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Old 08-17-2009, 11:24 PM
 
36 posts, read 109,217 times
Reputation: 19

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I'm moving to Boston soon, and all I know is that it's an expensive city. And I know living expenses will differ wildly for everyone, but if it's possible to generalize, how much monthly utility fees (probably just electricity, water, and internet; I won't need cable and heat stuff is included in my rent) should I expect? I'll be in a studio (neither very big nor tiny).

And I guess a major source of money spending will be on food (besides rent)... would anyone mind sharing how much $ they spend on food on a weekly basis (assuming eating-out in moderation, and not much fancy cooking at home)? Again, I know there's probably a huge range depending on the person, but if I could get any sort of idea, that would be extremely helpful.

This is my first job after my recent college graduation in May, I'll be earning an entry-level income, and the rent kind of frightened me (I am literally paying quadruple the amount I'm used to paying!)...


PS: What % of my income goes off to taxes and such in MA?
(or: What % of my income do I *actually* receive in MA...?)
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Old 08-18-2009, 05:53 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 2,214,436 times
Reputation: 365
//www.city-data.com/forum/bosto...le-budget.html

Check out this thread (it's toward the bottom of the first Boston page). It's along the same lines as your question.

Consider a roommate situation if money is a major concern. Check out Craigslist (that's how everyone around here finds roommates). Yes, there's a chance that you'll end up with a terrible roommate, but there are tons of normal, nice people. Craigslist is always how I found them.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:33 PM
 
36 posts, read 109,217 times
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Thanks for the referral.

So holy craaaap.

First of all, I definitely underestimated the % of tax.
Secondly, I had a strong strong preference for a studio so I already signed a lease for that. I should have thought more realistically.

I'll be making $32500.
Minus all the tax (5.3% state tax, 13.7% fed tax, 7.65% ss + medicare)
**not sure if the "ss + medicare" tax rate will be the same for me as the guy who did the budget draft post, but I'll assume this for now?**

--> Monthly net income: 1986.10

--> Monthly rent (heat/hw included, thank god): 1050

--> ~$936./month
This must pay for all my food, utilities, public transportation, and whatever else comes my way. Is this even a feasible figure in a place like Boston...?
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Boston
1,082 posts, read 2,770,358 times
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Yes, it is feasible. I spend about $200 a week on groceries for a family of five. I'd assume you can get by on $75 to $100, without making any qualitative sacrifice. Since you have heat and hot water, your utilities will be fairly low. Electricity is cheap. Probably your biggest expenses outside of food will be cable/internet ($100) and a Link Pass ($59 for unlimited bus and subway). That will leave you between $300 and $400 a month for other things.
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Old 08-19-2009, 11:47 AM
 
2,090 posts, read 5,037,351 times
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Does your company offer health insurance? If so, what is your contribution? You can have it taken out pretax which will save you a little.

Also remember you will have phone bill, on top of electricity, cable/internet (as someone else pointed out). Add to that a clothing allowance (as a new college grad I'm assuming you will need new attire for your job).

I think your budget will be very tight and leave little for entertainment. The harsh reality is a part time night or weekend job might make things a little more comfortable for you.

Good Luck!
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Old 08-19-2009, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Boston
1,126 posts, read 4,418,583 times
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Get a roomate (s). Its much easier paying $500 a month than $1000.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:59 PM
 
36 posts, read 109,217 times
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thanks for the addendum. in response to some of the tips:

- thankfully, parents will be paying my cell phone bill, as we have a family plan with verizon. so no worries for me on this front.

- also, my job actually won't require new attire, which is another plus.

- i already signed the lease for the small studio, and it's just big enough for *me* to live, so not much i can do about the rent now.

- actually, it looks like my job will be paying for 401k on my behalf -- i also get health insurance benefits and such. so then does that mean that i can cross out the 7.5% of "ss + medicare" tax?? (ie. the only stuff that will be taken off of my paycheck is federal and state tax?)
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:07 PM
 
5,120 posts, read 8,381,147 times
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sorry to say, ss and Medi has nothing to do with your health benefits. yes, you will be paying it. As far as your 401k being paid by your company, that doesn't quite make sense to me. They probably match a portion of what you contribute to your 401k. but at this point in your life where you need every penny, I wouldn't worry about a 401k contribution quite yet.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Brookline, MA
613 posts, read 2,214,436 times
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No, social security and medicare will still be deducted from your paycheck. Confirm that health ins. benefits are fully covered by the employer. Often, the cost is subsidized, but a portion of the cost (varies greatly) is taken out of your paycheck (pre tax amount). Also, I'm thinking that the 401K is a match, unless you're in a job that still gives a traditional pension. Meaning, that the company will match what you contribute to your 401K up to a certain amount. It's like free money (you just can't use it yet), but you have to contribute as well.

Assuming you don't have any other debt, it's doable, but you'll need to budget.
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Old 08-19-2009, 02:57 PM
 
157 posts, read 474,283 times
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what kind of job you do and what is your degree in?
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