Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: StarDrifter on January 03, 2012, 07:21:56 AM

Title: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: StarDrifter on January 03, 2012, 07:21:56 AM
Hi! Something I stumbled across was in another folder, about $60USD being not that high for a pair of kids shoes, I believe the poster who said this was in Norway.

Anyway- it got me thinking. The Big Mac index aside, what is cost-of-living like in your part of the world?

The USD is probably the easiest to put things into perspective with, so I will start.

I live in Australia, about two hours drive from my nearest capital city, being Melbourne. I work part-time and my husband works full-time. We have a 3 bedroom house that is approximately 2100sqft. We both drive, and have two cars (well, one car and one ute... a small pickup truck). We also have two cats.

At the moment the Australian dollar is about at parity/a little higher than the US dollar, so the amounts are rounded a little.

Our monthly mortgage repayment is about $1100, and out current interest rate on our mortgage is 6.6%p.a, which is tied to the rates set by the Reserve Bank of Australia. It went down by .25% last month and is expected to go down again at the end of January
Monthly repayments on my car (will end in May) are about $440 and the interest rate on that is about 12%p.a - the loan initially was for $15,000 and will have taken me 4 years and eight months to pay back when it ends
We spend about $70-$80 a week, up to about $350 a month on groceries
We pay about $25/month for natural gas into the house in summer (connection fees) and about $90/month in winter (gas ducted heating)
It costs us about $110/month for our electricity all year round, because thankfully our A/C is rarely needed, and very efficient.
We pay about $5.63/gallon ($1.49/litre) for unleaded petrol (gasoline), and about 10% more for diesel fuel

I work in a ladies' clothing boutique and get an hourly rate, no commission (thank goodness) and get paid around $15 an hour (after tax)

The average interest rate on a credit card is between 15% and 24%, depending on the credit limit and the issuing bank

A new release Blu-Ray (i.e., Cowboys and Aliens) is about $28-$32 depending on the retailer - add about $4-$8 if it's in 3D
A movie ticket for an adult is $14 at my local cinema - $18 if the movie is 3D but you get $2 of that back if you return the glasses at the end
Good quality shoes, that I would wear to work for a 7 or 8 hour shift on my feet are about $80-$120 depending on the brand and if they're on sale
I paid $689 for my iPad2 32gb wi-fi only, and $149 for my current generation iPod Nano 8gb

ETA- Books! Australia is notorious for books being hugely expensive and it's true!

A brand new top-50 hardback can go for as high as $45 depending on where you get it (at say Dymocks, a specialty book-shop) but at somewhere like BigW (Australian equivalent to Wal-Mart, basically) it will be under $30, but not by much. I actually did some research - the reason books are so expensive here is that Australia has weird import laws about books and most publishers have to manufacture books here to sell them here, which jacks up the prices.
And also explains why a *lot* of people are going to Amazon and Book Depository rather than Dymocks!



These are things most of us buy, or can buy, and I think it would be really interesting to find out how expensive/cheap things are in other parts of the world.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: baritone108 on January 03, 2012, 12:16:44 PM
This is difficult for the USA, the cost of living varies widely.  I am in the midwest.  I live in a medium size city with high unemployment and we were hit hard by the housing bust of a few years ago.  In the nicer parts of the city you can rent a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house (approx. 1800 sq. ft.) for $600 - $700.  It would be MUCH cheaper to buy a similar sized house in the same parts of the city ($55K purchase price) but it's a lot harder to get a mortgage now.  In the suburbs of this city the cost would be higher, e.g. rent $1100, purchase $125K.

My daughter lives near the nations capital.  Rent on a 3 bedroom, 2 bath townhouse is $1400 - $1700 a month.  A 2100 sq. foot house would go for around $345K.  Food is slightly more expensive there and the quality of meat is often not as good as what I can get so we send "CARE " packages of meat to them.

Back to costs where I live.  Right now gasoline bounces between $3.15 and $3.49/gallon ($.87/litre) for standard unleaded.
My DH and I spend about $60/week on groceries (food and other things like soaps and paper products).
Gas to heat the house and electricity average about $49/mo. and $90/mo. respectively with air in the summer balancing out heat in the winter.

The interest rate on a credit card can range from 7% to 22% depending on the issuing bank.  The interest rate on a mortgage is about 4%.
A movie ticket for an adult is $8 during matinee hours and $12 during prime hours, 
Good quality shoes are about $60.  You can pay much more, if you choose, and you can get good deals on sale if you watch.  During Christmas week my other daughter (who lives near me) got a pair of $99 winter boots for $2.14 by combining a sale and store credits. [During certain times of year some stores give you credits which can be used like cash for future purchases at their store.]
An iPad 2 32gb wi-fi-only is about $499, and an 8gb iPod Nano is about $124.

