My parents’ home is no longer safe. I’m currently living in my car in the Florida heat, no working AC. The driver side window is also not working :)). I drive about 35 mins to and back from work to shower/get ready for the day at a friend’s.
I managed to sneak my birth certificate + SS card out of the house before I left.
I make $12/hr, get about 140hrs a month. in 5 months it’ll be 12.50 or 13/hr. Working on getting full-time, it’s looking like that will happen.
Haven’t opened a credit card yet.
As far as monthly payments go, I pay 120 for car insurance and 50 for my phone bill. I plan to try and cut down the phone bill drastically. A smartphone is required at my job as my department uses an app that’s connected to inventory.
My car is nearing the end of its life unfortunately. 160k miles, i’ve had to replace so many things that the cost of repairs has to have piled up to around 2k as I just dropped 1k to fix the brake pads, brake fluid lines, gas tank, etc.. some of the repairs were DIY like the spark plugs & battery. it’s costing me more and more money and I don’t have the means to actually keep it around anymore. idk what to do with it, i’ve been thinking about trading it in and financing a car or saving & buying a used in full when i have the money to. what should I do?
I don’t have anything in savings atm, I have 1k in my checking but that’s it. I dropped my emergency fund on car repairs which were deathly needed.
As far as rent goes I’m content with paying 300-400/mo w/ roommates. My area (daytona/ormond) has cheap apartment complexes which aren’t completely horrible for that price range. I don’t know if I should try and drop that down with the imminent replacement of my current car
Where do I start? What should I look out for when budgeting?
reply from nowitholds:
What should I look out for when budgeting?
I think this goes without saying, but you you’re not in a position where you can be spending money frivolously. Make every penny count. To do that, actually make a budget. Based on your numbers, it is looking like your take-home pay is ~1200 a month. You don’t want to spend over 1/3 of your budget on housing, so your 3-400 rent w/ roommates is a good goal.
$120 a month for car insurance seems a bit high, although you are 19 so that plays a part. Shop around for better plans or rates. If you’re a very good driver and don’t do anything stupid, you could lower your coverage and save some money.
$50 a month for the phone can definitely be tweaked, since you probably won’t be making long phone calls to your parents.
I dropped my emergency fund on car repairs which were deathly needed.
I like hearing that you have an emergency fund. Did the mechanic say anything about the condition of the car, otherwise? It sounds like the repairs should be good to go for another month or two. Make a ‘car’ envelope and stick at least $100 into it every month for general maintenance. Also, work to get another emergency fund in place – this should be in your budget.
Food. This is a big pain point, normally. You will probably have to live on beans, rice, chicken, ramen, etc. in order to maximize your money. Make sure to throw in some bananas. If you eat strictly, you can live on $25-50 a week, or about $5 a day. Crockpots are awesome, and give you lots of leftovers. So, let’s say ~$150 a month on food.
Whether you like it or not, you’re going to be spending money on toiletries. About $25 a month, maybe more at the start. Deodorant, shampoo, toilet paper, toothbrushes, etc.
Your electricity/water/heating is going to be up in the air, but let’s say $120 combined.
Car Ins: $100
Car Repair: $100
Fun Money: $50
Remainder – aka Emergency Fund: ~$150
Remember, you are the one that cares the most about your money. It’s going to be up to you to keep track of it, to plan it, to manage it. One of the best ways is to cash your check and put it into marked envelopes (if you trust your roommates) so that you know how much you have left and actually feel it as you’re spending it.
You will learn where you can save money and what you’re willing to eat or live without. Notice how I have a row for Fun Money? You’re 19. Set aside a set amount that you won’t feel guilty spending, but don’t go over it. Keep track of every dollar you spend. Think twice about buying that coffee/soda.
Finally, you’re not in debt right now. KEEP IT THAT WAY! If you get a credit card, only use it for the an appropriate category (gas) and pay it off immediately (still set aside the money for this in an envelope). You don’t want to end up in debt. The only time to consider going into debt would be going into a trade school (probably the best option for you right now) where you know that you will make a considerable amount more money after finishing school.
Best of luck to you!