Thursday, November 6, 2008


In the spirit of Thoreau, I'm taking stock of my finances in my attempts to get a hold on what it costs to live. The following are monthly expenses.

Food and misc. expenses are estimates, and would probably be more in actuality. I have been trying to eat simpler fare--beans, rice, potatoes, bread--and try to shop for most things at the Russian produce market, which sells bags of potatoes for $1, bags of onions for $1, etc. I am also going to see about getting food at the food pantry at St. Vincent's.

My rent is incredibly cheap because my housemate Chris is incredibly gracious. He did not allow me to pay more even though I offered. He pays $750/mo for a nice two-bedroom apartment. I guess it is offset by my staying in the bus 2-3 days per week. We do not pay for internet, as we pick up a wireless signal from the guy living above us.

The kicker is my medications. I got spoiled by my prescription plan at work; now I have a $500 deductible and they only cover 60% of generics and 40% of brand name drugs after that. I have averaged the deductible over a 12 month period, which is included in the list. This does not include the medication that is $440 for 30 pills, which I am going to try to go off of.

Health Insurance: $162
Car Insurance: $75
Rent: $160
Phone: $63
Groceries: $70
Coffeeshop: $15
Food (out)/misc.: $40
Medication: $80
Transportation: $7

for a total of:

$672 per month

What could be cut out of this? the coffeeshop is my place of work, but i guess i could just as easily go to the library. If I got food at the food pantry that would cut that $70 in half. Eating out and getting donuts at the donut shop down the street could be cut out. Phone could not, and rent could possibly if I lived in the bus full time. Medication could not, neither could health insurance. I wish I could cancel my car insurance since I don't drive the bus, but apparently it has to have it. Pretty cheap by most standards, but also pretty expensive by many in the world.

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