Saturday, July 5, 2014

Next year plans - Downsizing, save more!

The easiest way to increase one's portfolio is to reduce the bills that have to be paid every month. Currently my monthly budget is listed below. I live in a one bedroom complex that is quite nice and very close to work. I live in a very expensive location since it is in the Bay Area.

Rent - $1756
Electricity - $35
Internet - $38
Water/Trash - $63
Renter insurance - $15
Food - $230

As you can see my expenses are very high. I moved into this apartment since I had no time to shop around for the best deal when I moved to the Bay Area for my first job. I needed to find a place to move into ASAP so I did not have time to look for a shared house or 2 bedroom apartment.

My lease expires in October and my plans for next year is to downsize my rent bill by sharing a 2 bedroom apartment with another engineer or to find a house to share. As long as I have my own bedroom, I think the quality of life will remain relatively similar since I have shared apartments with people in the past during my college and graduate school years. In addition to the decrease in rent cost, I will also be able to split on the utilities. I estimates that this plan will help me save around half on my housing bills, or $954 every month!

In the past my food bill has approached $450-500 when I ate outside. I'm glad to say the learn-to-cook strategy is paying off. Cooking at home has already allowed me to save ~$270 a month.

In addition to decreasing housing costs, I plan to use my credit to open a mortgage in the coming months to aid in the purchase of property for family. The occupants of the property will pay for all the monthly payments and interest while I collect the tax returns which should be around $3700 per year or a saving of $308 per month.

Adding all the savings together, next year looks much more promising. Here is what I estimate I can save every month using this strategy:
          Rent + Utility savings: +$954
          Tax return additions: +$308
This amounts to around $15000 more that I can put into my dividend stock portfolio or emergency fund.

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