Housing and Associated Costs
Housing and related costs such as utilities, Internet, and phone can cut very deep into your budget if not carefully controlled. It is recommended that you should not spend more than 30% of your income on housing. For example, a single person with an annual income of $15,000 should spend not more than $300 per month on rent. So your income should drive where you live and not the other way around. You should find the best place you can live within your budget, even if that means sharing an apartment or a house with roommates.
Utility bills can be tricky and this is one cost you will have to watch closely. If you are renting, the best thing to do is find a place that has utilities included in the rent. If this is not an option, then look for an energy efficient building to rent. Other ways to reduce your utility cost is to make sure your apartment is properly insulated, use power strips, and never leave appliances on, plugged in, or in standby mode when not in use. Use energy efficient bulbs as well.
As for phone and Internet, make sure you are using the cheapest options available in your area and there are ways of doing this including bundling, using VOIP phone, and prepaid cell phones.
Image Credit: Blogs.artvoice.com