Since late last year I’ve cut everything I can from my monthly budget. I’ve reduced all recurring expenses to only three items:
Student Loans: $177
Cell Phone: $38
Blog Hosting: $15
If you don’t count the cell phone, which I’m getting rid of when I leave, that means I only need $200 to cover my ass every month. I’m not counting car insurance because I just sold my car two days ago.
Now let’s include optional spending on things like coffee, transportation, books, and entertainment. The reason I’m calling all these expenditures optional is because technically I can stay in my Dad’s house all day and eat his food and surf his internet without spending a dollar. These figures are from May, which I’d say was a typical month.
Outside food & 7-11: $43
Used books: $35
Public transportation and gas: $103
Gifts & favors: $4
Grocery store: $48
Therefore I need about $800 in income a month to maintain the status quo of drinking, reading, writing, and banging. But since living with my Dad is only a short-term arrangement, I’ll really need about $1500 a month in income a month to account for shelter and electricity. That’s $375 a week, which I can get by bartending again for 3-4 nights a week. If I lived in a developing country I’d need about half that.
A lot of people search for higher paying jobs (or even a second job) to pay for an expensive lifestyle, but my strategy is to go the other way. If you need less things then you can work less as well, giving you more leisure time to do the things you really want to do. While money issues will surface eventually, the only thing I worry about right now in life is missing the last Metro train home.