mygayshoes asked: I'll be living in a shared house. Both of us are vegan so we figured that food-money is pretty set, especially if we pool togethor (which will likely happen anyway because by god she can't cook and she's always got her head burried in textbooks.)
She sounds like me. This is my budget, it’s fairly average for someone of my age (almost 30) with a car loan I think… Basically you want to write a list of all the basics that you know you’ll get hit with, and then try to spread the cost out over your pay periods (So I put aside monthly rent over 4 weeks, quarterly bill money in small amounts each week so it’s there when bills come up etc) so you’re never getting hit for lots of cash in one pay period.
I live in a household of three with gas stove/oven and ducted heating, we run a dryer, washing machine and two fridges. If you have electric heating your electricity bill will be higher, if you don’t have a dryer it’ll be lower etc.
On top of monthly rent I budget roughly $100 a month in household bills. We get our bills quarterly so by saving a little each month I don’t have to freak out every so often. Most water, gas and electricity companies will bill quarterly if you ask them to, and don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deal. In winter the costs are higher… we paid over $200 each for out last bill and the next one will be about the same, but over summer it was like $125 each. Gas and water are rarely more than $50 even with running heating.
We pay around $90 a month for our internet connection ($30 each), but we also have a high download plan. Your first bill will probably include install and a modem so don’t forget to take that into account.
If you don’t need a home phone don’t get one. If you do they cost about $30 a month + calls. A pre-paid mobile phone is your best friend if you’re living on the cheap because you can still get calls even if you’re too broke to add credit.
Food will cost you less if you buy at the markets but still budget a lot for it. I generally live on roughly $200 - $300 a week but that includes supplies for my degree (fine art majoring in painting), public transport, eating out, alcohol, gifts, new underwear and any incidental bills like parking fine *grumbles*, keeping my cat fed and healthy and running my car. For a while I lived on something like $60 a week. I still don’t know how.
Avoid getting a pet. Trust me. Pet food costs a shit ton.
ROUND EVERYTHING UP! If it’s $46 round it to $50. This means you’ll have a little extra cash in your account in case a bill is larger than expected.
What I’ve found really beneficial is to run three accounts.
Spendings - pay goes in here to be spent or sent to one of the other accounts.
Ongoing bills - Money for any bills I know I’ll be getting eventually including rent, electricity, private health etc. If I have extra money to spare due to tax etc it goes in here first.
Savings: Any spare cash… usually empty except for one months rent. Having that months rent sitting there has seriously saved my ass so many times. Make sure you have it before you move out and try to add a little extra, even just $10 a week. This is your I have to move out/had an accident/lost my job and am waiting on centrelink to get their shit together money. Don’t touch it.
It probably sounds, to the uninitiated, like I have a shit ton of money. I don’t. I’m a full time student. I work casually and get centrelink payments as well.
The biggest thing I’ve had to learn is to not over extend myself so when it comes up I have the money to go to the doctor, see a psychiatrist, a physio, or buy new jeans for work. It’s really tempting to blow any spare cash you have but really not advisable, take it from the woman who was 20k in debt at 23.
Start by over budgeting, if you think it’ll cost $50 a month then budget $60 just in case. Once you figure out what your bills are you’ll find yourself able to cut it back to closer to the correct amount and therefore have more play money.
If you can get a place with gas appliances and gas ducted heating you will save a ton of money, btw. Electric heating is especially expensive.
Uhm, so yeah, now that I’ve written a huge post of hugeness, I will go over there and shush now. Hope this is some help, feel free to ask any other questions. I moved out just after my 18th birthday, so I’ve been at this for a while now.