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Our June Budget: Big Changes in Rent

  June 9

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As many of you know, we are fist pumpin’ New Jersey residents these days. How you doin’? It’s actually going really, really well. I owe you a more legitimate update soon but let’s just say we’re feeling positively happy that the fates moved us to a place we never, ever thought we’d end up.

Of course, as you know, when you live 40 minutes from Manhattan the prices for just about everything can be pretty intense. We’re used to cost inflation after living on the island for 3 years, but this is a bit different.

So, it’s time for a squeaky, clean, and new budget share with all of you.

I know. I know. Try to stay in your seats, people. This could get exciting.

We’re still very much adjusting to the costs of parenthood, the bills of two NICU stays, and fighting our tendency to get takeout because we’re too exhausted to cook. Plus, we had a lot of deposits and moving expenses that are reflected here that should go down as the months go on.

So, it’s not perfect but I post it here for accountability. I’ll let you know how we did at the end of the month and you can judge away then. 🙂

BudgetSo there you go. Also, just a reminder that this budget is not a reflection of my actual income, which I do not share on the blog. Because my business income is variable, I could make well above this or well below it. So, this budget just shows a comfortable number that can be supported by savings or hubs’ student loans in the low months. Any excess will go towards savings to help for the months where business is slow. Oh, and if you’re wondering what gremlins are, they include all those stupid unexpected things that happen to you, like speeding tickets and root canals. I got tired of them breaking my budget, so I just put them in there. 🙂

So what do you think about these numbers? How does it compare to where you live? Be gentle in the comments, folks. My new mommy hormones are still raging. 😉

57 responses to “Our June Budget: Big Changes in Rent

  1. My wife grew up in New Jersey just outside of Newark. You can imagine how shocked I was the first time I visited from my small, quite, midwestern town and saw how expensive it was. “That cost how much?” Needless to say I was surprised and glad we now live in an area where things are more affordable. Glad things are going well for you and the kiddos!

  2. It’s nice to see your budget so I can compare it to mine! We actually spend almost the same amount monthly, however, my “babies” are my student loans! Looking forward to that changing sooner rather than later.

  3. $1,875 rent. Yikes! That would buy a McMansion where I live =)

    Oh well, at least it’s temporary. Glad you guys are adjusting so well and I’m sure you’ll feel rich when you move somewhere cheaper!

  4. From what I gather from friends that live in and around NYC, you guys did pretty well on rent. I’m assuming there are no roommates (except for the babies!), and about 5-6 years ago it seemed like the going rate was about $1000/person in a shared place.

  5. I was wondering what gremlins were! What a great name for unexpected expenses!

  6. It looks like you have things pretty well planned for. I was curious about gremlins, so thanks for sharing. That is so smart to budget for!

  7. Adding the “gremlins” into the budget is a great idea! Glad you told us what they were though or I would’ve had to ask 🙂

  8. Call me strange, but I love reading through a detailed budget like yours. I like how you’ve broken your savings into categories. I do the same! Are the baby expenses coming in about where you expected? I have absolutely no frame of reference for that stuff 🙂

    1. Oh you’re not strange. I love it too – unless we’re both strange. 😉 I have been surprised at how many things I’ve had to buy for the babies until I get the right one for them, like bottles etc.

  9. I do like a detailed budget – yours seems fairly good for where you’re living. Are the baby related expenses what you expected or are they more at the moment?

    1. That’s a good question! I should do a post about it soon. I don’t know what I expected them to cost but I have been surprised at how many things I’ve had to buy for them until I get the right one for them, like bottles etc.

  10. That rent is crazy! It’s actually a pretty good deal considering where you are living, but suffice to say “better you than me.” I admire how calm you are about all of this…..I’m freaking out about our budget now, and it’s 2/3 of yours. Way to go and I wish you the best of luck!

    1. I know right? I don’t know about calm haha. I think I just knew it was going to be cray cray going into it and so I’m a bit numb to the numbers! Wish more could go towards debt repayment but at this point, it’s merely survival.

