If you are moving out for the first time and just got an $13/hr job…

by TicklesMcFancy

So I make 13.50. I pull about 2400 pre tax and take home about 1600 after taxes, health benefits, and a healthy 401k deposit, which I highly recommend. Start that shit early and play the market.

I have a car that I leased with $500 down, a cosigner, at a rate of $210 a month. I have to have full coverage, but I’ve been insured for 3 years with no accidents so I pay 280 (I’m under 25). Just my car alone is about half my income including gas. I put about $20/30 a week into it and drive about 200 miles a week. I have maxed my gas milage to 37mpg vs the 33mpg estimated. So you’ll want to figure out your estimated miles and average mpg. You won’t have excess money to just guesstimate.

You’ll also want renter’s insurance, which for me is 27 a month.

Now let’s talk groceries. You’ll want to go very cheap for a while so get used to eating eggs, chicken, rice, potatoes, and bread. I’m not kidding, food is expensive. I am a chef by trade so I eat pretty much free for 5 days a week. Then I grocery shop for each day that I’m not eating free, that day. You could spend about 100 and not even make it a week if you don’t plan properly.

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Let’s not forget toilet paper, paper towels, toothpaste, etc; cleaning supplies, dish detergent, laundry detergent, etc; I recommend you go to the store with a pad of paper like I did and write down all the prices. You’ll probably spend about 45 a month on that stuff maybe more.

Now we get to utilities. This is the most strange thing to estimate, because you can’t. I only have internet so I pay 70 with a rented router included. My electric last month was 50, but will be 70 this month. If you pay water that’s another expense (I don’t pay water). You can figure this out by seeing what major appliances use what amounts of wattage and then multiplying that by your county’s kWh.

Now let’s talk rent. My studio is 550 which is very affordable and reasonable. Most apartments run 700+ in my area, but they’re not studios. I’m very lucky to be where I’m at right now.

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So rent and car are 1000, utilities and phone are 200, gas and groceries and toiletries and cleaning supplies is about 250. Then I have Netflix and Hulu so that’s 20 right there. 1470 of 1600ish. Doesn’t leave much for fun. But there’s one thing you’re forgetting: you’ll need money around for an emergency. So you’ll want to have 500+ just in case sitting aside. I’d recommend having 200 hiding around the house in the case you need fast cash. Plus you’ll want to be sitting on top of 2 months rent , 2 months auto payment, 2 months insurance payment. You’ll need to be prepared for an emergency.

Also you’ll want a first aid kit, flashlights, candles, extra linens. Forget about fun, man. Just forget all about it for a few months.

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