College tuition is terrible in my area and much less money in other parts of the country.  A 4 yr. (Bachelor's) degree at a state college will cost
$9331/yr. tuition, $11,031 room and board, and $1000 for books.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: SiotehCat on January 03, 2012, 02:12:05 PM
I live in Northern Va(5 minutes from DC). Rent for a 2 bedroom- 1 1/2 bath is close to $1600.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: lesserspotted on January 03, 2012, 02:26:49 PM
I'm in the UK, about an hour's drive from London. Housing costs vary quite a bit depending on the part of the country but I'm not sure that everything else is that different (I'm sure people from elsewhere in the UK will chime in!)

Google tells me that there are currently 1.5654 US dollars to the GBP.

Housing costs where I live are about $1,260 per month for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment (mortgage or rent), or around $260,000 to buy outright. Petrol / gasoline was $2.05 per litre ($7.75 per US gallon) last time I filled up my car, a medium-sized hatchback which cost me $17,000.

I spend around $200 per month on food / other grocery items and around $50 per month on gas and electricity.

Interest rates on mortgages / credit cards vary - my mortgage rate is currently 5.69%. There are quite a few 0% credit card offers around at the moment but I think the average is around 15.9%.

It's difficult to get good quality shoes for much under $80 unless you're lucky in the sales (or can wear children's sizes). An iPad 2 32Gb wi-fi is $750 and 8Gb iPod Nano is $170 (source for both: Amazon.co.uk).

I was lucky enough not to have to pay university tuition, but it's going up to a maximum of $14,000 per year (courses are generally 3 years but 4 is becoming more common and medicine etc is longer). Room & board depends on the university, but probably budget at least $6,000 per year.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Outdoor Girl on January 03, 2012, 02:38:48 PM
StarDrifter, the things you list are almost dead on for my area of Ontario.  Our interest rates on mortgages and car loans are a little less - sometimes, the manufacturer's offer 0% interest on vehicles for a 2 year loan, 0.9% on 3 years, 1.9% on 4 years and so on.  Our dollar is pretty close to being on par with USD, too.  We were a bit above but I think we are a bit below now.

I pay a bit more for gas than you do because I also have a gas hot water heater.  My bill is the same every month, averaged for the year.  July is catch-up month.  I pay more if I owe them, they credit me if they owe me.  It isn't usually more than about $30 either way.

I think the biggest difference between Canada and Australia is the cost of books.  Most paperback novels are $10ish here, less for romance, more for more high brow stuff.  I buy mine at Costco (a warehouse store) for more in the $6-7 range or I wait for a buy 3 get one free sale at my regular bookstore.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: katycoo on January 03, 2012, 07:46:37 PM
Sydney, Australia.

I'm about 40 mins our of the city CBD, firmly in suburbia, but about that far again from the city limits.  Sydney is enormous.

My monthly mortgage repayment is closer to (but under) $2,000, on a roughly $350,000 mortgage (cheap cheap for a 3brd, 1 bath, 1 garage house in Sydney).

Dh's ute was purchased maybe 2 years ago for about $25K (I think).  Monthly repayments on it are $650.  My car is a clunker, and fully paid for.
For the 2 of us, we spend around $120 per week on groceres (incl cleaning products).

Private Health Insurance is around $80 each p/m.

Other bills are comparable to Stardrifter.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: kareng57 on January 03, 2012, 07:47:47 PM
The main thing that I've noticed is your wage, working retail.  I'm in Canada and IME this is very high; most retail workers barely make above minimum wage which tends to be in the $ 8 to $ 10 range, depending on the province.

For all the other expenses, I will agree that, as in most other countries, it's very regional.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: CakeBeret on January 03, 2012, 08:54:07 PM
I live in the midwest USA in a suburb of a major city. Things are pretty good here. Unemployment isn't too bad, cost of living is lower than in big cities, real estate is comparatively inexpensive but has not bottomed out.

I have a 4 year degree and make $13/hr before taxes working in an office. When I worked retail I made less than $8/hr.

A 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 2-car garage home, about 10 years old, goes for between $100-140,000, depending on how many upgrades and options you have. Ours was at the lower end of the price range, but we have average grade appliances and countertops, no walk-in closets, only about 1000sq ft, etc. Because I have good credit, we got a very good interest rate, around 5.2%. It works out to about $800 a month, which includes property taxes and homeowner's insurance.

Rent on a decent 1-bedroom apartment (nothing fancy but not scary either) is $350-500 a month and at that price range you can usually get a dishwasher in the unit, and a complex pool. 2-bedroom apartments run $450-600, and you can rent a 2-bedroom house for $500-700, or a 3-bedroom for around $550-900.

