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Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Old Nov 19th 2017, 3:14 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Richard -- where you do see that household insurance is $125 per month? When I lived in an apartment, my rental insurance which included personal items was $99 per year through Nationwide.
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Originally Posted by richard42 View Post
Thanks for your help!



The wife does not drive so we only need one car. She does intend to pass the driving test at some point though, and her idea is to get a little scooter to get to the local shopping centre and friends.


!
...Scooters and Houston traffic are not a good mix!!!

You really need to have a license if you live in Houston . Two main reasons: the roads and traffic makes it not pedestrian friendly and the heat/humidity makes it almost impossible to walk far.

There are Metro buses and light rail that run in some areas but a lot of the "crazies" tend to use them
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 8:35 pm
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Originally Posted by richard42 View Post
Thanks for the replies.

As we will be new there with no credit history, nothing will be on any sort of credit for 6 months or so (AFAIK we don't get any choice in this)

To answer some questions:-
* Car will be purchased outright, around $5 to $10k.
* Entertainment / going out - I'm working out all expenses apart from these, so I'll know how much "disposable" income we have per month.
* No kids
* Visiting home - good point, will lump that in to come out of the disposable.

The figures I've arrived at so far are

* Car insurance $200
* Household insurance $125
* Food $250
* 2 x mobiles on PAYG with 10GB data $200
* TV $50
* Electricity, Gas, Water, Garbage $300
* Fuel $100
* Car maintenance and other expenses $150
* Medical $500

Rent I'm budgeting between $2500 and $3000.

Income is $80kpa plus $13750pa from rent of our UK house plus $2000pa other income. After taxes $80k becomes $63472 (other two aren't taxed, just the profits we make on them, which is zero as the rent is half what we could get - family, heh! )

So income per month is $6600, leaving us with between $2219 to $1719 disposable depending on where we find to rent.

In a year (if we haven't run back to the UK) the plan is to sell the UK house which will allow us to buy somewhere nice outright, reducing the $3000 rent down to whatever the property tax is on a $550k home (~$1300).

Salary should be heading up to $120kpa within 3 or 4 years, but nothing written down so I'll do a happy dance if any of that actually happens, I'm not counting on it.

We don't go out lots and aren't looking for an extravagant lifestyle, but do want a lovely home with plenty of room for the relatives to come visit and chill out in the back with the BBQ.
Here's my tuppence worth - as a relocation person based up the road in Austin.

Use the car money as a deposit /part payment on a car from a place like carmax. This will mean you get a better (safer) car and the loan - even if it's only for $5k will help build your credit score. To get the loan you will need the names of 3or 4 referees ( NOT guarantors), just people who will say that they know you and that you exist.
I read recently that 1 million cars were wrecked by the hurricanes over the last few months. So the price of used cars is a little higher and you need to be really, really careful that you don't get a car that was damaged by all that water.
Your car insurance is about right - bring your no claims letter from your UK insurer and get an International Driver's Permit (IDP). Both will help lower your first premiums. Take the Texas driver's license as soon as you can. It's supposed be after 30 days' residence but I'd go the minute you have a rental lease.

You need renter's insurance - max $20 a month. $10 for an apartment.

Mobile bill - good grief. Seriously look at mintsim or Ultra. $200 is stupid for 2 people. Bring your own unlocked phones from the UK or go to Costco/Bestbuy and buy your own phones.
Food bill too low. I'd get it up to $400 minimum
Rent? what are you renting? Have you looked for an apartment? That money would get you a luxury pad in a high rise here in Austin and Austin is more expensive for renting than Houston.

Also, if you are renting an apartment then your security deposit will be 1 month's rent, you might have to pay a bit more for a house/condo but nowhere near the amounts you are being told.

Renting - you will not be approved if your rental cost is more than 1/3 of your gross salary. Some places request 3.5 times for salary amount. That realtor should be shot.
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Old Nov 19th 2017, 8:58 pm
  #19  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
...Scooters and Houston traffic are not a good mix!!!

You really need to have a license if you live in Houston . Two main reasons: the roads and traffic makes it not pedestrian friendly and the heat/humidity makes it almost impossible to walk far.

There are Metro buses and light rail that run in some areas but a lot of the "crazies" tend to use them
OMG!!!

