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Any college students here?

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
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I'm starting school in a few weeks and moving into my apartment relatively soon and this time I'm no longer living in the dorms, which will be a nice change-up. =P I'll have my own apartment but I'll need to manage my expenses and I'm wondering if some people here could give me an idea of how much their basic spending was per month. I've alotted $1000 per month for my rent ($680), electric bill (water+gas included in rent), food, and internet. Am I missing any other basic expenses? Should $1000 be enough to comfortably get me by? I have no clue how much electric bill should be (maybe ~$60?), or how much I will spend on food (~$150-$200?), and high-speed internet (~$40-$60?). If anyone could give me a clue or how much they've spent on these things to get by, I'd greatly appreciate it! Also, does anyone living in the Baltimore, MD area know of any good internet service providers that are reliable and fast?
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
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Eleventy billion seems a little steep for me... ;) I won't be needing a car because finding parking or paying for parking in Baltimore in not feasible for me and I can't be hassled by gas + car insurance expenses. Also, I won't be needing cable TV because I don't watch TV... :)
 

Quasmo

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2004
9,631
1
76
I've alotted $1000 a month, and I need $40 a week for gas and another $40 for my phone.
 

postmortemIA

Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2006
7,707
36
91
$150 for food? do you plan to use dollar menu 3 times a day?

think triple of that, seriously.
 

imported_Imp

Diamond Member
Dec 20, 2005
9,148
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0
$0...

I live at home and close enough to go home for lunch so I don't even have to buy anything... I don't get morning coffee or snacks in the go. Man, I am scum;).
 

postmortemIA

Diamond Member
Jul 11, 2006
7,707
36
91
Originally posted by: Imp
$0...

I live at home and close enough to go home for lunch so I don't even have to buy anything... I don't get morning coffee or snacks in the go. Man, I am scum;).
For some/most it is not an option because there's no adequate major/school in home town.
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
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$450 for food? I am really going to spend that much? I'm not a picky eater and furthermore, I eat two meals a day on average with maybe a bit of snacking. I plan to eat out time after time but that's not part of my basic spending budget. Also, I'm not planning to buy frozen dinners or gourmet crap oh a regular basis because I'm willing to do a fair share of cooking.
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
0
0
Jesus christ. What do you guys typically eat on a daily basis? Does your food budget include eating out?
 

invidia

Platinum Member
Oct 8, 2006
2,151
1
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Over here, rent+sewerage is $555, for 2 people (about $280ish each), electric/water varies from $25-$60 a month (depending on the month), and my phone bill is about $90 (I have a super fast internet connection). I shop at a supermarket club (Sam's club) and that shit is only $30 a week per person. Good food too. I only drive to work, so that's less than $25 a month for gas. So my bill is about 750-900 a month for 2 people.

I don't have cable, since the internet is my entertainment and all the episodes, movies, etc ends up on youtube, dailymotion, etc.
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
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0
Originally posted by: invidia
Over here, rent+sewerage is $555, for 2 people (about $280ish each), electric/water varies from $25-$60 a month (depending on the month), and my phone bill is about $90 (I have a super fast internet connection). I shop at a supermarket club (Sam's club) and that shit is only $30 a week per person. Good food too. I only drive to work, so that's less than $25 a month for gas. So my bill is about 750-900 a month for 2 people.

I don't have cable, since the internet is my entertainment and all the episodes, movies, etc ends up on youtube, dailymotion, etc.
I have to applaud you... That's a very nice budget. If I were to go over $1000 I would have to get a stable job and some sort of income while in college because the money I made over summer would not be enough to get me by. Like you, I plan on doing all my grocery shopping in a supermarket.
 

eLiu

Diamond Member
Jun 4, 2001
6,407
1
0
I live in a dorm, so I can't help you with the other expenses...

In Boston/Cambridge, I spend $200-300/month on food, and that's eating out 3-4 times per week (eating out costs anywhere from about $7 at Wendy's/Subway to $20 at mid-range restaurants). When I'm not eating out, I eat leftovers/cook.

The key to saving money on food when cooking is to *only buy things on SALE* (unless you have a sam's club type of thing... but I've never been to one, so I don't know what prices are like there). Otherwise, if you can, get a hold of newspapers and clip coupons. Other than that, when let the weekly sales dictate what you eat. There's also little reason to skip out on "gourmet" items as long as you wait for the right sale. Then buy in bulk! (for non-perishables like 10-15lbs of chicken, 20 jars of pasta sauce, 15lbs of pasta, etc) Also, I'd try to find some canned soups and ramen types of things that you enjoy eating. You will often find yourself just feeling too lazy to cook, and ramen/canned food is a cheap way to get by (canned soup for <$1, ramen for <$0.5). Oh and for the love of god buy ramen at an Asian market; things like "cup noodles" are terrible.

Edit: my freshman year, when I pretty much only cooked & rarely ate out, my montly food budget was in the high 100s. Since then I've decided to indulge myself a bit... :embarrassed;

Edit2: Cooking is cheaper/faster if you are doing it with multiple people. I know I can bring my food bills down farther with more mouths eating.
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
28,247
3,671
126
at home right now, but will be living in a house near campus.

rent: 380

utilities (cable, internet, water, gas, electric, etc.): ~$50

food: 30-40 / 2 weeks
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
0
0
Originally posted by: eLiu
I live in a dorm, so I can't help you with the other expenses...