Husband's car is about 13 years old; we purchased it last year for cash. My car is a compact sedan with lots of features, was 1 year old when we bought it, and cost around $12,000. I qualified for 2.5% interest; interest on used cars usually runs 5-12%, or higher of you have terrible credit. If you buy a car brand new and have good credit, you can usually get 0-3% interest.

Health insurance costs about $400/mo for three of us. We spend about $45 a week on groceries; I shop at a discount grocery (Aldi) and make primarily low-cost meals. Gas (for the car) is hovering around $3/gal.

University tuition is IMO ridiculously expensive, anywhere from $8,000-15,000 a semester in-state; if you go out of state, it can cost up to $30,000 a semester. I was very lucky to get a full scholarship to a local university, so all I paid was room and board (about $4k a semester, if I remember correctly).

I was at an outlet store a few weeks ago and good quality shoes were $40-60 a pair if you weren't too picky about looks. I wear athletic/running shoes on a daily basis, and found several brand name pairs for $30-40 in reasonably appealing styles.

Movie tickets Mon-Thurs are $5 before 6pm and $7.50 after 6pm; Friday thru Sunday they are $10 a ticket. There is an extra $3 per ticket charge for 3D movies.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Alida on January 03, 2012, 09:18:31 PM
Working retail, making $ 15/hr *after * tax?

I'm in PA, my expenses run roughly along what you have, only gas (petrol) is $ 3.49/gallon here - and I work 25 miles from home, driving a car that gets 19 miles to the gallon. There are no close jobs, unfortunately.

ETA:
2 bedroom, 1.5 bath house: approximately 1100 sq. ft: $ 750/month mortgage (taken out 20 years ago)
electric:  $212/month - there is no gas line to the house, it is all electric
food: $220/month

I am what would be considered an office supervisor (I have 9 people who report to me at my office). After taxes and insurance, my take home is just over $ 12/ hr. Less if you consider that I am salaried, so I am paid for a 40 hour week, even though I normally work approximately 45 - 50 hours each week.

Ouch - that just made me sad!
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Dindrane on January 03, 2012, 09:50:50 PM
I live in a small city (around 150-200K) on the west coast.  It's a college town, which I know affects the cost of living.  I work full time, and my husband is a graduate student.  We live in a 1 bed/1 bath apartment (it's about 725 square feet) in a relatively large complex.  We own one car (a Honda Civic), and I am usually the one to drive it.  My husband frequently takes the bus when he needs to go places during weekdays.

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree, and I would guess that it cost about $80K-$100K in total for 8 semesters (including tuition, room and board, fees, and things like books).  I went to a private university that used to be quite a good deal (comparatively), but now costs quite a bit more than I paid.  If I had gone to my state's public university, I probably would have paid about 2/3 of what the private school cost (tuition would have been substantially less, but the cost of living would have been higher because of where it's located).

Currently, I am earning about $13/hour before taxes and other deductions.  My take-home pay is more like $10/hour.  Taxes include federal and state income taxes and payroll taxes.  Deductions include my health insurance premium (it used to be free, now I pay about $30 per month after a subsidy my union negotiated for), my parking ($285 for the year, deducted monthly), and my union dues.

My husband is currently earning nothing, since he's run out of funding.  Before that, he was getting around $10,000/year after taxes as his stipend, and did not have to pay tuition.  Fortunately, we're able to get a deal on his tuition, so it's about $500/term for the bare minimum of credit hours.

Our rent is $675/month.  It's absurdly cheap for this area, and is one reason why I will likely not move.  If I were to rent the exact same apartment in this exact same complex as a new tenant, I think it would be more like $750-$800.  A two bedroom apartment is at least $700/month, and probably more like $800 or $900 if you want one that isn't run down and/or in a sketchy neighborhood.  It is not possible to rent any type of house for less than about $1,000/month.

Electricity is just about the only thing here that's cheap -- I pay around $60/month.  Everything in my apartment runs on electricity, but I don't have an air conditioner.  My apartment is also well-insulated, so we don't have to run the heat all that often.  Water and trash pickup are included in my rent, so I don't pay those separately.

I pay about $90/month for my landline, internet, and unlimited long distance (none of my family is local and I call home a lot).  I pay another $65/month for my husband's and my cell phones (we have a family plan -- this gets us 700 minutes, no texts, and no data).  Other cell phone providers are probably a little cheaper, but the one we use is the only one that consistently works in less populated areas of this state.

I don't know what interest rates are like for me.  I own my car outright (because my parents are awesome and bought it for me when I was in college), and since I rent, I don't pay a mortgage.  I probably should pay attention to the interest rate on my credit card, but I pay it off each month so I've never owed interest on it.

My Honda Civic would have cost about $17,000 new in 2003.  When my parents bought it in 2004, it was very gently used and cost about $12,000.  Gas here is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.80/gallon right now.

