I've finally decided on a place to stay - signed a 1 year contract to lease a studio apartment 12 minutes walking distance from my work. Rent is $610 per month which includes heating & garbage. I pay electricity only.
The apartment is also about 10 minutes walking distance from a major grocery store. Also found out that there is a farmer's market every Tuesdays during summer time only 3 blocks away.
I just didn't know enough about RV's to make an informed decision. I plan to research more about them for the next year to enable making intelligent decision(s).
Decided to give my car away to a relative. As a result, my insurance will drop by 45% from $2,000/yr to $1,100/yr. Refinanced the truck to a lower 3.5% APR and a new 60 month term at $300/mo. I will be using my truck for the next few months in the new environment and will evaluate whether I really need it or not. Nonetheless, I had the truck appraised at CarMax and it was appraised at $18,000. I owe $16,000 on the truck. (It's a 2008 Toyota Tundra, which I enjoy very much.)
Will be cutting mobile broadband internet ($60/mo.) and going to home-based internet ($30/mo.). I will be looking for ways to extend this to my work as WI-FI since it's only 6-blocks away - this will be an interesting project.
The $150 monthly commuter bus pass will be reduced to $35 monthly lightrail and bus pass.
In lieu of a bowling alley, there is 24 hour fitness which I belong to, 10 minutes from the apartment. I've been paying $100/year for this thing but rarely went due to proximity. Now, I can literally go and live out there.
I do not cook and I have been eating out on most workdays, but since I live so close now, I can just go home and eat. I will be joining cooking classes to learn how to cook and will be cooking at home from now on. I used to spend close to $600-$700 a month in eating out. I have budgeted $400 a month at the new place.
I used to budget/spend $1,000 a month for misc. items, including car maintenance, unforeseen expenses, buying electronics, buying clothes, travel expense, going out to movies, going to a basketball game, concerts, whatever. I've decided that for the next 5 years, I'll be "recycling" my existing "stuff" to fund these activities and have allocated "$0". That means selling things on craigslist, ebay etc. Luckily, I have plenty of things to sell, which will be the subject of my next post.
Total monthly expenses should be as follows:
Rent - $610
Electricity - $20
Car payment - $300
Car Insurance - $95 ($1100/12)
car registration - $35 ($420/12)
Transportation Monthly Pass - $35
Gas - $80
phone - $40
Internet - $30
Gym membership - $9
Food - $400
Total: About $1,700 / mo.
As things stand, I'm saving $1,100 more per month now from about $2,800 per month lifestyle that I used to live in, when including all other expenses. Not bad.
I will be seriously looking at the transportation issue moving forward, and if viable, I will stand to gain additional $300 or so more per month in savings by dropping the truck and renting a car instead.
Next on the agenda will be the rent. If RV'ing a year later makes sense, then I can gain additional $150 a month there.
Then I will be looking at food. If I can shop intelligently and make that dollar last, I may be able to squeeze out another $100 here as well.