I feel like I'm taking my life in my hands driving a car in Houston, never mind a scooter. I'd rather ride a bike off the roads than a scooter on the roads. Mind you, humidity. ugh.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 3:56 am
  #20  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Mobile bill - good grief. Seriously look at mintsim or Ultra. $200 is stupid for 2 people. Bring your own unlocked phones from the UK or go to Costco/Bestbuy and buy your own phones.
I agree, how some is paying $200 bucks for 2 phones I bought my phone over from the UK, and my girlfriend bought her iPhone SE on sale. We have unlimited everything for 60 bucks a month, tax included.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 4:08 am
  #21  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Per Twinkle, and possibly others (I didn't read every post in detail), you will likely find that your grocery bill will be $250/person/mth, and may be more if you like quality meats and organic veg. That would include other things you buy from a supermarket, such as cleaning supplies, paper products, laundry detergent, etc. We buy branded packets and tins from Walmart or BJ's (competitor to Costco), but meat and veg from a more upmarket grocery (think Sainsbury's) and spend about $750/mth on grocery bills for three of us - buying everything from "Sainsbury's" could easily add $100, I think.

Also used cars are expensive in the US and $5,000 would be the barest minimum that you can expect to pay for something that isn't junk, or close to it, so be prepared for repair bills. At $5,000 you may be looking at either something quite small, and noisy, or with 180,000+ miles on it for a family saloon type car. For a well respected brand like a Honda or Toyota you could be paying $5,000 for a car with 200,000 miles on it. ..... You might want to consider buying through International Autosource, who will use your UK credit history and a job offer to support the finance, which (i) gets you a new vehicle, and (ii) gets you an installment loan on your credit history, so you will be establishing a payment record (when you supply your SSN to the finance company) even though getting other credit will be tough in the first year.

Last edited by Pulaski; Nov 20th 2017 at 4:15 am.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 5:23 am
  #22  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Guaranteed to be free of flood damage..

mid range ford focus SE - under $12k and under 50k miles

https://www.carmax.com/search#Distan...ey=0&Zip=78745

ETA that with "normal" rent and normal deposit you may find you have enough to go and buy a car. I'd still get a small loan just to get your credit history going. Bear in mind that you won't be able to do this until you have your social security number. You can buy a car/register a car in Texas without a TX driver's license.

Last edited by petitefrancaise; Nov 20th 2017 at 5:33 am.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 5:40 am
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

BTW, just had a very quick look at apartments in Katy. This one https://www.cwsapartments.com/apartm...ns#/categories is mid range apartment company that is popular here in Austin. They have a 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment just under 1000sq ft for $1260. I know that this company will take 1 month's rent as security deposit from a new arrival. I would find an apartment locator who will find all the best deals for you - they get paid on commission from the apartment owners so it's free for you.

You could rent a house, but if there's just 2 of you and no kids you really don't need to be paying out for a good area with good schools just yet! That is the usual reason why house rentals are high.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 12:12 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
Guaranteed to be free of flood damage..

mid range ford focus SE - under $12k and under 50k miles

https://www.carmax.com/search#Distan...ey=0&Zip=78745

ETA that with "normal" rent and normal deposit you may find you have enough to go and buy a car. I'd still get a small loan just to get your credit history going. Bear in mind that you won't be able to do this until you have your social security number. You can buy a car/register a car in Texas without a TX driver's license.
You can get a Hertz used car such as a 2016 Focus SE, 30k, extended warranty for about $11,000ish. Now i'm not sure what experience people have had doing this as i'm sure some ex rental cars have been driven very hard but seems like a good deal and they always have a dozen or so to choose from.

Last edited by AndyMan74; Nov 20th 2017 at 12:15 pm.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

I would second looking at international auto source to lease a car straight away. Especially if you like Fords as they do good deals in them. We recently got 2 new Ford SUV with them and were really happy with the price and service we received.
Additionally they paid for 2 rental cars while we waited for the new cars to arrive. Definitely worth a look but you need to do it while you are still in the U.K. and make sure you negotiate with them.
Also l have a very overpriced mobile deal with almost unlimited data, calls, text internationally etc and it is still $85 a month so you can definitely improve on your budget.
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Old Nov 20th 2017, 1:02 pm
  #26  
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Default Re: Monthly Expenses - what have I forgot?

If you want an economy car, you can always come to Mississippi and purchase my 2013 Hyundai Elantra. It has only 31,500 miles on it and most of it is highway driving from NY to Canada or NY to Mississippi or NY to Massachusetts. I'm offering it for a good price to the right person.
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