We spend about $400/month on groceries.  No matter how good we are about not impulse buying and making lists and buying generic when we can, we haven't been able to cut it down.  Food here is just expensive.

Similarly, if we want to eat in a restaurant that is not McDonald's, we can expect to pay at least $20, and $30-$40 (once you account for the tip) is more usual.  And that's without sales tax, too, because my state doesn't have it.

I think a new release Blu-Ray would be around $20 at a store like Target, or maybe as much as $30.  We're still living with a DVD player, and haven't even bought many DVDs lately, so I'm not sure. :)

Going to the movies is at least $10 per person unless you get a discount.  I think it's a couple dollars less for my husband, since he's still a student.

I would expect a good pair of shoes to be around $80-$100, unless I was getting them on sale.  I can find acceptable shoes at places like Target or DSW for $20 or so, but I wouldn't want to spend all day on my feet in them.

New books cost somewhere between $8-$15 for paperback, and more like $20-$30 for hardback.  I prefer to buy books used, and so rarely spend more than $4 per book.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: #borecore on January 03, 2012, 10:09:06 PM
I am in a sort of limbo where half my friends are married professionals with young kids and newish houses and the other half are singles barely scraping by with roommates in dumps (aka huge salary and lifestyle range), so I don't feel like any one of us is representative of the region.

I'm single but I live on my own in a nice place (somewhere between 500-600 sq. ft., 1 year old, $775/mo. plus another $200+ in various utilities). Midsize Texas city.

My 4-door sedan with full upgrade package was about $14,000, less than a year old, payments about $200/month after a significant down payment (and good credit).

I pay about $40 for an average pair of shoes (often less, often more, not often exactly that). I buy cheap shoes compared to some people I know, most often not leather. BF's shoes are approx $70 and he wears them into the ground, replacing them every 8 months or so.

We went to an Imax movie this week that was $13 (and chose not to buy a $5 small popcorn), but the theater we go to more often is about $9. Of course, it also has a full menu, so we usually spend another $20-$30 on top of that for dinner.

My grocery budget varies pretty widely, but cooking for myself for most meals and BF for 5+ meals a week, I spend about $200/month.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: katycoo on January 03, 2012, 10:44:29 PM
Rent on a decent 1-bedroom apartment (nothing fancy but not scary either) is $350-500 a month and at that price range you can usually get a dishwasher in the unit, and a complex pool. 2-bedroom apartments run $450-600, and you can rent a 2-bedroom house for $500-700, or a 3-bedroom for around $550-900.

Wow.  Rent on a 2 BR apartment in Sydney would cost you between $300-400 per WEEK.

Going to the movies is at least $10 per person unless you get a discount.  I think it's a couple dollars less for my husband, since he's still a student.

An adult ticket to the movies in Australia is $18.  They're rolling out VMax to all cinemas - those which have it now charge $22.  Gold Class is $39.

Plus food and drinks of course.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: #borecore on January 03, 2012, 10:51:01 PM
Rent on a decent 1-bedroom apartment (nothing fancy but not scary either) is $350-500 a month and at that price range you can usually get a dishwasher in the unit, and a complex pool. 2-bedroom apartments run $450-600, and you can rent a 2-bedroom house for $500-700, or a 3-bedroom for around $550-900.

Wow.  Rent on a 2 BR apartment in Sydney would cost you between $300-400 per WEEK.

Going to the movies is at least $10 per person unless you get a discount.  I think it's a couple dollars less for my husband, since he's still a student.

An adult ticket to the movies in Australia is $18.  They're rolling out VMax to all cinemas - those which have it now charge $22.  Gold Class is $39.

Plus food and drinks of course.

Gold Class used my town as one of their 3 U.S. debut markets with prices like those. To say it went over poorly is an understatement (dunno about the other cities). They've been bought out here by a slightly less outrageous (by local standards) business within a year or so ($19 tickets, plus a full menu).
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Information_queen on January 03, 2012, 11:29:16 PM
Memphis, TN here.

Let's see....

We're paying $660 a month for a 2bd/1bath apartment in a decent-ish area of town. Any cheaper and I've found I wouldn't want to live there. That cost includes $15 pet rent and $15 washer/dryer rent, as well (and well worth it if you ask me!). Pet deposit was $250. We didn't have a security deposit because they were running a special at the time.

Food....yeah let's not talk about what I spend on 2 people >.< I'd guess I average about $400 a month depending on what I cook. I can't say for sure because I shop at Walmart and often get things that aren't strictly groceries. Aldi's runs me about $30 for the things that I can buy there, though.

I think movie tickets were $10 last time we went. Eating out is probably $35-40 including tip.

