family member move from the East coast to stay with her.  When she threw him out he rented a closet with a mattress in it for $300.  He didn't get it the whole month for that price- there was some kind of rotating deal- probably do to an oilfield schedule, but I never knew for sure.

mpbaker22

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2013, 01:04:23 PM »
Not many can do it, because we are normal people and have things like rent and mortgages


That's included in the living expenses category.

So you're saying rent + utilities of $125 a week is reasonable for most people on this forum? Students sharehousing fine fair enough but come on, lets get real.

I suppose with a mortgage paid of it would be easy, but still, $125 a week gets you a broom closet doesn't it?

Seems as if this has been hashed out a bit, but I pay ~$400/month for rent and utilities.  That comes out to < $100/week.  Sure this might be more difficult, but if you don't have a family, you get to split an apartment cost in 2 or 3.  I have friends that split a $500/month apartment ($250 each).

random_nobody_23

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2013, 09:36:59 PM »
From a real broke student, who will be a newly graduated student by January.

I live with my Dad, so housing costs are not counted here. (Me and my bf pay $80 a week to live there=$320/month, but like I said, doesn't count). We live in an area where rent costs upwards of $800 a week.

I don't own a car, so no associated costs there. I walk to work (both of my jobs are in the suburb that I live and were chosen for this reason). I catch the bus to uni which costs about $29 a month.

I share in grocery costs with my bf, usually around $30-$40 a week. We go in his car.
I have a prepaid phone and internet service. Phone is $30 over 3 months, internet is $130 over 5 months.
I to buy textbooks and other uni associated things (printing, stationery, unit readers etc...)

I go to a group Personal Training session once a week for $25. I don't pay for the gym because I work there (also a specific choice made- you have to be open to working anywhere as a student, doing anything)

My usual weekly spend is around $150-$200 including all things listed above plus fun money and buying clothes and such.
For those who are interested, my bf spends about $300 a week including car expenses and a phone/internet plan.
That's $2300 a month between the two of us.

oldtoyota

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #29 on: October 25, 2013, 07:27:05 PM »
Just for fun, I looked up my apartment complex from grad school. The price of my apartment is now $575/month. Wow. That seems so cheap. Roommates are not always necessary. It depends on where you live.

I lived as a broke grad student. Those were fantastic times. I never felt deprived.

expatartist

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2013, 09:15:48 PM »
I like this idea. In fact, we kind of do live like broke college students, except we both teach them instead ;) Our budgets fall well within the $1400 range.

We've just sliced our rent nearly in half since I started reading MMM (from nearly $1k/month to $275 for each of us), tightening our grocery budget (from who-knows-how-much to $100 each/month), taking on extra clients to increase our savings rate. A romantic meal runs us about $4 each at subway or $1.50 at our favorite noodle shop, etc. Keeping our tastes simple and appreciating the occasional splurges a lot more. Like, we're going to celebrate our anniversary tomorrow by having a nice coffee spread on our balcony to commemorate when we first locked eyes at a cafe 10 years ago.

imbros

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2013, 01:32:45 PM »
I have been doing this since I started working about 5 years ago. I have to admit, living in a college town helps. Nowadays it looks something like this:

$800 Rent+Utilities+phone etc. - regular monthly overhead (price of living close to work, but will be 25% less next year)
$250 Food + Toiletries etc.
$100 Entertainment & Other spending
$50 Other/Buffer

Sold the car 2 weeks ago. Don't need it. I walk to work and bike to get groceries.
Contemplating on joining the Zipcar which would probably add up to $50 to the monthly total.

nikki

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Re: Live like a broke just graduated student
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2013, 05:10:00 AM »
This year from January through September (October isn't over yet and I know I'll have to buy eggs at least--not using incomplete data), my average monthly spending has been $584.52, with the highest at $1116.50 and the lowest at $317.02. I live in South Korea.

Average expenses:
Electricity: $15.97
Gas: $17.42
Water/Trash: $11.21
Phone: $11.99 (this average is skewed--I now put a maximum of $4.71 on it each month, but until February I was on a fancy smartphone plan)
Lunches at Work (a school): $41.75
Groceries: $173.29
Convenience Food (restaurants and convenience shops or street food): $83.84
Entertainment (alcohol mostly): $17.59
Travel (subways, intercity buses, trains, and a couple group tours for me AND my boyfriend): $72.90
Medical (for me and my cat): $20.40
Misc. Shopping (including pet supplies): $90.58
US Spending (using my AmEx card): $30.20

All numbers have been converted from KRW to USD using today's conversion rate.

Rent is provided by my employer. Internet is free at my apartment.

Of course these are just averages and don't add up to what I spend each month, but it's a pretty good indicator of what my financial life is like in South Korea. I don't go out much, but my mother visited in May and my boyfriend was here for three months, so I've actually spent MORE than usual in the four out of nine months represented above.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 05:16:07 AM by nikki »