Yes! Another budget living blog! You read it right. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t claim to know how to live on the absolute cheap. But please let us keep in mind I have no roommates, rent a 2 bedroom apartment, and live in a fairly expensive to rent in city. I am an hourly worker, but I work as a cook, so I make a dear bit above minimum wage ($8 in jolly little Massachusetts for min. wage). Generally, I bring in about $1200-1300 a month. Sometimes more if my company feels like giving out overtime. This is almost never.
$1200-1300 a month…is not a lot of money. I don’t own a car because I simply can’t afford one. My rent is nearly $600, so you’re seeing where most of my income is going. I have to throw about $300 at debt related bills a month. I have a $70 phone plan and a $75 internet bill. I also pay $40 a month to a dear little lady who takes me to work every day that is not on the weekend when my dear father can do so. And my apartment is fully electric. I only heat my bedroom in the winter because I don’t like $140 electric bills (found this out the hard way, mind you). My electric bill is anywhere from $20-90 depending on the season.Pretty much, after bills, I have about $100 or so to maybe $200 left over. For food, cleaning thingies, and the like.
Some people would balk at that amount of money. For reasons. Some think that is way too low. Some marvel at the amount left over. I did for a while, too. Because at my last job, I was making minimum wage, working part time (because I couldn’t get full time no matter how much I begged and I couldn’t seem to find a better job at the time), and had a roommate. Granted, it was in Illinois, where things are cheaper. Kind of. My rent was a little cheaper than now, and then was halved since I had a roommate. There were weeks, however, where I had $10 left over. For two weeks’ worth of food.
Yeah. I’m liking this situation a lot better. However, I don’t have much of a savings! This blog isn’t so much to tell YOU how to live cheap. It’s to let ME write down how I’m living and, hopefully…hopefully… end up with a savings for emergencies. I also have this dream of traveling abroad and I would like to save for that.
Also, I am a frivolous person with horrible impulse control. I’m sure this will come up at least once and end up with me parting with my money. My basic idea, really, is to collect cheap, budget friendly recipes, ideas, and other tricks and tips I can use to put away more money at the end of the week. I’ve also made myself only use $300 of every paycheck I receive. The rest will immediately go into savings. Starting yesterday. I started this yesterday!
I went grocery shopping for the month (and also bought toilet paper, lightbulbs, and dishwashing liquid) and came away at $120 spent. Ouch. Let’s reduce that to much lower next time…
I have $150 in savings ($100 went in, $50 is what I had previously started with).
I have $35 in my wallet for…use.
Dear little lady has been paid, cell phone bill has been paid, internet bill has been paid, rent has been paid.
Bills left for the month: Credit card one (the big one!), credit card two(the little one), electric bill.
Save for a trip abroad.
Save enough money for a month’s worth of expenses (this is a step goal, eventually I’ll increase this to two months’, three, etc)
Save for a car (maybe).
Pay off both credit cards in full by the end of 2015.
I do have a small trip I am making in October to a convention in Connecticut called RuffleCon. So I’ll probably end up with diddly squat by the end of October in savings. We’ll see if I can contain myself.
I also plan on buying some shelving and pots and such for my patio because I’ll be doing some container gardening! I hope to cut down on a little bit of my grocery bill later in the summer and early fall by growing most of my own produce. We’ll see if I can manage this or if I just give up. Hah.