Me and my boyfriend need help budeting and saving
My boyfriend and me are trying to save enough money to move in together. We have amazingly found friends that would be willing to roommate with us and as of now we are trying to save enough for our portion of a down deposit as well as a cushoin for future months, our goal being 2500. He's a full-time dental assistant that makes on average 600-700 bi weekly since he just got his certification and hired no more than 4 months ago. His hours are a little unstable because it all depends how many patients he assists a day. As for me I use to work a part time retail job averaging 200 every week but I ended up quiting because manegment was terrible. As of now I am unemployed, looking for another partime job because I will start going to school this January full time. Unfortunately our finances have gone to crap ever since I quit. You see I live about an hour and a half away from him and usually we do take the bus to see eachother but those bus passes do add up. We both pay rent but luckily we pay very little. I pay 150 and he pays 200. But the big problem is the eating. You see his mother is well to say the least cold. She will not let me be in her house nor will she let him make food for us and as for where I am living it is the same deal. I roommate it you see and the man who owns the house with his wife do not let me in the kitchen so we are forced to eat out.
All in all our food expense is the highest as well as transportstion. Bus passes do add up. And like I said before I am unemployed meaning he is covering everything which I cannot really feel comfortable with but getting a part time job just as school is a about to start is difficult even for the holiday season. Especially with someone with no car.This 600-700 he makes is all we will have for the time being. I want to be a full-time student with a part time job so until I find a new job I really just need to know some advice on how to make this 600-700 pay range not only last until I get a new job but also how do we save? As you can tell from what I've said before our living situations are all but appealing. Plain and simple we are tired of being where we are. I know you may think me stupid for quiting a job in such a time in need but the work conditions were intolerable. That job was stressing me to the point of exhaustion. Not saying I am looking for the perfect part time job but a job with manegment as bad as that one I had is just unacceptable. It was my boyfriend who suggested I quit after he saw first hand. Please be assured I am not just golddiging my boyfriend I really am desperete for a job as well as starting school again. But his income is all a have for now so please, any advice what's so ever would be much appreciated thank you.
It's difficult to give advice on spending and saving because everyone has so many different expenses - things they have to spend and don't really want to go without spending each month. It's a bit more complicated than deciding what you can and can't live without, and cut out the unnecessary expenses - but that is probably a good start.
I think finding a new part-time job, however involved, is not a bad idea. You want to focus on school, I get that. But maybe you could get a couple of hours every week at a local dollar store, drug store or grocery store? I would suggest staying away from jobs that rely heavily on sales and commission, since that takes a lot of work and you usually have to end up relying on your success with sales to keep your hours. Stores that sell affordable food (that is why I strongly suggest various grocery stores and dollar stores - I'd stay well away from organic whole-food stores or upscale grocers) would be convenient since you could buy food right there after work and save yourself trips to go grocery shopping. You also might get an associate discount on your purchases at some of these stores, either immediately or after a few months of employ, further adding to your savings. Sometimes drug stores will have sales on random food and snack items, which can come in handy.
Having a car greatly improves your quality of life. I know some bus services offer different ways of paying. You might be able to buy a card that's good for 50 rides, or that has unlimited rides for a day or two. You could use this to your advantage on busy days off, when you have lots of places to go to stock up on things, and make return trips home. If any shops are within biking or walking distance, you can stop by there and see what all they have - chances are you might be able to find a drug store or convenience store that carries something you might need on short notice, though be sure to pay attention to the prices since they could be potentially more expensive than they would be at a dollar store or supermarket.
Since you aren't allowed to use the kitchen where you live, I would recommend buying a microwave, some sort of portable electric range or skillet and a decent-sized cooler. Buy a bag or two of ice for the cooler as you need it, to keep your refrigerated stuff cool. Maybe get ice packs, if the people you live with will let you freeze those in their freezer. Get plastic silverware, paper plates, napkins and plastic cups. And always buy generic unless you desperately need something higher-quality. I wouldn't worry too much about clipping coupons since that is a hassle in itself, but do take a look at ongoing sales and meal-deals in stores, and take advantage of ones you like.
Getting a place with your boyfriend, or a place closer to where he is is probably a good idea - if you really want to make a go of it with this guy. Where is the school you will be attending in relation to all of this? The thing is, those bus rides long distances just for you two to be together will be difficult to deal with on top of everything else. You should see if there are any affordable efficiencies where you could move in together. I just see it being too expensive having to use the bus to go to work, school, and back and forth between home and where your boyfriend is all the time. On top of that, it doesn't sound like you guys can really stay together whenever you are visiting each other. So you need to establish a base of operations somewhere.
I hope something here is helpful!