In Boston/Cambridge, I spend $200-300/month on food, and that's eating out 3-4 times per week (eating out costs anywhere from about $7 at Wendy's/Subway to $20 at mid-range restaurants). When I'm not eating out, I eat leftovers/cook.

The key to saving money on food when cooking is to *only buy things on SALE* (unless you have a sam's club type of thing... but I've never been to one, so I don't know what prices are like there). Otherwise, if you can, get a hold of newspapers and clip coupons. Other than that, when let the weekly sales dictate what you eat. There's also little reason to skip out on "gourmet" items as long as you wait for the right sale. Then buy in bulk! (for non-perishables like 10-15lbs of chicken, 20 jars of pasta sauce, 15lbs of pasta, etc) Also, I'd try to find some canned soups and ramen types of things that you enjoy eating. You will often find yourself just feeling too lazy to cook, and ramen/canned food is a cheap way to get by (canned soup for <$1, ramen for <$0.5). Oh and for the love of god buy ramen at an Asian market; things like "cup noodles" are terrible.

Edit: my freshman year, when I pretty much only cooked & rarely ate out, my montly food budget was in the high 100s. Since then I've decided to indulge myself a bit... :embarrassed;

Edit2: Cooking is cheaper/faster if you are doing it with multiple people. I know I can bring my food bills down farther with more mouths eating.
That sounds great. Thankfully, the supermarket that's two blocks from my apartment is decently priced and has plenty of sales. I will have to look into getting into the idea of shopping around and making the most of my money.

Also, Fenixgoon, tell me that your parents are helping you pay for part of your expenses. =P Those numbers look way too good to be true.

I also have to furnish my room when I get back. My apartment isn't very big and I don't plan on getting lots of fancy stuff. I will need a bed, desk (big enough for computer + books, notebook), nightstand, and decent office chair. Any idea how much this will cost me? Will $500 for this type of furniture be enough? Also, are there any good places to order online and is there any way I can get this stuff delivered to my place free of charge?
 

RedCOMET

Platinum Member
Jul 8, 2002
2,837
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0
How long will you be in this apartment? I only ask becuase moving is a real PITA, and the less you have, or the less items to collect over the course of your stay there will make it easier to move out of the place.

So buy furniture that is easy to take apart, or that is "moving friendly." Sorry, I can't offer any good advice as to what would work in your case.

I will say, don't skimp on the bed, or your computer desk/chair. When i lived in my apartment, that's where I spent most of my time, either in my chair at my pc desk or sleeping in my bed.
 

Bucks

Senior member
Jun 23, 2004
923
1
81
I agree with the other people. I would allow for about $250 or more on food.
 

asdftt123

Senior member
Jul 27, 2007
612
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0
I will be staying in my apartment for at least 2 years. I have 2 years left in undergrad and I may opt to stay another year for research or a masters program before graduate/medical school. I can definitely see how moving in is a pain but the process of moving in and out while in the dorms was a hassle so by having an apartment I won't have to do that at the end of this school year. =) I just really need to work out my budget and funiture expenses before I start the whole process.
 

esun

Platinum Member
Nov 12, 2001
2,214
0
0
I'd say $1000 is a reasonable estimate, but on the low side (at least for me, but my expenses are higher than most I imagine). I don't really pay too much attention to expenses, but I get a $1400 paycheck every month and I never need to ask my parents for money and I always end up with some extra at the end of the semester, so that'd be a maximum for me.
 

TallBill

Lifer
Apr 29, 2001
46,044
62
91
That is rediculously low for food, $5 a day? Hope you like Ramen. 3 packs a day, $.30 total.

$150 isn't enough to even cover the cost of breakfast for a month :D
 

Skeeedunt

Platinum Member
Oct 7, 2005
2,777
3
76
If you know how to cook and aren't too picky, $200-$250 is probably doable for food. I'm a lazy pig so I usually push twice that.

Target, Ikea and the like have decent cheap furniture. $500 will probably be enough unless you need a mattress.

I live in a 1br apartment and electricity varies from $60-$100 winter to summer.

All the little shit can add up too, cleaning supplies, haircuts, new tires, oil changes, iPhones, trashbags, gloves to clean up a crime scene, etc. so keep that in mind.

And don't forget to save your pennies for the BOOZE FUND.
 

alimoalem

Diamond Member
Sep 22, 2005
4,025
0
0
food is NOT $400+ per month. that's if you eat out a lot. this is how it was for me last year.

rent: $510
PG&E: $20-90 (if it was me by myself, it would never go over $25 but my roommate turned up the heat to 80 degrees in the winter...it should realistically be $20-60 for the full bill)
Phone & Internet: ~$21 for phone line and DSL. $5.24 including tax for Lifeline phone service from AT&T (if you work and make less than $12k per year i think, claim yourself as an independent to AT&T and you get this. only $1 activation fee). $15 DSL service.
Food: i think for the last 5 months, it came out to ~$500 total...definitely not more than $600. this doesn't include the cost i would've paid for food the days i was home with my parents (couple weekends per month) and i ate out like $20-50 a month. comes out to like $150-200 a month, and my roommate and i treated ourselves VERY well.

total: ~$825 on the high end.

OP, i think comcast has a deal where you pay $20 a month for 6 months. cancel after 6 months and have your roommate get it or "sacrifice" and go to DSL for the last 6 months.

your food shouldn't go over $250 so i really don't see you going over budget.
 

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