My $1000 back to school budget

So I’ve been a little busy the last few weeks and neglecting the blog! One excuse – I’m back at the university full time to finish up the last year of my 2nd degree program.

Going back to school without going back into debt meant massive savings and massive budgeting. Currently, I have enough saved to pay for tuition plus the next two months of living expenses. I have enough guaranteed money coming in that by the end of August, I will have enough money for living expenses until January 2012, even if I don’t work at all in the fall.

Here’s what my monthly budget looks like for May 2011 until I graduate (again… *sigh*) in May 2012:

  • 450 rent/bills (housing, utilities, cable and internet)
  • 100 condo top-up (money saved for taxes, contigency, etc.)
  • 100 condo downpayment (savings for our next real estate purchase)
  • 100 grocery
  • 75 cell phone
  • 50 RRSP contribution
  • 60 MSP (medical service plan)
  • 20 laundry
  • 45 spending

A total of $1000 per month – and I am still saving!  This is the leanest that my budget has ever been, and I’m pretty pleased about that.  It takes care of all the bills and has a bit left over at the end for me.

Now, $45 per month in budgeted spending money not very much, but I make a good amount of pocket money from various freelancing gigs.  I don’t count this amount because it is variable.  I only budget for $45 per month of guaranteed spending money.

So there you have it!  For $1000 a month, I get to live in Vancouver’s west side, eat well while cooking mostly at home, save for retirement and real estate goals, and own an expensive cell phone.  😉  Of course, once I graduate, I will be ramping up the savings – but until then, I am happy to be able to pay for all my expenses this school year in cash and without going into additional student loan debt.

Posted in: Money

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