Despite all the potential financial disadvantages of marriage, there are some upsides to co-habitating as well! Since monthly expense reports seem to be all the rage on those personal finance blogs, I thought I’d do one myself, comparing expenses before and after my partner moved in, to see what has changed. I’m not planning on making this a regular series, as there are approximately 1024 other blogs if you want to read other people’s net income or expense reports 😛 This is just a financial glimpse into our lives, as I weirdly enjoy reading these reports on other peoples’ blogs.
|Cost||Before ($)||After ($)||Commentary|
|Mortgage + HOA + property taxes||1200||1200||Roof over our heads (900 sq ft condo). HOA to maintain the green, green grass for the dogs to pee on (nothing against dogs! Just saying that the main people I see using the grounds are dog-walkers). As you can see, we live in a fairly reasonable cost-of-living area in CA.|
|Electricity, gas||80||90||Started using more heating after my partner moved in. I used to use a space heater because it felt inefficient to heat up the whole condo for 1 person, but now it makes more sense to turn the central heat on.|
|Internet, streaming||65||85||Slight bump because our Netflix wedding gift card ran out, and Spotify charged because I forgot to cancel after the trial period (found it’s not that useful, except for yelling at Alexa to play random songs, which I’ll kinda miss 🙂 ).|
|Cell phone||70||70||We share a family plan with 3 other people ($70 is our share). It’s kind of a hassle because my friend is a bit scatter-brained and I have to chase him down to pay sometimes. This is a holdover from our grad school days, which we’ve kept going since then.|
|Groceries||200||450||A little more than double, seems reasonable. My partner has a really strange habit of visiting Ralph’s every day at the late night and buying ____. Usually the list includes Honest Tea, bags of baby carrots (he’s on a healthy kick), or random Easter chocolates (backlash against the healthy kick).|
|Personal care||300||80||The “before” is much higher because of an optometrist visit. Not much difference here in terms of regular expenses. The gym increased from $40 (1 person) -> $70 (2 people).|
|Car||280||130||Before: parking during Christmas vacation, regular maintenance, oil. After: new parking pass for my partner, oil. Hard to tell if this has increased in terms of recurring expenses or not.|
|Bike||30||100||Before: Reflective vest after I almost got run over by a car in the rain 😡 After: New lights and basket for my partner’s bike now that he’s started biking too. This will probably go back to near-zero.|
|Just For Fun|
|Eating out||150||900||?!??? To be fair, the “before” month was probably the lowest I’ve ever spent on dining out. Usually it was more like $200-250 for just me. Living together has made us more likely to go out, because I no longer feel lame for asking for a table for one. Also, it’s been hard adjusting to cooking enough food for two rather than one, so there ends up not being enough leftovers, and we go out.|
|Shopping||300||300||Clothing, shoes, board games (hellooooo Game of Thrones Catan), etc. Seems pretty stable.|
|Home||200||100||Before: Tax software, random stuff from Amazon. After: mini-fridge for my partner’s office. Seems pretty stable.|
|Entertainment||100||350||Before: Knitting stuff. After: Beyonce+Jay-Z tickets!!! Can’t miss! Also my partner’s Hearthstone cards and Pokemon Go upgrades ($50 for digital cards? ok, no judgement), and cozy movie rentals at home 🙂|
|Pets||20||15||Cat litter and food.|
|Gifts||60||10||Some small gifts. Not much difference.|
|Work expenses (to be reimbursed)||1300||600||This is not counted in the total, but our work is pretty annoying because we have to pay out of pocket for a trip, then wait til after the trip (months later) to be reimbursed. It doesn’t affect us that much, but I feel for the grad students who have to put down these large sums of money.|
The difference between and after doesn’t seem so bad! I was a bit concerned after seeing our massive eating out expenses, but it doesn’t seem to have made much difference to the bottom line.
S (<– my partner’s new blog name, typing “my partner” was wearing out my fingers 😛 ) and I discussed eating out, and he’s more of the mind that as long as we can comfortably afford it (which we can), then eating out is fine. I agree with this, but I would prefer to eat in more because honestly, the food options are not that hot around here. The area we live is not exactly the hippest urban town (my mental image of a typical resident is a grizzled old man riding a Harley), so it doesn’t have great/diverse food options which reduces the temptation to go out. Especially for our lunches – the campus food options are pretty limited (food truck burritos or Panda Express poke, which gets old fast), and I swear that home-brought food tastes 10x better when eaten at the office 🙂
Did you expenses change after co-habitating with a partner or roommate? How much do you spend on eating out?