Mar 05 2008

How much two 20-somethings pay to live in Pittsburgh

I mentioned that by my best estimates, we need a minimum of $1,800 to pay our expenses each month. Here’s what that would include:

  • $750 rent on our 2 bedroom/1.5 bath 900 sq. foot apartment in Pittsburgh
  • $277.33 car payment
  • $415 every six months for car insurance (hopefully that will go down when we renew). That worked out to be about $84 on the five-payment plan
  • $50 gas (sometimes more, sometimes less)
  • $60 for phone and cable
  • $50-90 for electric, depending on the season
  • $200 food
  • $275 for insurance policies and investments in addition to job-related retirement savings (we could cut this back if we absolutely needed to)
  • Total: $1786/month needed for basic expenses

I forgot to include things that are paid directly from my husband’s paycheck. These things include:

  • $265 all things medical (health, vision, dental, and flexible spending account amount that we’ll use later)
  • $75 bus pass
  • Tithe — 10 percent
  • Extra total $340 + tithe

So, that brings the final total to $2,126 for the month. Hmm. Maybe I should increase the emergency fund goal a bit.

Once we have our emergency fund finished (whatever/whenever that’ll be) we’ll start saving for a down payment on a house. So either way, we’re going to be saving saving saving for awhile yet.

Curious at what it might cost for a single gal living in New York City? Check out my friend’s blog post here.



10 Responses to “How much two 20-somethings pay to live in Pittsburgh”

  1. A thought that we considered when calculating our emergency fund: If we’re living off our emergency fund, we don’t have ANY income coming in, so there’s no income to tithe on. This is how we looked at it- your conviction could be different (and ours might be, too, when and if the time ever comes that we’re faced with that dilemma, and I have no doubt God will provide)

  2. I too exclude tithing from my estimates for my emergency fund. I figure if we get any income like unemployment insurance we would pay the tithing with those funds. Since my spouse has a stable job I think our E-fund is more for medical emergencies and car breakdowns so we are working on 11K for a 3 month fund.

  3. That’s a really good point, Joanna.

  4. Just a thought — it depends upon if your Emergency Fund is more for unexpected surprises and oops or if you really intend for it to cover loss of income and then some (unstable job, no long term disability insurance coverage in place, etc.). You will most likely need more money for health insurance. IMO, health insurance is the #1 thing to keep up. This past year, both my husband and I were temporarily out of work (due to a layoff and a company shutting down) and we spent almost $2,000 in COBRA payments to continue our health coverage. Getting coverage individually would have cost even more. And this was only for 2 months!

  5. I hope we’ll never need to use it for this, but my intentions with the emergency fund is to replace income, if that’s what we need to do.

    My husband is the primary $$ earner, and while is job is “stable” I really don’t consider any job ever totally secure.

    Hopefully, that’ll never happen to us! But if it does, I hope that we’ll be prepared.

    I also plan to use the fund for insurance deductibles. Depending on how much money it’ll save us per month, we’re considering upping our car insurance deductible from $500 to $1,000, for example.

    And I agree, it’s definitely worthwhile to keep that health insurance going.

    Thanks for your comment!

  6. hee hee, man I wish stuff was that cheap where we live!

    I enjoy checking out your blog every day! Most of your stuff doesn’t apply to me as I live in Canada, but it’s still an interesting read!

  7. Wow, that’s how it slips through–I wonder what my stats would look like? Hmmm . . .

  8. Hi! Haven’t been to this site for quite sometime now. I just wrote an article about the importance of monthly budgets and now I see this post. It sure helps someone to balance and budget, right?

    I see that you tithe, too. I truly believe in the principle of tithing. We can’t outgive God and He does not fail to make sure we are amply provided.

    When we started to tithe faithfully, our income seemed to be more than enough for our needs and we were able to pay off our debts, too! Now, we are building our savings and paying a residential lot at the same time.

    I really like to idea of your blog. My husband and I are some sort of a tight wad, too.

  9. This is great. What this shows me is how different the cost of living is in different areas. I’m in NYC which really isn’t that far from you. Yet $750 for a 2-bedroom/1.5 bath is less than we pay in maintenance for our 2-bedroom/1 bath apartment that we own (co-op)! Also, your $850/year auto insurance is much less than what I pay!

    Your other expenses are closer, I think, to what we pay.

    Thanks for the detailed monthly expenses!

  10. Really interesthing to compare the cost of living with others. It comes up to about the same for us. I think you are making great progress, congrats!

    Really try to save everywhere you can. For exemple, really make sure you do revise all your insurance policy a few weeks before their renewal. It’s really easy to do online. I do this each year and in 15 minutes, I have quote from about 12 different company. I don’t change each year but make sure I have the best deal as well and manage to save hundreds of dollar last year. Make a good revision of other ways to get discounts. For cars, the deductible could be a good one, alarm system and other things like that could be worth considering as well. Just keep up the good work.

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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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