This definitely isn’t my advice to you on how to budget, it is more me hoping you will chip in with some helpful tips! This is my first time moving out and living on my own (other than a summer I spent in Toronto for a leadership program) so I need to learn how to keep the roof over my head, food in the fridge, and all the bills paid.

When I realized how much my “net income” was going to be a few weeks ago, it was a bit of a shock! I am getting paid well for being a new grad working in the non-profit sector, but it was still a harsh realization that the money will only go so far. I’ m lucky that I do not have any credit card or student loan debt – just my car payments for now – but I also have not been able to build up a savings account while in school.

After texting some of my helpful money-savvy friends back in BC, I was able to develop a budget I think will work. It doesn’t officially “kick in” until August 1st when I move into my new place so I would like to get your advice on a few things:

  • Is $300/month a reasonable budget for food? Most of my friends say this should be doable, but does not include dining out.
  • Do you put a certain percentage of your paycheque into savings? How much?
  • Is cable really worth it? I know the winters are long and cold here, so I might not bother purchasing until November. I have lots of favourite TV shows, but I feel like I can watch most of them online and be just fine.
  • What kind of internet package should I sign up for? I am getting confused at all the levels of “Mbps”.
  • For a “just starting out single girl” – how much disposable income per month should keep me happy but still frugal?

If you have input on any or all of these questions, please write me a line!

Do you stick with a budget every month or do you like to wing it? What has and has not worked for you?