Budgeting is a scary, life threatening, and soul sucking word. In my world, it’s akin to the monster under the bed, the boogie man, or an extremely dark alleyway at midnight. IT’S VERY SCARY. But I decided it was high time to sit myself down and really sort out my expenses in order to be able to live a comfortable and sustainable life.
Ok. So before we moved, I made myself a ‘Do this now or you will die in Australia’ checklist. Here’s what it consisted of:
· Get a furnished apartment that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg
· Open up an Aussie bank account
· Set up your internet and electricity bills
· Set up your new SIM card and phone plan
· Go to work
So here I am at the end of my checklist. We are settled into our place, we have electricity, a fridge to store food, phones to call our friends, bank accounts to use, and jobs that provide income. In terms of adulting, we have hit our peak (out of the 2-ish months that we’ve been semi – adults. Only a lifetime to go!!). We’ve found some friends, started volunteering, singing in the choir, and going out for dinners with colleagues. But the real question of the moment is this:
Now that we’ve successfully moved abroad, how in the heck do we budget so that we can stay abroad?!
Luckily, I was raised by an accountant and a super OCD teacher who live very frugal lives. During college, they would monitor my income in my bank account and only leave around $70 per week for gas, food, and miscellaneous fees for my various clubs. As I moved through college, the weekly balance moved from $70 to $40 a week. They successfully taught me how to live within my means and budget my spending so that I didn’t blow my entire paycheck all at once.
So all in all, here’s a breakdown of how much it is costing us to live in the heart of Melbourne.
· $1,390 per month for the apartment ($695 for each of us)
· $59 per month for internet (I know – yikes!! But you don’t realize how much you need the internet until you don’t have it)
· $40 per month phone plan (for each of us)
· $50-70 per week for groceries
· $20 per weekend for eating out
· $10 per week for coffee (this is only for me – coffee dates are starting to take a toll)
· $50 per month for miscellaneous items – books I need for the classroom, household items, etc
So all in all, for the apartment and internet we are spending $1,449 per month. We are spending about $1,899 per month to live comfortably. Individually, we each spend around $1,000 per month. We are expensive. Luckily we both make around $1,000 per week, so we are able to keep up with the expenses without getting kicked out of our apartment or starving.
We both make about $4,000 per month (give or take), which leaves both of us with $3,000 per month to spend or save as we please. So we’ll be storing away $1,000 each month for savings, which leaves us with about $500 per week to either store or put away.
Budgeting is always the monster under the bed, but it seriously makes opening my banking app MUCH easier and less stressful. I highly recommend creating a budget for any phase of your life, whether it be as a broke college kid, a high schooler trying to save up for that Coach purse at the mall, or a newly minted adult like me.
Budgeting is the key to happiness, I swear!
All the best,