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Unread 01-24-2011, 10:49 PM
 
26 posts, read 24,695 times
Reputation: 18
Default 35K income enough to survive on my own?

Hello everyone,

I have searched, and read up and done some homework on if I can afford to live on my own. Now, the last step is to ask people who actually have real experience.

Let me tell you all a bit about myself...

-I Graduated Platt Tech class of 2010.
-19 Years old
-Steady relationship of almost 3 years.
-Been in the workforce since 16
-Had my license since 16
-Owned 3 cars, current one is an 04 VW Passat
-Plan on financing a newer Passat with a monthly payment of $210.
-Born and raised between Bridgeport/Shelton/Milford.
-Taking a couple night classes at housatonic towards a degree.

Been looking at two 2 bedroom apartments in Fairfield close to Blackrock, and a place closer to the merrit parkway, both 850<. I will be commuting to Wilton on the merrit parkway side of town.

I currently make 35K+ a year with benefits with potential for expansion within a year or so. My girlfriend can only help out maybe 300-400 a month after her expenses.

Any suggestions? Input? How about westport? North end bridgeport?

Thanks,

-Dan
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Unread 01-25-2011, 06:00 AM
 
Location: Fairfield County, CT
11,342 posts, read 10,710,286 times
Reputation: 3008
Dan,

Try to find a roommate. You can find a 2br apartment in Shelton or Stratford for 900ish, so you would save half. Factor in utilities, groceries, cost of gas (~2 tanks per week) and other misc expenses: gym memberships, oil changes, etc. Also, how close you want to be to Wilton will depend on your hours (7-3, 8-4, 9-5?) - just keep in mind, south of Bridgeport, rents begin to multiply.

Here is a great way to see what you can afford:

How to Estimate How Much Rent You Can Afford | eHow.com

Honestly, I wouldn't go much above $550 per month, incl. most utilities - but I'm generally a conservative spender.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 07:01 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
304 posts, read 279,979 times
Reputation: 220
When I first moved to the hartford area my income was about the same as yours. I had a payment on a used truck of $221 a month and my share of the rent was $550 plus half utilities. It was usually $700 a month after utilites. I was ALWAYS broke and never had money for anything. I would struggle to buy groceries and gas would ALWAYS go on a credit card where I could worry about it later.

My suggestion is if you are planning to live on your own at that income is to keep your existing car which has no payment and put the extra $210 a month toward bills so you can make ends meet. After 6 months of living where you are, re-evaluate your budget and see if you can fit in the new car PLUS insurance for it.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Norwalk, CT
4,421 posts, read 3,371,843 times
Reputation: 2483
That's going to be extremely challenging, even in the most affordable areas of CT. But you're looking to live off $35K in Fairfield county? Impossible! Even in Hartford that's a great challenge.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Central, CT
732 posts, read 675,706 times
Reputation: 281
Def go the route of a room mate...you may even be able to find a small house and you and your girl go in with another couple if they are as steady as you. When I first moved back here from Boston I was making a little less than 35k and with my car payment at the time of 210 and utilities, insurance, gas, and student loan payments I really needed the room mates to make it work but make it work I did so yes it is possible if you hae a level head (eat at home, write a budget, etc).
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Unread 01-25-2011, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Fairfield County, CT
11,342 posts, read 10,710,286 times
Reputation: 3008
One tip if you do get a roommate: try to get on separate leases.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
13,323 posts, read 19,953,553 times
Reputation: 2872
It sounds like the OP is going to be moving in with his girlfriend and she can afford to help with the rent. I agree with the others that it is going to be tough, but you are young and that is the way it is when you first start out.

I doubt you will be able to find a place in Westport in your range but you never know. You might also look in Norwalk to reduce your commute. The North End of Bridgeport would be another option but I generally recommend staying north of North Avenue and west of Main Street.

I also agree with the others that you shouldhold off on the new car right now. Why burden yourself with more debt when you already have a 7 year old vehicle that I assume runs fine.

