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New to a paying guest (PG) or co-living accommodation? You certainly will be excited about the new phase in your life. With new friends around yourself, you may end up socialising much more. However, this may result in some extra expenditure. Here is a guide to budget your life better when staying in a PG or co-living accommodation.
How much do millennials spend?
Nielsen’s research titled Wealthy Single Urbanites Go Premium showed that most single, wealthy, urban-dwelling millennial end up spending on a host of lifestyle avenues. Expense on food takes up almost 12%-16% of their monthly income, while entertainment costs 9%-13%. Utilities command anywhere between 8% and 12%, transport takes up 7%-11%, drinks will require 7%-11% of their income while miscellaneous requirements eat up anywhere between 6% and 10% of the monthly income. Necessities like rent form 10%-14%, while loans may take up 5%-9% of income.
Here are some tips that will help you save
Track your expenses
Managing bills, when you are all alone is a tough thing to do. There will be expenses incurred on food, birthdays, parties, hangouts, travel, daily commute, grocery, shopping, salons, internet and every other thing you are interested in. There are plenty of apps available today that help you calculate your daily expenses. Apps like Spendee, Wally, Pocket Expense, Expensify, etc., are some examples of expense trackers easily available. Not an app person? Pick up your notepad and jot down your expenses on a daily basis. It will help you keep a tab on how much you spend, when and where.
Cut down on individual costs. Have a Netflix or a Hotstar premium account? Why not share it unless you really want to ensure privacy? Little savings can go a long way. Entertainment is a great way to keep your spirits high, especially when you are away from family. However, given the numerous paid apps, you can certainly share your account with trusted PG mates and friends. You could also take turns to pay bills on such common expenses. This applies to not just apps but subscriptions to magazines, periodicals, shopping apps and aggregators like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. Share more to save more.
Opt for PGs that have food facility
Eating out is good only if you do it occasionally. Research by Nielsen said that millennials may be spending three times more on food than on any other form of entertainment such as theatre and movies. 26-year-old Swati Ballabh, who lives in a PG on Hosur Road, Bengaluru, says that eating out is a fad today. “There’s every reason to eat out – food is available at all price points, there’s comfort food, there’s healthy food, there’s customised food for athletes and gym-goers. Therefore, eating out has become a part of the millennial culture,” she chuckles.
The previous generation was more into home-cooked dabbas that promised health for the body, as well as the pocket. While eating out is no longer irregular, it comes at a big cost. If you are in a PG, it is better to go for one that offers food so that you would not need to spend on food three to four times a day. Another way to save on costs is to cook on your own.
Now suppose your PG provides food you don’t like. In this case, you can talk to the owner to negotiate on the monthly rent of the room and the extra money that you had initially budgeted as room rent can go into a tiffin service provider that you trust.
Budget your travel
Using your private vehicle may bring in added costs. In India, a private vehicle is often seen as a status symbol and many working professionals opt for it, not minding the traffic, pollution, expenses incurred on petrol and maintenance. Save time and money by opting for eco-friendly options, such as metro, shared rickshaws, etc. It is also important that you live close to your college or workplace. This way, you will be commuting and spending less.
Plan your leisure travel with a group of friends. This will be both economical and fun at the same time.
Do not splurge on weekends
As difficult as this may seem, minding your expenses, especially during the weekends will do you good. Planned outings will help you budget better. For example, if you are planning a trip somewhere, have an itinerary in place, know how much each activity would cost and pick packages that are affordable, yet uncompromising.
Save up on power costs
Each PG may have its own set of rules. Some may ask you for rent that is all-inclusive, while others may have a separate meter installed, to keep track of your electricity usage. In both cases, make sure that you know the terms and conditions, whom you are sharing the meter with and how the cost-sharing will happen between you and your PG mates.
How can I save money when in a PG?
One of the top reasons that make you end up spending more when living by yourself is eating out. Keep a watch on how many times you order-in food or dine-out.
How much should I practically save every month?
Experts suggest the 50-20-30 rule, i.e., 50% of your income should go towards living expenses- household expenses, including groceries; 20% towards and 30% towards other expenditure like outings, food and travel.