Vet visits cost about $30 for the dog's annual checkup. The smallest dose of Heartguard is $20~ for 6 months and the Frontline is something like $90 at the vet. An 8lb bag of Purina Small Bites is $10, the next size up (can't remember how big that is) is $18, I think. It takes us a couple of months to go through that size so I can't remember any more ;D

Shoes - $60 for a good pair? I dunno, I usually buy cheap shoes. New Balance runs about $40 in the mall, though.

Cable internet is about $55. Our phones (family plan, lowest minutes available, unlimited text and generous data) run about $14-150 after taxes. Our water and electric is one bill that runs up to $150 with the A/C on all summer, and as low as $85 in the winter with the thermostat at 60F (I've turned into my dad, lol - I saw that bill after the first month I turned it down and declared that we had plenty of sweatshirts and blankets, we'll be fine!).


We should start a thread just for groceries. I know I've tried and tried to get my grocery bill down but it just doesn't happen. It would be interesting to see how that changes from place to place. I'd start it, but I can't remember right now :P Maybe after my shopping trip tomorrow.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: MummyPumpkin83 on January 04, 2012, 12:16:25 AM
in terms of university tuition, The Australian government provides "loans" called "HELP" (Higher Education Loan Program). This defers what you pay for your uni degree until you reach a certain threshold of income (Below $47,196 = nil repayment, $47,196-$52,572 = 4%HRI (HRI = Taxable income plus any total net investment loss (which includes net rental losses), total reportable fringe benefits amounts, reportable super contributions and exempt foreign employment income.) the percentage increases as your earnings increase up to 8%HRI) This is from the Australian tax office Website.

These loans are not subject to an interest rate as such, but they are "indexed" each year at tax time (financial year runs 1st July to 30th June), and you can pay the whole amount (and get a "discount") or not pay it and it gets taken out of your pay as tax.

I'm trying to find out what the "average" HELP debt is. I know my husbands was about $20,000 for a 3 year teaching degree. I have about $6,000 for 3 semesters of a Bachelor of science degree that I never finished.

Australia has recently introduced a period of paid parental leave /(you have to be eligible) which is equivalent to the minimum wage for 18 weeks (currently $589.40 a week before tax). Minimum wage is federally mandated.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 04, 2012, 12:58:55 AM
I don't even want to think about what my university tuition cost  :o  I went to a very good private school in the US where about a third of the students are filthy rich and a third are on significant financial aid.  I was in the middle third - I had some good scholarships (not from my school), but my parents saved like crazy so I could go there and I graduated with no student loans.  I think that's the biggest single factor that has allowed me and DH to be "above water" today - it's a lot easier to be financially prudent when you have some finances to start with!

Our house is about the median size for around here (3 bedroom 2.5 bath) and we actually pay less per month on our mortgage than my sister paid for a 900 square foot apartment in Providence, Rhode Island (which has no suburbs and no space because there's nowhere to expand to!).  Honestly, what makes me the saddest is there's no way we'll be able to provide Babybartfast with the same kind of college fund DH's and my parents did - DH has a decent job, but it's not going to let us put enough away to pay for her college education outright.  (Especially with another kid on the way!)  I know student loans aren't the end of the world, but they can make the difference between getting your financial feet under you at age 22 and floundering until you're 30.

Oh, gas here is right around $3/gallon (or $.73 USD per liter).  I hear it's higher in other parts of the world.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: katycoo on January 04, 2012, 03:43:30 AM
in terms of university tuition, The Australian government provides "loans" called "HELP" (Higher Education Loan Program). This defers what you pay for your uni degree until you reach a certain threshold of income (Below $47,196 = nil repayment, $47,196-$52,572 = 4%HRI (HRI = Taxable income plus any total net investment loss (which includes net rental losses), total reportable fringe benefits amounts, reportable super contributions and exempt foreign employment income.) the percentage increases as your earnings increase up to 8%HRI) This is from the Australian tax office Website.

These loans are not subject to an interest rate as such, but they are "indexed" each year at tax time (financial year runs 1st July to 30th June), and you can pay the whole amount (and get a "discount") or not pay it and it gets taken out of your pay as tax.

I'm trying to find out what the "average" HELP debt is. I know my husbands was about $20,000 for a 3 year teaching degree. I have about $6,000 for 3 semesters of a Bachelor of science degree that I never finished.

Australia has recently introduced a period of paid parental leave /(you have to be eligible) which is equivalent to the minimum wage for 18 weeks (currently $589.40 a week before tax). Minimum wage is federally mandated.

Note here that these uni fees are tuition only, not textbooks, and on campus accomodation is rare, if it exists at all.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: katycoo on January 04, 2012, 03:45:22 AM
Oh, gas here is right around $3/gallon (or $.73 USD per liter).  I hear it's higher in other parts of the world.

Yeah, I'm paying more than double that.  WE're avergae about $1.50 per litre.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: tjika on January 04, 2012, 01:35:04 PM
I'm in the north of the Netherlands. One of the cheaper area's in the country.

