Money Honey… Should I Get A Roommate?

In a previous life I was an accountant.  With this comes certain responsibilities such as ocd-style spreadsheets outlining my budget and household expense percentages.

I’m going to over-share here and show you what my current categories and spending percentages are…

  • Housing – 49% (should be 20-30%)
  • Debt – 5.5%  (in range)
  • Transportation – 10.5%  (in range)
  • Groceries – 10%  (low)
  • Cell Phone – 2.5%  (usually not included in separate category)
  • Remainder – 22.5%  (I really need to break this down further at some point)

“Remainder” goes towards things like savings (HA!), entertainment, household maintenance, extra expenses (aka the $400 or so I plan to spend on my divorce this month), travel (HA! x2) and clothing.  12.5% of my gross income goes towards my pension so I’m kinda saving in that way… all of the other numbers above are based on my net income.

In the lower mainland I don’t think that it is practical (reasonable is a whole other story) to expect that our housing costs are below 50% of our net income.  Assuming that we want to own our home, live alone and live somewhere desirable.  This is a choice that I make (and one that I regret more than I care to admit).  If I get a roommate my percentages all change but the housing one comes down to a (much?) more reasonable 41% of net.

In my research I have come across many budgets… and all of them list entertainment as being around 5% and clothing as around 5%.  I’m probably over on both of these items.  I’m wondering if I’m the only one.

My entertainment budget has gone up, up, up since I’ve been single.  Not having someone at home (aka built in entertainment) I find myself going out much more often.  Because: why not?

Travel doesn’t fit into my budget easily but I hope that over the next couple of years, as my income increases, I should be able to start making that more of a priority.  It’s a priority to me to start getting out and seeing the world… and yet I’m uncertain as to how much I am willing to sacrifice for this.  Aka: Is it worth having a roommate if that suddenly allows me the chance to take an annual trip?

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I’m not getting ahead (beyond building a bit of equity and my pension) but I’m also not getting behind so I’m going to call that a win for right now.

I keep looking at this point in my life as a little calm break… Assuming that one day I do end up married again and with children… This might be my only change ever to live alone.  Shouldn’t I embrace that?

What’s your budget like?  Have you ever broken it down?  Did the results surprise you?

Do you think it’s worth giving up my personal space to gain back that 8% of net?  I’m really torn on this whole roommate thing… Opinions would be great!

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