Home > Budget Basics, Part II!

Budget Basics, Part II!

November 8th, 2006 at 05:54 am

Bills To Bank On. Why so many?

A roof over your head.
Rent is the big one, but it can be the most flexible. In this part of

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Jersey, bank on paying a lot more, $1,00 and up, for a lot less space. In the area further from
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the city, rent may start as low as $800. Keep in mind that a roommate can lighten the load and apartment complexes with extras are more expensive.

Bachelor's degree.
Six months out of college, there will be the ever popular
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school loan. Sit down and figure out what you're expected to pay every month and see if it is possible to double-up on payments.

Food, glorious food.
Usually $100 to $150 per month is plenty, but keep in mind that meat, medicine, cleaning supplies and beauty products add up quick. Coupons and food store savings cards can help you save.

Getting from point A to B
Transportation by car, bus or subway can really drive the bills home. Settle on a reliable used car that eats up little gas and doesn't require monthly payments. Budget in the cost of insurance, maintenance and gas. If you have to take public transportation, plan ahead and include the cost in your budget.

Homeowner insurance is good for renters because it protects your belongings (even clothes and CDs!) from theft, fire and water damage. A basic policy for someone with less than $15,000 worth of belongings can range from $50 to $75 for the year.

Is it cold in here?
Gas, heat, hot water, electricity, sewage and trash are basic utilities, with heat being the expensive in
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Jersey. Some are covered in the rent, so be sure you know what's included. A place that's only $800 a month could cost you $1,000 or more after utilities. Ask other renters in your building what they average a month and work that into your budget.

2 Responses to “Budget Basics, Part II!”

  1. Kim Says:

    about the student loans, I think that the grace period is when all that ugly interest builds up. so if possible, make payments to your student loans during the grace period.

  2. jersey jen Says:

    * kim

    hey, thanks for the info! i have taken out pretty out all kinds of student loans out there. the interest build up actually depends on the loan:
    - stafford subsidized - uncle sam pays for interest during school and 6-month grace period
    - stafford unsubsidized - you pay interest during school and 6-month grace period, although the amount can be capitalized to the principle
    - perkins - uncle sam pays for interest during school and 9-month grace period
    - plus or private - you pay interest during school and no grace period

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