I rent the house I live in for $680. its a 3 bed/1,5 bath semi-detached.
I'm averaging $185/mnth for gas & electric. Water is $12/mnth

My health insurance is one of the cheapest options available and I pay $105/mnth

I work in a call center and make $11,10/hr before taxes. (minimum wage)
I spend approx. $170/mnth on food. (lower than average)

I don't have a car but if I did I would pay $2/l for unleaded.  I bike almost everywhere or use the bus and train for longer journeys.

Because of the height of my income, I receive government assistance for my rent and health insurance, totaling $330.

Good quality shoes for me average $100.

An ipad 2 32gb wifi is $747 and an 8gb nano $166

I have 4 cats and a yearly checkup, deworming and vaccination for one costs me $50. I have to buy expensive cat food because 2 have allergies (to different things) and spend $100/mnth on that.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Judah on January 04, 2012, 02:22:03 PM
I just crunched these numbers with DS because he expects to be finished with his bachelor degree next Spring and he was trying to get an idea how far his expected starting salary would get him.  He will be graduating from university with a degree in a high paying field.  The employment rate for recent graduates from his university with his degree is almost 100%, so his prospects look good.  Also in his favor is the fact that DH and I are footing the bill for his education (I don't even want to say how much, but we saved from the time he was born), so he won't have any loans to repay. Unfortunately, the companies that need his specialty are mostly located in a very high cost of living area on the West coast.  Good thing he's very frugal.

We figured his budget would look something like this:

Rent                            1600
Car                                300
Auto Insurance             200
Health Insur.                 400
Renters Insur                100
Gas                                250
Utilities                             60
Phone                            100
Clothing                         100
Food                               400
Fun                                 100
Internet                          100
Misc                                200

Gas was almost $4 the last time I was in his area. He'll have to finance a vehicle and interest rates for someone with little credit are running about 4%. Movie tickets are $12. He paid $35 for the last pair of shoes he bought.

He's the master of the good deal and knows he'll be living a very frugal life for a long time. 
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Dindrane on January 04, 2012, 03:43:51 PM
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 04, 2012, 03:44:27 PM
Judah, I can't speak to all the numbers on that list, but he can probably get phone and internet for about half of what you planned, if he's going to be on a plan by himself.  Food can also be about half of what you wrote if he's willing to cook on occasion, although if he eats out all the time he will find that it chews up his "fun money" pretty quickly  :)  I would suggest you encourage him to put some in savings, too - if he has an emergency fund, he'll be much more stable than if a car repair, burglary, surprise phone bill, etc. can wipe out his finances for the month.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: #borecore on January 04, 2012, 03:48:11 PM
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!

Yeah, my renter's insurance is $85/year and car insurance is about $400/6 months and has been in that range since I was your son's age. Of course these things depend on your area, but the numbers for those things seem quite high and the utilities number seems very low.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Judah on January 04, 2012, 03:48:32 PM
We figured his budget would look something like this:

Renters Insur                100


Incidentally, I pay around $150 per year for pretty standard renters insurance. I need to add some riders, but I pay a lot more to insure my car ($300 every 6 months) than to insure the rest of my possessions.

Also, even in Houston (a large city with lots of cars) and with the "young driver" penalty you get before you turn 25, I still only paid around $400/6 months for my insurance. $200/month would be really high!

You're right, Dindrane, I way overestimated the renter's insurance, but car insurance is runs high in his area.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Slartibartfast on January 04, 2012, 03:50:23 PM
Also, just to put this out there, I find it really useful to split my budget into "fixed" and "variable" expenses, and into "mandatory" and "discretionary" expenses.  So:

Fixed mandatory expenses: mortgage, insurance, phone bill, car registration, etc.

Variable mandatory expenses: utilities, gas, medical bills, groceries, etc.

Fixed discretionary expenses: Netflix, AAA, subscriptions to magazines and the like

Variable discretionary expenses: eating out, "fun" money, travel, and pretty much everything else

I find it much easier to break it down like this when I might need to tweak the budget, because some categories are more flexible than others.  There's nothing I can do about fixed mandatory expenses, for example, so I just ignore those.  On the other hand, if we have to shave $100 off the monthly budget, most of that can probably come from the variable discretionary stuff.  I find it helps to have everything put together so I can compare side-by-side.  Just something to think about for anyone looking at setting up a budget in the near future :)
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Redneck Gravy on January 04, 2012, 04:01:46 PM
I am in West Texas, heart of the oilboom.

In 1999 I rented a two br/two bath apartment with covered parking (about a mid range apt around here) for $ 435 per month - today that same apartment is $ 1049 per month!

