Hey amazing artists!
1. Rent, Utilities, and Renter's Insurance - 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, Washer/Dryer Unit
50% of my paycheckSo I'm not going to lie, this would not be realistic if I had student loans. I was blessed not to have them so this is still a big splurge. However, after living with roommates for freshmen and sophomore year, to living with my parents junior and senior year, back to living with three other girls in New York, I was ready to live on my own. I love my apartment so much! I love to cook, I love living simply and I love having my own space. I keep my utilities down by taking shorter showers, turning off AC and Heat during the day while I'm at work and at night when I'm asleep. I only wash my clothes at most twice a month (bigger closet = more clothes) and I hand wash dishes 50% of the time.
2. Phone Bill and Wi-Fi - $120 give or take
3. Transportation - Auto Payment, Maintenance, and Gas Average per month
$420Alright I know that seems high but here is the deal, I don't spend that every month. Not even. I calculated a deductible I would have to pay if I have damage to my car which is 500 and I doubt that would happen more than once a year so I calculated that. I get my fluids topped and oil changed three times a year so that's about $150 a year but some months I won't pay that. Then there is my car payment which is close to $300. I only have to pay that two more years and then I am home free! Then there is gas which right now I am paying $75 a month and that is covered usually by dance lessons I teach. I do not pay car insurance YET. But I will probably soon unfortunately. Thank you parents!!!
4. Groceries- $130 per monthOkay I was personally sad to hear I pay that much but then I remembered I lived in New York and grocery bills are outrageous so more than likely that raised my average. In Dallas I keep my bills fairly low by shopping at Aldi (God bless Aldi) and having a gas rewards card at Tomb Thumb to get other things harder to come by like Tofu and other meatless alternatives I need. According to my Mint app (the best budgeting app EVER) I pay a third of what the average Dallasite pays. Woohoo!
5. Eating Out - $57.91/monthLow key I had no idea my spending would be this low and I am so proud of myself. Here's the thing, I don't really eat out as much as I used to because I am a vegetarian and that means there aren't many fast food places that cater to me. So mostly I go to sit down restaurants and that is not a regular thing. I cook a ton. I love prepping my meals and discovering new recipes. It's also so much healthier. And honestly it's a ton of fun. In the past my spending was $10 higher/month which if you think about is a lot.
6. Savings and Retirement - 11% of my paycheckGo to my blog post about finances and learn more on how you should educate yourself about retirement. This is essential to everyone. I will admit right now my emergency savings is kind of low due to a dreadful deductible that recently attacked it, but I am working on making it more of a priority to save save save!
What you should be putting away - 10% of your paycheck
- Coffee - $12/month average (I thought it was way higher but I'm not complaining.)
- Entertainment- $13/month
- Health Insurance - $40/month
- Health and Hair- $57.58/month
- Clothes- $15/month (I don't need anymore clothes and I sometimes swap with friends.)
- Credit Card Debt - $0 (I don't trust myself and I already have a Good credit score through my car payment.)
Fun things that will keep your costs DOWN!
- Clothes Swap Party - Bring clothes you don't want and switch with your friends. Clothes that are left, donate or sell on Thread Up. This is also eco-friendly and my friends and I have a blast!
- Join your city event page - Lots of events in parks are free admission. BYOB and have a picnic!
- Work out at your apartment gym and local park, or join a free month membership.
- Make you're own coffee!!!!!! The average American spends $14 a week on coffee. Instead you could make it just the way you like it at home.
- Netflix and literally chill. You don't have to be outrageous for date night.
- Potluck - I'm thinking we need to bring back the old 50s, churchy, weekly potluck thing. Instead of going out to eat everybody make something and pitch in for a meal!
Let's be the generation that is more financially responsible. Invest in your future. Don't spend money you don't have. Be happy with what you already have!