  11. God bless y’all Cat!! Your rent made my heart stop but I know that y’all got this. 🙂 Oh and I heard that you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas in NJ which is kinda cool. Especially with kiddos who scream bloody murder the second you leave the car.

  12. Thanks for sharing your budget. Mine is overall around the same but certain categories a lot higher (utilities, business expenses for instance) and others a lot lower (health care and child care). My food is higher too, but it includes pets. That’s my one nut to crack!

  13. Watching how you do,and looking for inspiration. As I contemplate retirement on Long Island after years of life in B’burg where “livin’ is easy” and bananas cost $.20/pound less (not to mention the cost of gas in NY!), I’m also struggling with the idea of a budget that will not consume all retirement savings in the first year.

  14. I love the term gremlins and they should be a line item on everyone’s budgets because they are inevitable. And I know it sucks that your rent has gone WAY up, but I am happy that you have moved where you have moved. We need to plan a time where you can bring the twins up to go swimming. 🙂

  15. I’m glad you’re happy in NJ despite the expensive rent! Go you for negotiating $100 off, too. When we lived on Long Island we were paying $1,250 for a basement apartment, one bedroom, utilities included. Now our rent is $900, but with utilities it comes to around $1,070, and we have 2 bedrooms. I also really like the gremlins category, it’s a great idea!

  16. Yes I may steal the term Gremlins too 🙂 I actually need to dp better at budgeting Monthly rather than biweekly (significantly more expensive I find).

    How offen are you getting childcare help? (Which I think is great!)

    1. Oh and I found a local teenager to help me in the afternoons after she gets off of school. She holds one of the babies so I can hold the other and eat with one hand. 😉

  17. Wow, its is safe to say that the cost of living there is a bit higher than over here. You can get a 2 bedroom apartment with 2 bathrooms with pool access and a gym for less than a $1000 over here. The salaries aren’t very high though. Its all a question of perspective, I guess.

    1. lol. Ohhh I’m sure they will be! We’re still benefiting from the generosity of others so no clothes or other expenses have been purchased lately!

  18. Not bad. We live in Manhattan with 8 week old twins in a 550 sqft apartment and are averaging $8-9K per month in expenses, including $2300 for our tiny abode.

    1. Alan, I hope your twins are doing well!!! I know you’ve commented before. Our beans should meet someday since they are only 3 weeks apart!!

      1. Yes let us know if you’re ever in Manhattan! We’ve recently become adventurous enough to stroll the kids 10 blocks to Central Park, but that’s about as far as we can brave for now.

  19. I think the fact that you even have a budget at this crazy time of your life puts you ahead of most. That is so sad about the rent. That’s more than our house payment for a pretty big house! On the plus side, how fun it will be to take the kids into the city when they get a little older. I’ve always wanted to go to Rockefeller Center at Christmas.

  20. Oh my gosh, I do not miss living in NYC even a little bit. Money is tight, but not nearly as tight as it was all those years. I sympathize with you.

    Like others above, I’m mostly just amazed that you’re budgeting in the midst of all this life craziness! Good for you. If it helps, my experience of kids (not my own) is that you’ll stop spending that random money (like the multiple kinds of bottles) pretty soon. The consistent costs (diapers, child care) are really high, but the let’s-try-ten-kinds-of-these fades fast as you figure out what works for your kids.

    Good luck!

  21. Well, the cost of living definitely differs when you’re coming from Michigan. I think it’s interesting how your costs have changed due to motherhood. I notice that you listed child care in your budget… Has it been a significant changing factor to your expenses or would you consider that to be something that you and your husband relatively were prepared for? Great list though, and good luck to you and your husband on your journey in New Jersey!

  22. I think we had babies (and not two at once) that our eating out increased too. 🙂 I love that you save for the gremlins. They are stinkers but at least you are prepared for the unexpected. I’m glad everything is overall going good and you’re getting settled into your digs and your role as Mommy.

  23. Hello! I just found your blog, it’s wonderful. My kids are a bit older (5&7) and I’m trying to get my grocery bill lower monthly.. It’s significantly higher than yours. Any tips would help. Thanks!

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