I work for a landscaper and home builder.  Right now the a 2500 sq ft home goes for around $300,000 (that is above average quality - but not the highest end for builders here).  A cheaper version with linoleum and laminated countertops is still easily $180,000.  I built a 2100 sq ft home in 1993 for $90,300 with tile floors and laminated countertops for comparison figures.     

I can't afford health insurance and make too much to qualify for the women's reduced health program so I am always making payments to some doctor/lab/dentist and hospital.  I had pneumonia in June, thought it was a heart attack and the er bill is around $ 2300 for 5 hours, they suspected a collapsed lung so I got there just in time.   

Today regular gasoline is $ 3.16-$3.29 per gallon, all self serve.  A movie ticket is $ 9.75 
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Judah on January 04, 2012, 04:02:36 PM
Judah, I can't speak to all the numbers on that list, but he can probably get phone and internet for about half of what you planned, if he's going to be on a plan by himself.  Food can also be about half of what you wrote if he's willing to cook on occasion, although if he eats out all the time he will find that it chews up his "fun money" pretty quickly  :)  I would suggest you encourage him to put some in savings, too - if he has an emergency fund, he'll be much more stable than if a car repair, burglary, surprise phone bill, etc. can wipe out his finances for the month.

His phone plan would be cell only, no landline.  I figured it based on what I pay for internet, but if it's less, great!  As for food...He eats like a race horse and has a very limited repertoire in the kitchen so I purposely estimated his food bill on the  high end. I actually estimated everything on the high side just to be safe.  And the budget was just what he'll need to spend; he should be able to save 20%-25% of is take home depending on his tax burden.  He's already a good saver, so that's not something I still have to teach him.

Thanks for the input, it's been a while since I had to start from scratch with a budget, and not having concrete figures to work with makes it kind of frustrating. 
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Judah on January 04, 2012, 04:07:10 PM
Also, just to put this out there, I find it really useful to split my budget into "fixed" and "variable" expenses, and into "mandatory" and "discretionary" expenses.  So:

Fixed mandatory expenses: mortgage, insurance, phone bill, car registration, etc.

Variable mandatory expenses: utilities, gas, medical bills, groceries, etc.

Fixed discretionary expenses: Netflix, AAA, subscriptions to magazines and the like

Variable discretionary expenses: eating out, "fun" money, travel, and pretty much everything else

I find it much easier to break it down like this when I might need to tweak the budget, because some categories are more flexible than others.  There's nothing I can do about fixed mandatory expenses, for example, so I just ignore those.  On the other hand, if we have to shave $100 off the monthly budget, most of that can probably come from the variable discretionary stuff.  I find it helps to have everything put together so I can compare side-by-side.  Just something to think about for anyone looking at setting up a budget in the near future :)

You just reminded me of another expense, thanks!  I also like to split my budget this way.  I also separate expenses I pay every month and the ones that I have to save for monthly but only pay once/twice per year.

You've got me thinking.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Dindrane on January 04, 2012, 10:20:05 PM
You might check out mint.com for your son, if he's willing to give them his bank info.  I've been using it for around a year now, and the only thing they do with that information (other than compile it so I can keep track of it) is come up with targeted advertising that is very easy to ignore.  It makes it easier to track the types of expenses that only come up every few months.

Also, for car insurance, Houston is one city that does have particularly expensive insurance -- lots of cars, lots of freeways, lots of driving, and thus lots of potential for wrecks.  Even there, $1000 per year would be the high end of average, unless the driver in question had a lot of traffic violations/wrecks that were driving up the price.  $200/month puts the insurance at $2400/year, and I honestly can't imagine it costing that much anywhere without a seriously bad driving record.

I would also guess that $50/month for internet would be the high end of average.  I don't think I've ever seen it advertised for more than that where I live now, and internet isn't cheap here.  I also agree that $60/month for utilities (I'm assuming electricity, water, and/or natural gas?) is probably too low.  When I lived in Houston, electricity for a 1000 sq ft apartment ran anywhere from $80-$100 (winter) to $200+ (summer) per month.  If the climate doesn't require much in the way of air conditioning or heating, the cost will be somewhat lower, but apartments also tend to run just about everything on electricity, so that can raise the cost.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Judah on January 04, 2012, 10:34:47 PM
Thanks, Dindrane.  This thread spurred me to make some calls and do a little more research. What I found is that most apartments in his area include all utilities, including internet, except electricity. That's a savings., especially since he's unlikely to need to need airconditioning or heat.

Also, my insurance estimate is WAY high. It's looking better for him. I also found out that it might be possible for DS to remain on my health insurance until he's 26. That would be a HUGE savings.

