July 15, 2024
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THE MONEY MINDER

‘We eat out more than we need to’: I’m about to rent my first apartment with my girlfriend, covering most expenses. Can we make this budget work?

‘We eat out more than we need to’: I’m about to rent my first apartment with my girlfriend, covering most expenses. Can we make this budget work?

Hi Money Minder,

Alright, so I’m kinda tight with money, but I’m about to dive into renting my first apartment with my girlfriend, and honestly, I’m a bit freaked out. The place we’re eyeing is pretty affordable at $975 a month. It’s a one bed, one bath with a den. I pull in around $4,500 a month, sometimes getting a bump to $5,000-$5,500 with bonuses. My current bills are about $595 a month, but that will drop to around $545 soon. I’m also chipping away at a credit card at the minimum monthly payment.

I’ll be footing the rent and paying for the washer and dryer rental. My girlfriend, on the other hand, will cover utilities and internet. She makes roughly $2,000 a month juggling two part-time jobs while being a full-time college student.

Do you think we can make this work? My biggest worry is that I usually end up paying when we go out due to our work situations. Right now, we live with her sister, whose kitchen is a bit of a disaster zone. So, we end up eating out way more than we should. Hopefully, once we move, we can start meal planning and cooking at home.

Thanks for sticking with me through this. I really need some reassurance here. Money Minder, what do you think?

Cheers,

Worried New Renter

Response from THE MONEY MINDER:

Sure, here is your text in bold:

Hello There,

Congratulations on taking such a significant step towards renting your first apartment with your girlfriend! It’s perfectly normal to feel apprehensive about these changes, especially when it involves financial commitments. Your thorough assessment of your income and expenses is a great starting point.

Based on the information you provided, it seems feasible to afford the apartment given your combined financial situation. Your monthly income of $4,500 to $5,500, minus the rent of $975 and your $545 in current bills, leaves you with a reasonable buffer before considering other expenses. Split responsibilities for rent and utilities will help distribute the financial load, which is a smart approach.

Adjusting your lifestyle to reduce eating out will be crucial. Meal planning and cooking at home once you’re in your own space can significantly cut costs, allowing more flexibility in your budget. Additionally, ensure you have a clear understanding of all potential expenses, including renter’s insurance, groceries, and any ancillary costs that may come with maintaining your new living space.

It would also be wise to revisit your budget monthly and adjust as needed. Track your spending closely to identify any areas where you might be consistently overspending. Building a small emergency fund, if you haven’t already, can also provide a safety net for unexpected expenses.

In terms of debt, continue to pay off your credit card as diligently as possible. It might help to allocate a specific portion of your monthly budget towards extra payments to reduce the debt faster, thereby saving on interest in the long run.

Moving in with your girlfriend to a place that’s solely yours can indeed alleviate some of the discomforts you’re currently experiencing. This process will not only improve your living conditions but also offer an opportunity for both of you to grow together in financial responsibility and independence.

Good luck with the transition, and remember that careful planning and consistent monitoring will guide you successfully through this new chapter.

Warm regards,
THE MONEY MINDER

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