In today’s episode, Cody and Justin take you on a behind the scenes tour of their monthly budgets.
For some context, Cody is 23 and moving to Boston in September and Justin is 29 living in Boston with his girlfriend. Neither of them has kids.
It’s also important to note that despite their low monthly expenses, Justin and Cody do not feel deprived whatsoever. They’re both enjoying life to the fullest.
Ready to nerd out on some numbers? Let’s dive in.
Justin – Currently paying $837 per person in Boston for a 2BR apartment.
Cody – Paying $600 to share a room in Boston in a 3BR apartment with three roommates.
Both Justin and Cody do an extensive amount of research before committing to a housing arrangement.
Cody – Spends approximately $225 per month for gas and maintenance on his paid-off Nissan Frontier.
Justin – A whopping $110 per month despite owning both a car and a truck… in a big city!
The absence of a car payment or lease drastically reduces the cost of transportation each month.
Justin – Spends $60 per month on groceries and ~$100 on all other food-related items (including alcohol) for a total of $160.
Cody – Grocery expenses are typically around $110 and eating out / alcohol come in at about $190 for a total of $300.
Justin and Cody are able to keep their food costs down by buying only primarily on-sale lean meat and vegetables and cooking 90%+ of the time.
Cody – Total monthly expenditure is around $400 per month.
Justin – Spends about $300 per month in this category.
Both Cody and Justin agree that experiences are 10x more valuable than material possessions. That’s why they allocate a fairly large portion of their budget toward this category!
They also take advantage of credit card rewards to gain free flights and airport perks.
Although it was hard to pin down exact numbers, Justin and Cody do have a miscellaneous category.
Basically, anything that doesn’t fit into the four categories above makes it into this one.
Recently, Cody and Justin have started to focus more on quality instead of just buying the cheapest option possible.
- Keep the big expenses low: Since Cody and Justin keep housing, transportation, and food low, they have a lot more flexibility when it comes to the fun categories (a.k.a. entertainment and miscellaneous)
- Do the extra research: One of the reasons why Justin and Cody are able to keep their monthly expenses low is because they are willing to put in a little bit of extra work to find a deal.
- Income Matters: Both hosts understand that saving isn’t everything. If you’re having trouble saving because your income is simply too low, consider starting a side hustle or figuring out ways to move up in your current role.
Calls to Action
Justin: Do you remember what you ate for lunch last Tuesday? Probably not. Figure out what other “Tuesday lunches” you have in your life and cut those out as much as possible.
Cody: Lifestyle inflation is one of the sneakiest enemies of financial independence. Start experimenting for a week (or more) at a time and cut different things out of your budget. If you don’t miss it, don’t add it back in!
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Learn More About Your Hosts:
Fly to FI (Cody’s Blog)
Saving-Sherpa (Justin’s blog)