What am I doing wrong?

So after reading Steve Corona’s “College” blog post, I felt pretty bad for this guy living on $400 a week and sleeping on the floor to make ends meet.

$400 a week is hardly enough to live comfortably, but I made it work. Like, I could pay for rent and food, but had to sleep on the floor for 3 months because I couldn’t afford a bed.

I was curious how my own budget looks since I’ve just started living on my own.

Numbers are monthly because that’s easier to find:

  • $500 – rent for a furnished bedroom in a not-great part of Manhattan (actual rent is $480)
  • $50 – utilities / gas (almost 0) + electricity (by far the highest) + water + cable internet
  • $30 – cell phone bill, literally my lifeblood / unlimited talk/text + 5GB data / way more than I need
  • $120 – eating out / I don’t do fancy eating out, just convenient / budgeted at $5 for one meal a day during the workweek, with room to spare
  • $120 – grocery (eating in, as I like to call it) / a recent $25.11 grocery trip has lasted me just about 1 week exactly, so $20 on top of that to spare
  • $110 – transportation a.k.a. 30-day unlimited ride MetroCard / I love this thing, gets me anywhere around NYC, and that includes faraway places like Flushing where all the good Chinese food is and the Atlantic Ocean beaches in the Rockaways
  • $40 – spending money / I don’t go crazy with shopping, and there’s not much I buy besides some online purchases and the occasional clothing

Add all that up, 500+50+30+120+120+110+40, and you get $970. A month.

If you divide that by four, that’s obviously a lot less than $400 a week, and I’m living pretty comfortably. I’m sure I could cut back a ton if I was watching my budget.

So that means either I’m missing a lot of expenses that my 18-year-old mind does not comprehend, or $400 was a number Steve just threw out there. In any case, I don’t have a good idea of what a normal budget should look like (and don’t lmgtfy).

*Insurance, I’ll let my parents worry about

**No loans I have to make payments on, thankfully

Live every week with GIM (goal-in-mind)