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Can I live on my own making only $32,500 a year?

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
I graduated college in December, and I just got a new job that pays $32,500 a year, after federal and state taxes are taken out, I get $24,000 a year--or roughly $2000 a month--in disposable income. I also get free healthcare/medical/dental. My new company will also pay my Metro transportation costs.

I just found a studio efficiency apt. in the heart of DC for $865 a month, with ALL utilities included. I have no car, no loans, no car payments, or any other monthly expenses. I am single. I have a great and extensive wardrobe, so I don't really need work clothes. I spend $300 a month in groceries, which leaves me about $800 a month as extra "spending money" when the rent and groceries are extracted from the $2000 a month.

Everyone seems to think that living in DC on $32,500 annual salary is impossible, but I just demonstrated that you can. Can anyone see a major flaw in my reasoning, or an error in my calculations that I am forgetting? Thanks! I ask because I know there are plenty of people on this forum who live in cities, and I would greatly appreciate any input on my situation before I sign my lease and live on my own! Thanks!
post #2 of 92
If you have $800/mo. in disposable income, what's the problem?
post #3 of 92
how much will it cost to commute?
post #4 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by holymadness View Post
If you have $800/mo. in disposable income, what's the problem?

it's more like $500-$600 if hes taking the metro everywhere
post #5 of 92
CellPhone? Cable/TV/Internet? Drinking w/ buddies?
post #6 of 92
Seems like his company is paying that for him. Either way, he's still far in the black. Not much cash to throw around on going out or buying luxuries (or saving, for that matter), but it's definitely a livable situation for a recent college grad in this economy.
post #7 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
CellPhone? Cable/TV/Internet? Drinking w/ buddies?

dating, vacations, gifts for holidays,
post #8 of 92
Think about future.

Are you gonna get married? that cost money
Are you gonna have kids? that cost LOTS money
Are you ever gonna retire? or are you gonna work til you die? need money stashed away for retirement.
post #9 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
how much will it cost to commute?



Hi Teger.

The cost to commute is about $90 per month, going from Adams Morgan Metro stop to downtown. But the company I work for will give me a SmarTrip card that has a ridiculously high limit-- $200 a month. I see you are in Arlington. Do you see any error in my calculations?
post #10 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwilkinson View Post
CellPhone? Cable/TV/Internet? Drinking w/ buddies?


My mom pays for cellphone because we have the family plan. As for cable/internet, I can purchase the bundle for about $60 a month. It doesn't seem too bad, but it's not a necessity.

$865 - rent
$300 - groceries
$100 - toiletries
$100 - incidentals/misceallaneous
$60 - cable/internet
$120 - partying

That adds up to $1500 a month. I'll be living in Adams Morgan, so I am at ground zero for going out/getting wasted/etc...

I don't see where the problem lies with living on your own on $32,500 a year. Do you?
post #11 of 92
Somehow I doubt he plans to stay at a job making $32k for the rest of his life. Again, for a newly-minted college grad, there's absolutely nothing wrong with his situation. I can appreciate that he's taken the time to parse out all his expenditures and earnings, and while he may not be buying any fancy cars or overseas vacations for a while, he can certainly manage. Managing, in economic times when even McDonalds turns away 60 job applicants a day, is admirable.
post #12 of 92
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lee_44106 View Post
Think about future.

Are you gonna get married? that cost money
Are you gonna have kids? that cost LOTS money
Are you ever gonna retire? or are you gonna work til you die? need money stashed away for retirement.


I'm only thinking of doing this for about a year or two. I am young and want to live in the city. I think I'll more than likely get promoted. I'll worry about family/kids later!
post #13 of 92
Only $120 for partying per month? You better befriend some Hill staffers and attend all of those free events!
post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connemara View Post
Only $120 for partying per month? You better befriend some Hill staffers and attend all of those free events!

Yeah, forget dating.
post #15 of 92
Take it, you'll be fine.
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