Also, I might question why you are in such a rush to move out on your own. You are still kind of young and it would be best for you to save as much money as possible before you move out. Of course this assumes that living at home is a reasonable option. Jay
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Unread 01-25-2011, 10:01 AM
 
830 posts, read 1,193,224 times
Reputation: 354
Default you will buy generic everything

Do able, but really hard. I was making 35K a yr when I bought a 69K condo and had to drive Merritt to Westport. My mortgage was what you say your rent will be.

Your fridge will be mostly empty, - you will buy generic everything laundry soap, cereal, paper products, oh...everything, you will NOT be able to get extended cable packages - or eat out a lot, no $20/30 nights at the movies, you will likely need to drop your phone bills/cell bills to basic...NO kidding... I hope at 19 you've learned to cook and NOT waste, and NOT rely on your girlfriends cooking skills, can you cook and do laundry yourself? Do the apartments you're looking at have laundry machines... you might blow a bunch of $$$ each week if you have to pay for machines....Can you try to think of all your misc items.... be honest....what will have to get cut....if you want to be independent you will owe a lot...and NO you do not deserve just one luxury a day if you have bills....how long have you known this person... can you get by if a breakup causes you to not have her $300-400 contribution? Does she waste alot on hair, nails, make up, impulse buying, clothes,??? Is she a closet shopper who hides stuff in her car, 'cause if your partner and you both are not committed to frugality together... you will be hearing 'Ill pay you next week' a lot of times.
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Unread 01-25-2011, 10:11 AM
 
26 posts, read 24,695 times
Reputation: 18
Hi,

Thanks for all the suggestions, comments and such...I really appreciate it. My hours for work at 9-5, meaning that the commute on the Merritt parkway will be obscene. Norwalk isn't too bad either...although I can't seem to find anything cheap on the north side.


Also, the reasoning behind getting a newer, reliable car is due to the fact that I'm having transmission problems with my current vehicle. And all of you that own german cars...you know its triple the price of a japenese car/american car to repair, and is just not plausible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by seymourct View Post
Do able, but really hard. I was making 35K a yr when I bought a 69K condo and had to drive Merritt to Westport. My mortgage was what you say your rent will be.
I hope at 19 you've learned to cook and NOT waste, and NOT rely on your girlfriends cooking skills, can you cook and do laundry yourself? Do the apartments you're looking at have laundry machines... you might blow a bunch of $$$ each week if you have to pay for machines....Can you try to think of all your misc items.... be honest....what will have to get cut....if you want to be independent you will owe a lot...and NO you do not deserve just one luxury a day if you have bills....how long have you known this person... can you get by if a breakup causes you to not have her $300-400 contribution? Does she waste alot on hair, nails, make up, impulse buying, clothes,??? Is she a closet shopper who hides stuff in her car, 'cause if your partner and you both are not committed to frugality together... you will be hearing 'Ill pay you next week' a lot of times.
This is what I was waiting to hear. I'm glad you posted this!
-I didn't factor my girlfriend into the budget in terms of helping out, due to these circumstances. I can cook, not a big deal there. I used to cook for my family every once in a while. I can make a funny Joke about my girlfriend's cooking ability...but I don't want to offend any of the women on the boards! :]
She isn't an impulse buyer although she tends to revamp her wardrobe every year or so.


To answer your question Jay, I will be needing to move out because of family issues, I know I'm young...but Its something that needs to be done.

As for the Roommate thing, it is something that I have put into consideration..but I don't really know any of my friends that are willing, even if they can afford it.

Any more input is helpful,

Dan

Last edited by hypoxia; 01-25-2011 at 10:21 AM..
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Unread 01-25-2011, 10:41 AM
 
6,841 posts, read 6,240,294 times
Reputation: 6030
Its manageable as long as you dont have high credit card debt, a lot of bills like a huge car payment and other expensive hobbies such as ordering out every other night.
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