I appreciate everyone's help and apologize for hijacking the thread.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: baritone108 on January 05, 2012, 11:15:22 AM
Judah,

It's part of Obamacare, your children can remain on your health insurance until they are 26.  If they are married or have children of their own only your child can be on your insurance.  My daughter is on mine and her husband is on his mother's.  they're insurance shopping now because a baby is on the way and will not be covered under either plan.  Also, if there is supplemental dental or vision insurance your company does not have to allow you to carry your adult child on that, just on the basic health insurance.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Lady Snowdon on January 06, 2012, 10:32:07 PM
I live in the Upper Midwest, in the metro area of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Prices can vary quite a bit even between different cities in our metro area!

I paid $3.29 for gas this morning.  My car is actually a small SUV (Hyundai Tucson), is a 2006 model, bought 2 years ago and cost about $12,000.   I think my interest rate is about 7% for that.

DH and I have a 3 bedroom/3 bath/2 car attached garage house, 1500 sq ft, built in 1981.  We bought it for $200,000 about 4 years ago.  It's now worth about $170,000 due to dropping real estate!  We just refinanced, and our payment will be going down to about $1200, including property taxes and homeowner's insurance.  We have forced air central heating and air-conditioning.  In the summer our electrical bill is about $70 and our gas bill is about $30.  It's reversed in the winter, as our furnace is gas. 

DH and I both attended a private college.  When we attended, tuition was $25,000 per year our freshman year.  I think room and board tacked on another $5,000 or so to that price.  That was 1999.  This year, tuition at the same college for a freshman is $37,000, plus room and board.  I just graduated from my master's program at a private university, and paid about $35,000 over the course of 5.5 years for that.  My first set of student loans came due just now, and I'll be paying about $400 a month for the next ten years on that money.  My company picked up the other $16,000 of the tuition.  Sadly, it would have been even more expensive had I gone to the program offered by our state university.

I pay about $180 per month for my health insurance, which is through my employer. 

I'd say I spend about $300 a month on groceries, but that's unusual.  DH works for a chain of upscale grocery stores, and so we shop there.  We could probably cut our grocery bill by a 1/3 if I shopped elsewhere. 

We paid $8 per person for matinee tickets to the movies last time we went. 

A paperback book costs about $8, a hardback costs about $25 - $30. 
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: CakeEater on January 15, 2012, 02:57:35 AM

I'd say I spend about $300 a month on groceries, but that's unusual.  DH works for a chain of upscale grocery stores, and so we shop there.  We could probably cut our grocery bill by a 1/3 if I shopped elsewhere. 

Wow! If I come home with less than $300 worth of groceries a week, I'm pretty happy. Baby, toddler, DH and me. Formula, 2 lots of nappies, all meat, fruit and veges as well as groceries. In rural Australia, but shopping at either of the two big grocery chains.
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: Redsoil on January 15, 2012, 06:29:49 AM
CakeEater - I'm with you being a bit boggled on others with relatively low grocery bills.  We're on a farm in rural Australia and an average grocery bill would be $250 or so for just two of us (including cleaning stuff and other products apart from food).

Fuel is around 148 cents a litre.  Diesel runs a bit cheaper for us after we get a rebate (vehicles which are not used "on road" are exempt from road tax, which is rebated to us after paying.  We buy diesel several thousand litres at a time.)

My new ute was 36,000 in 2010.  DH's ute (second-hand) was 14,000 (2002 model 1 tonner)  Insurance for mine is $850 per annum (includes 60% no claim bonus). 

We rent a house to tenants in town for $220 per week.  I work part-time as a specialist medical receptionist - $25 per hour plus superannuation on top of that.

I went to uni in the dim dark ages where there were no fees (early-mid 80s). Yes, to all the US Hellions - free education, no catches! Just paid for textbooks and extras. That ended a long time ago, though.  I'm looking at possibly going back to study (distance education) and the units I'm looking at will cost round $15,000 all up.

General shoes for work are about $80, riding boots for farm work are about $90.  My "flash" ones for going out are about $350, but they'll last forever.  Jeans are around $60, polo shirts about the same.

Insurance is a lot - farms tend to need quite a bit and it's not cheap!  Health insurance for the two of us is about $2400, plus there are various other insurances for disability/death etc.  Insurance and accounting fees tend to take up quite a bit of budget.

What about computers in other parts of the world?  Broadband wireless internet here is $59 per month, and a Toshiba laptop was $999 on special.  Obviously, computers would vary wildly depending on what one has, but I thought it would be interesting to see the different options and price ranges. 

Posting stuff in Australia seems quite dear compared to other places.  I've had parcels from the US sent to me for around $6 to $13.  Domestic parcels here for similar sizes and weights were double that!  Also, domestic airfares from rural areas are expensive.  Regional centre to Sydney return was around $340 last time I checked.

Interesting to see the differences in various bits and pieces!
Title: Re: budgets budgets budgets!
Post by: jaxsue on January 23, 2012, 01:28:14 PM
I live in near NYC. Need I say more?  :o